September 15, 2017

Mesopartner @ Work

Designing a LED Project for SDC Bangladesh

Mesopartner has supported the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in designing an innovative, experimental and adaptive LED pilot project in Bangladesh that aims at developing an LED concept and toolkit that is adapted to the specific context of Bangladesh.

Mesopartner’s Christian Schoen and Shawn Cunningham already supported SDC Bangladesh in 2012 in conducting a comprehensive feasibility study for LED in Bangladesh and delivering a preliminary design proposal. Based on this and further deliberations within SDC, Mesopartner was again contracted to finalise the design for the project together with our local partner consultancy Innovision Consulting. For this task, our newest partner Marcus Jenal complemented the Mesopartner team.

The project takes an exploratory approach, since LED as an economic development approach is new to Bangladesh. The context is challenging as the project will be started amidst efforts for government decentralisation that are incomplete and show mixed results. The current set up of local government institutions is a highly complex mix of locally elected and centrally controlled institutions that partly compete on authority, combined with an atmosphere of mistrust between the public sector, businesses and the civil society.

In its strive to reach middle-income status by 2020, Bangladesh, however, needs to move the exclusive focus away from the big cities as economic machines and also strengthen the economies in smaller municipal areas if it wants to be successful. Following an approach to LED that can take into account local specificities, grows out of the local context, and is adaptive by nature will have the biggest chance of successfully establishing LED as an additional approach in the economic development arena of Bangladesh.