Locale : Global (English)
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Local people maintaining flood defences next to agricultural land. School children gather around a computer Local people gathering crops by a river


Bangladesh presents diverse needs and massive opportunities. Our history here started chiefly with provision of water, environment and infrastructure services. Today we are providing innovative and sustainable solutions to a host of public and private sector clients in various areas and sectors.

English in Action is applying innovation in the field of English language teaching in Bangladesh in order t best meet the needs of local English language learners.

British Council ELTons awards judges

Our specialist team has been engaged in planning, developing and delivering projects across many sectors – from water, environment social development, urban infrastructure to energy industry and transport.

Water and environment

Since 2003 we have been developing the skills and management capabilities for local communities to build and maintain flood defence and drainage infrastructure under the Integrated Planning for Sustainable Water Management project. Improved water management is doubling agricultural production.

Another key project is the US$70M World Bank financed Dhaka Integrated Environmental Water Resource Management Project, which is promoting water and environmental quality management in the Greater Dhaka area. We have developed options for private investment in wastewater treatment and reuse across the area.

Fishing boats
Blue gold, Bangladesh
Blue gold, Bangladesh This project introduces innovative approaches to water resource management by increasing agricultural productivity and business development.
We're working on a water resource management programme named Blue Gold, funded by the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to address economic and resource issues of polders in the coastal areas of Barisal and Khulna in Bangladesh. The essence of the program is first to establish and empower community organisations to sustainably manage their water resources and based on the priorities set by these community organisations deliver services for which they have expressed a demand.

We're working to provide more reliable and sustainable water supply in Dhaka by developing a new surface source for supply augmentation at the Khilkhet Water Treatment Plant. We're conducting due diligence to ensure investors’ interest and willingness to participate in financing and operating the treatment plant. Public private partnerships arrangements are being reviewed and worked out with financial models and technical details. It will include advancing capacity development of Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (WASA) and sector policy reform.

Poverty reduction

We are working to strengthen the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises (SME) in the country through an EU-financed project called INSPIRED – Integrated Support to Poverty and Inequality Reduction through Enterprise Development. We are providing technical support to enhance the capacity of government organisations as well as managing a grant scheme of €6M that will be provided to SMEs to stimulate and enhance growth and productivity.

We're leading the Char Development and Settlement project which is helping reduce hunger and poverty by improving infrastructure on char land – home to many Bangladeshis. We're also teaching management skills to local people to help them initiate, deliver and sustain the improvements. In the first five years of the project, 40,000 people have benefitted from the project’s interventions – resulting in a 75% increase in average household income.

Women working in paper factory
SME sector development, Pakistan
SME sector development, Pakistan A grant scheme of €6 million makes funding available to small and medium enterprises to stimulate and enhance growth and productivity.

Infrastructure development

The Sustainable Rural Infrastructure Improvement Project (SRIIP) aims to reduce rural poverty and promote holistic development by improving rural infrastructure for sustainable economic growth in southwest Bangladesh.

We worked on the Asian Development Bank’s City Regional Development project, looking at ways to manage and structure growth and provide infrastructure, in Dhaka and Khulna. Our role involved identifying and rationalising funding methods with particular emphasis on PPP.

We also played a key role in the International Finance Corporation’s Bangladesh Investment Climate Forum, a technical assistance programme to make Bangladesh more attractive to businesses. Our work involved stakeholder engagement, project coordination, fund distribution and awareness building among stakeholders – in support of which we helped launch a new business magazine.

Road and bridge
Sustainable Rural Infrastructure Improvement Project, Bangladesh
Sustainable Rural Infrastructure Improvement Project, Bangladesh The project is developing 800km of roads with climate-proof road connectivity.


We devised and are leading the nine year English in Action programme, which is teaching vocational English to 25 million of Bangladesh's poorest people. We're delivering the programme in partnership with broadcaster BBC Media Action, the Open University and two local NGOs.

English is increasingly the language of international business and fluency can improve an individual's economic prospects. We're teaching 10 million adults through a TV soap opera and mobile phone lessons. We're also reaching 15 million school children by equipping teachers with multi-media players loaded with teaching advice and audio material, enabling classes to listen to phonically accurate English.

Adults around computer receiving English lesson
Combating poverty, Bangladesh
Combating poverty, Bangladesh We are managing the English in Action programme, working with BBC World Service, the Open University and local NGOs Friends in Village Development and the Underprivileged Children's Educational Programme.
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