Improving Women's Health Through Public-Private Partnerships in Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, maternal mortality is one of the key health issues facing women. Photo credit: ADB.
In Bangladesh, maternal mortality is one of the key health issues facing women. Photo credit: ADB.

The project aimed to improve the access and use of high-quality primary health care particularly for women and girls in Bangladesh.


The Urban Primary Health Care Project strengthened and expanded primary health care infrastructure and services with a focus on the urban poor. The project provided preventative and curative services, including access to immunization, reproductive health services, limited curative care, nutrition-related services, community outreach on health issues, and assistance for women survivors of violence.

In project areas, there were significant improvements in key indicators, including under-5 mortality, maternal mortality, total fertility, child malnutrition, and control of sexually transmitted infections.

During the project design phase, a gender action plan (GAP) was developed. This plan provided analytical background and set out a series of initiatives to strengthen attention toward gender equality issues and improve access of women and girls to health services.

In addition to the GAP, other approaches that contributed to the project’s gender equality performance were pro-poor targeting particularly women and children, public-private partnership health service delivery model, and creation of awareness among adolescent boys and girls.

Project information

Project snapshot

  • May 2005: Loan approval
  • September 2014: Closing date
  • $91 million: Overall project cost
  • $30 million: Asian Development Bank loan
  • $10 million : Asian Development Bank grant
  • $18 million: Government of Bangladesh
  • $25 million: Department for International Development of the United Kingdom
  • $5 million: Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
  • $2 million: United Nations Population Fund
  • $1 million: ORBIS International
  • Executing agency
    • Local Government Division of the Ministry of Local Government
    • Rural Development and Cooperatives

Continue reading

Meet the expert

  • Imrana Jalal
    Senior Social Development Specialist (Gender and Development), Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, ADB

    A lawyer by profession, Imrana was a Commissioner with the Fiji Human Rights Commission. She is the author of the Law for Pacific Women, architect of the Family Law Act 2005, and former Chair of the UN Committee on Harmful Practices Against Women, and continues to be a member of the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement, Women Living Under Muslim Law, and the Asia-Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development. Ms. Jalal is also a Commissioner on the International Commission of Jurists, Geneva.

    Follow Imrana Jalal on

   Bangladesh, Gender, Health
   Last updated: May 2016



The views expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Asian Development Bank, its management, its Board of Directors, or its members.

Was this article useful?


Log in or register to post comments.