Working paper for the strategy forum, April 1994, Dhaka, Bangladesh
The purpose of this paper is to provide a framework that will facilitate the participants in the upcoming strategic forum to identify new openings for action to provide an enabling environment for the poor. As will be shown below, the lack of a clear and shared understanding of what constitutes an enabling environment is a major obstacle to mobilizing concerted, strategic action to providing one.
We envision this forum to be the first step in an ongoing process. It will reveal openings for action that The Hunger Project and other organizations can take to provide an enabling environment. In addition, it has the potential to identify areas where the next breakthrough in thinking is required, thus pointing the way to the next strategic forum.
We would like to express our appreciation to all the individuals and organizations in Bangladesh whose dedicated work has demonstrated to the world the critical importance of providing an enabling environment for the poor. In particular, the preparations for this strategic forum has depended on the generous assistance of:
- Mr. Fazle Abed, founder and director of BRAC, who first suggested this topic and who has advised on the format and design of this meeting;
- Mr. Alex Counts, senior advisor in the international training division of the Grameen Bank, who wrote an initial overview analysis of the experience in Bangladesh in providing an enabling environment, and Prof. Muhammad Yunus for generously permitting Mr. Counts to assist us in this way;
- Mr. Abdur Rab Chaudhury, MP, for his advice and willingness to facilitate the discussion;
- Mr. Mahfuz Anam, editor of the Daily Star, whose recent round-table discussion on Pro-Poor Planning highlighted the importance of a breakthrough in thinking in how economic planners must think of the poor; and
- The Asia Foundation, which has provided funding both for this meeting and for the follow-up actions that it inspires.
Section one: Setting the context
Empowering the poor — the key to a self-reliant future for Bangladesh
The concept of an “enabling environment” is new, and it reflects nothing less than a paradigm shift in thinking as to how nations like Bangladesh can achieve a new, self-reliant future — a future where all citizens have the chance to lead a healthy and productive life. This paradigm shift rests on two major recognitions.
First: People now recognize that the poor are the principal agents to improve the quality of their own lives. No matter how successfully society allocates resources to help meet the needs of the poor, these are small compared to the resources that poor families will spend to meet their own needs. Therefore, to make any significant difference in the lives of the poor, public investments must “enable,” or leverage, the enormous investment the poor make in themselves.
Second: People are now beginning to recognize that enabling the poor to move out of poverty is the key to the nation’s economic development.
This represents a profound transformation in attitudes towards the poor and their role in the economy. The statement made by Mahfuz Anam at the recent round-table on “pro-poor” planning published in the Daily Star put it clearly:
“Recent examples, especially in the SAARC countries have shown that given the right type of environment in terms of credit, in terms of decision making, in terms of empowering the poor, it has been possible to prove that [the poor] are perhaps the most effective group to produce wealth…. it is perhaps the way that the poor has been looked at that is responsible for the continuation of poverty.”
Dr. Maqsood Ali underscored the new view that the poor are economic assets: “There must be a social mobilization of the poor which recognizes the intrinsic dynamism of the poor and goes straight to organizing the poor and releasing their dynamism, the hidden capability of capital accumulation potential which they have. The World Bank and IMF are saying that you have to raise growth in order to reduce poverty. Now we are saying you have to reduce poverty to raise the growth.”
This revolution in thinking comes at a propitious time — a time when Bangladesh is transforming its own structures and when international institutions are increasingly open to human-centered approaches to development.
Society’s institutions still, by and large, reflect the old paradigm. Transforming them to be useful to providing an enabling environment will require rigorous, systematic and scientific thinking and concerted, strategic action. It is the intention of this meeting to develop the framework of that thinking, and identify new openings for action.
Section two: Establishing key distinctions
It has been The Hunger Project’s experience that many meetings fail to generate any meaningful action because they fail to develop a set of sufficiently powerful distinctions. Too often, meetings about poverty alleviation produce only lists of problems, rationales, goals, targets, and opinions about service programs.
To actually make something happen, distinctions must be created that are powerful enough to cut through the unclarity, to get underneath the differences of opinion, to generate alignment on key principles and to reveal strategic openings for concerted action.
Therefore, establishing powerful distinctions for thinking rigorously about providing an enabling environment is a major objective of this meeting.
A. The Distinction “Enabling Environment” vs. “Service Delivery”
A service delivery system is the organized provision of critical services, such as healthcare, education and emergency relief to people who can benefit from those services.
Clearly, much important work is being, and must be done to improve the delivery of human services. However, this paper will NOT discuss service delivery issues. It will devote itself exclusively to the issue of creating an enabling environment.
Often these two distinctions are collapsed. When the distinctions are collapsed, the inquiry into these issues lacks the rigor, clarity, precision and discipline that would reveal pathways to effective action, and galvanize the will to take the action that is necessary.
Effective service delivery is critical, and particularly for governments. People create governments specifically to provide services that are best provided collectively rather than individually.
The notion of “enabling environment” however is new, and reflects the recognition that most human progress is not a function of service delivery, but rather of the creative and often organized efforts of people themselves.
The strategic thinking called forth when considering “enabling environment” and “service delivery” is completely different. One must consider different actors, different resources and different constraints.
In service delivery, the actors are the functionaries, the primary resources are the official budget and the pool of trained personnel, and key constraints are managerial factors: resource scarcity, planning, management and staff effectiveness.
In an enabling environment, the actors are the people themselves, and the primary resources are the talents, knowledge and resourcefulness of the people. Instead of considering what can be done “for” the poor, one must consider what can be done “by” the poor. In this way of thinking, the key constraints are social factors: unity, leadership, equity, public attitudes, and self-confidence.
|Enabling Environment||Service Delivery|
|Resources:||Local incomes and material
Access to resources
Access to information
When one confronts the challenges faced by Bangladesh, it is impossible to imagine meeting them with only the resources that can be channeled effectively through service delivery mechanisms. Only by unleashing the creativity, resourcefulness and determination of the entire population can the challenges be met and a sustainable future for Bangladesh assured.
The concept of enabling environment means restoring people to control over their own destiny, by putting them in control of the institutions and decision making processes that affect their own lives.
B. Definition of “Enabling Environment”
We will define “enabling environment” to consist of the attitudes, policies and practices which stimulate people to take action and enable them to succeed.
By that definition, we want to consider an enabling environment for the poor which consists of attitudes, policies and practices which stimulate the poor to take action for their own development, and enable them to have that action produce meaningful improvements in the quality of life.
- the attitude concerning the economic value of girl children often determines whether poor girls receive education.
- the policy of who hires and fires school teachers often shapes the degree to which local people can depend on that teacher to provide quality instruction.
- the practices by which NGOs form local organizations can shape the degree of initiative and independence local people express in that organization.
C. What are Key Elements Within an Enabling Environment?
In analyzing what people need from their environment in order to succeed in their own actions, we can see at least four major elements:
AWARENESS: People must have a clear understanding of the issue and the possible solutions in order to take effective action.
ACCESS: Whatever training, information or resources people need to succeed in their own action must be physically available in the community, and unencumbered by social barriers that could stop people from having it.
AFFORDABILITY: In taking their own actions, the poor depend primarily on their own resources. Therefore, the poor must be able to afford what they need. To a family living in poverty, issues of price gouging, bribery and exploitation all have the same effect of preventing the family from affording what it needs.
ACCOUNTABILITY: While people themselves are the primary source of action, at some point they must trust and depend on others — teachers, health workers, well diggers and other functionaries. People must have ways to hold these functionaries to account.
D. What does this Inquiry Need to Produce?
The outcome of a strategic inquiry into an enabling environment does not need to produce a comprehensive or rank-ordered analysis. It does not need to produce a master plan or a comprehensive blueprint.
The experience in Bangladesh has proven to the world that people living in the conditions of poverty are so resilient, so creative and so determined that when they are offered ANY opportunity to improve their lives, they seize it.
Therefore, the goal of this exploration is to reveal openings for action that would result in any meaningful improvements in the environment that can provide additional empowerment of all the poor to improve their lives, and contribute to the nation.
As these openings are acted upon, further openings should appear on the pathway to providing an enabling environment.
E. In What Areas of Life is the Enabling Environment Crucial?
For those living in poverty, meeting basic human needs consumes most of one’s time, energy and resources. This inquiry will look into six key areas in the lives of the poor where an enabling environment would make a critical difference:
- Ensuring the health of one’s family
- Educating one’s children
- Earning income
- Drinking clean water and practicing good sanitation
- Preserving the natural environment
- Planning the size of one’s family
F. What Questions should Guide the Inquiry?
This paper will next take a look at the four elements of the enabling environment in each of the key sectors of the lives of the poor. At each point, we will address:
What’s so — what is the current situation — right now in the environment of the poor, given the progress to date and the challenges that the poor face, and
What’s missing which, if provided, would empower the poor to succeed in their own action.
We have found that rigorous clarity in addressing these two questions reveals openings for action.
G. What’s Next?
As we stated, we intend for this forum to be one step in a dynamic process. Following a detailed look in the next section of this paper into what’s so and what’s missing, we will develop a framework to seize the openings for action that get revealed, and to feed back the experience gained into the next inquiry.
Section 3: A detailed look into six key areas of life
A. Ensuring the Health of One’s Family
Bangladesh has pioneered breakthroughs in affordable and appropriate medications and in low-cost child-survival strategies. It has allocated huge sums of money to health care, yet child and maternal mortality and morbidity rates remain high. What is missing which, if provided, would enable the poor to ensure better health for their families?
AWARENESS: Many families currently do not know how to prevent and treat the most frequent and serious maladies that harm their health, such as diarrhea and acute respiratory infection. What is missing is a reliable, authoritative source of health information that reaches every family.
ACCESS: Families need access to affordable and appropriate medications, and to competent health workers. Enormous public investments have been made to train and provide health workers. It is likely that the major constraints to access now lie in a lack of accountability of those health workers to the local people.
AFFORDABILITY: Great strides have been made in making basic drugs affordable and available in the marketplace. One dangerous aspect of the present environment is that the freeing of markets makes it profitable to promote inappropriate drugs, eg: the promotion of expensive and dangerous anti-diarrheals in place of safe, low-cost oral rehydration solution. This trend must be countered both with more awareness and more local accountability.
ACCOUNTABILITY: At present, there are few, if any, existing mechanisms by which the poor can hold health services to account. What’s missing are strategies to strengthen the ability of the poor to gain accountability from local health services, perhaps through local committees, improved training of union councils and motivation of health workers.
- Educating One’s Children
Education is a top priority in Bangladesh, and another area where breakthroughs have occurred in providing affordable, quality education. What is missing which, if provided, would enable poor families to provide their children with an education that is relevant to improving their lives?
AWARENESS: Given the tremendous promotion of education, families are now convinced that quality education will improve the lives of their children, at least for their boys and increasingly for their girls. Yet for most families, the quality of available education is poor and people are not aware of ways to improve it.
What is missing is the awareness and understanding as to how people can improve the quality of their local schools. If families were made aware of steps that could be taken to improve the quality of local schools, they would be more empowered to demand that they be taken.
ACCESS: Quality primary education is not currently available in most villages. The “technology” of providing quality non-formal primary education exists, as demonstrated by the BRAC schools, and is within the means and talents of every village. What is missing is the system of training and supervision that could enable every village to access this technology and establish such schools.
AFFORDABILITY: Bangladeshis demonstrate their determination to provide their children with education, even to the extent of spending enormous amounts of money on private tutors. While the poor cannot afford private tutors, they can afford the kind of quality nonformal primary education that has recently been developed. What is missing, therefore, is not the technology to make education affordable, but the structural changes that will give people the power and accountability to implement that which is affordable.
ACCOUNTABILITY: Currently, accountability for the quality of education lies with the delivery system providing it. What is missing is any systematic way for local people to directly exercise the responsibility for the quality of local education. This requires a structural shift towards stronger local government that works in partnership with parent committees. To truly be accountable for quality education, local bodies need ways to “grade” the performance of schools, and the authority to fire teachers who do not perform up to standard.
C. Earning Income
What is missing, which if provided, would empower poor families to securely earn incomes sufficient to meet their basic needs and contribute to national growth?
AWARENESS: As mentioned in the introduction, it is not the awareness among the poor that needs to be transformed, but the mindset of the elite. What is missing is a massive education campaign among the elite to transform their thinking about the poor and create the environment for pro-poor economic policies.
In the meantime, much has been done and can be done to directly empower poor families to raise their incomes. Progressive NGOs have pioneered ways to make the poor aware of new pathways to increased income through self-employment.
ACCESS: To raise their income, people need access to credit, productive resources, a marketable skill and a reliable market for their production. The experience of the Grameen Bank and other organizations have shown that even with one factor – credit – people are greatly empowered to better seize even the smallest market opportunities.
At present, credit, training and market support opportunities for the poor are primarily provided by NGOs, which are not accessible to every family. What is missing is either a way to expand the scale of these NGOs dramatically (and Bangladesh already is home to the largest NGOs in the world) or new strategies to make the techniques NGOs have pioneered accessible to any self-help association of the poor.
AFFORDABILITY: The greatest setback to income security for the poor comes because of financial setbacks such as illness, disaster, theft and wedding costs. What is missing are strategies to ensure that all the poor are able to provide their own first line of defense against setbacks through membership in self-help, risk-sharing groups.
As the second line of defense, the nation and the world community have shown resolve in working to prevent and prepare for larger setbacks such as natural disasters. Yet local people are not sufficiently empowered to do their own planning. It is local-level planning and action that can make the biggest difference the fastest when emergency strikes.
ACCOUNTABILITY: The transformation in thinking about the productivity of the poor will produce a new set of accountabilities. In the old paradigm, the poor are seen as a “burden” to the mainstream economy, and NGOs and other agencies are set up as an alternative to “service” the poor within economic environment that is not hospitable to the poor. In the new paradigm, those who make economic policy must be held to account by the self-organized economic activities of the poor. Larger alliances must be encouraged that give poor families a meaningful voice in economic policy decisions. Those committed to this shift in paradigms must find a way to hold themselves to account for causing it.
D. Drinking Clean Water and Practicing Good Sanitation
Water-borne disease continues to be the biggest killer of children. Major expenditures have provided a greater supply of clean water, but proper sanitation is far from being achieved. What is missing which, if provided, would enable poor families to ensure that they live in a hygienic environment?
AWARENESS: Most families know that they need clean drinking water, but many are not currently aware that clean water must be used for all personal uses (hand-washing, dish-washing, cooking). Many families do not understand the need for sanitation; there is a particularly dangerous notion that it is not important for children. What is missing is a far more rigorous and disciplined approach to empowering people with this information.
ACCESS: Significant progress, both in the public and private sector, has been to make tube wells and the equipment for sanitary latrines available. Where people lack access now, it appears to be most often the case that they lack the awareness or organized clout to access what is already there.
AFFORDABILITY: Affordability does not appear to be the major factor in enabling the poor to meet water and sanitation needs. Existing subsidy schemes and lowering costs in the private sector, have made clean drinking water and sanitation affordable.
ACCOUNTABILITY: One way to look at the challenge of village sanitation is to observe that no one is accountable for it. Awareness alone is not sufficient. In communities where sanitation is solved, it is always the case that strong penalties exist for violating sanitation standards. What is missing, beyond awareness, are strategies to create local accountability for sanitation, including the power to apply meaningful penalties.
E. Preserving the Natural Environment
No one has a greater stake in environmental preservation than do the poor. No one’s livelihood is more closely tied to the health and sustainability of the natural environment than is that of poor families. Among nations, Bangladesh is perhaps most aware of its environmental limits. What is missing, which if provided, would enable poor families to restore and preserve their natural environment?
AWARENESS: Just as with income, there must be a transformation in public attitude from seeing the poor as a “danger” to the environment to seeing the poor as the most committed and able to restore and preserve the environment. It has now been proven time and again that it is the practices of the rich that are the most environmentally damaging, while the more traditional lifestyles of the poor often reflect thousands of years of wisdom in the preservation of the environment.
What is missing is the same campaign as with income — a campaign to transform the thinking of those who shape policies, from seeing the poor as a burden to seeing them as the principal actors to ensure a productive, sustainable future for Bangladesh.
In addition, at the family level, there are new technologies and approaches which would empower poor families to make even better use of their resources, such as improved stoves, bio-gas and intensive organic farming techniques. As is the case in other sectors, what is missing are the channels of information that will reach every family.
ACCESS: In recent history, the poor of the world have been pushed increasingly to marginal and fragile areas of the environment, and have lost traditional rights as the protectors and preservers of forests, fields and water resources. Anti-poor attitudes, conventional practices and policies of modern economic development have reduced access to natural resources by the poor. What is missing are a new set of policies and practices that recognize the poor as environmental protectors (rather than the “threat”) and that restore traditional rights and improve access to resources.
AFFORDABILITY: The conventional approach to economic planning does not factor in the projected cost of continued environmental destruction, and certainly does not account for the lost productivity of the poor as the resource base erodes. The falseness of the delusion that we can “afford” environmental destruction is perhaps most revealed in Bangladesh.
What is missing is a “pro-poor, pro-environment” approach to planning that will redirect budget resources in ways which empower, and even employ, the poor to restore and preserve the environment.
ACCOUNTABILITY: Several NGOs in Bangladesh have pioneered approaches to place accountability – and the economic benefits – for environmental preservation back into the hands of the people with the greatest stake in the matter – the poor.
F. Planning the Size of One’s Family
Bangladesh has recently received international acclaim for reducing total fertility rates even among the poorest people. What is missing, which if provided, would enable poor families to limit their family size to that which is consistent with good health and a sustainable future?
AWARENESS: Progress is being made with awareness: an estimated 70 percent of Bangladeshi women would like to avail themselves of family planning, and about 40 percent of them do. What is missing that would fill the gaps?
The awareness component of the “gap” between 70 and 40 percent may be primarily due to attitudes of husbands.
The awareness component of the “gap” between 70 and 100 percent can perhaps best be addressed through expanding general female education.
Further analysis is needed of what messages, if in the environment, will close the remaining gaps the quickest.
ACCESS: Another component of the gap between the 70 percent demand and 40 percent usage is simple availability. Initiatives are underway to create “depots” of contraceptives at the village and deliver them door-to-door. Strategies to accelerate and universalize these approaches are currently missing.
AFFORDABILITY: Given the current high-degree of subsidy, affordability does not seem to be a current or prospective issue.
ACCOUNTABILITY: The family planning institutions in Bangladesh are large and well-funded. No institution, however, is large enough to “deliver” family planning services to every household. What is missing is that these institutions do not yet hold themselves responsible for creating an enabling environment in every village.
Section four: What’s next
Fomenting a process of inquiry and action
The intention of this forum is to make a difference for the future of Bangladesh. The high quality and broad range of experience of the leaders participating in this strategic forum should permit it to alter the perspective of all of us. It should allow the distinction of enabling environment to be drawn with such clarity and power that new possibilities continue to be revealed within each participant’s own work.
Following the meeting, The Hunger Project will take the insights gained and work in partnership with government and other NGOs to launch initiatives at the district level to provide what’s missing. We certainly hope other organizations will do the same.
The actions taken out of this meeting will not only contribute to creating an enabling environment; they will also reveal the next areas where a breakthrough is required. For example, the actions that can be taken by existing institutions will likely be insufficient to provide the enabling environment that the poor of Bangladesh need and deserve. Most institutions in society were not designed to provide an enabling environment. In fact, they were designed consistent with an earlier paradigm that does NOT see the poor as “able” and their functioning reinforces the old paradigm.
Structural transformation, therefore, will undoubtedly be required. The individuals who are committed to providing an enabling environment will either have to create new institutions, or transform the ones they are in.
Transformation cannot be accomplished by “outsiders” – it can only be accomplished by those who are directly involved in the action. Therefore, the experience gained in the months following this meeting should lead to participatory forums among those who are committed to bringing about the next level of transformation in specific sectors of society. For example:
MEDIA: The media establishment is currently best suited to bring awareness to the elite of society, and certainly the above discussion calls for significant changes in the thinking of the elite. One next step could be a forum to produce coordinated strategies among progressive NGOs and the media to achieve this transformation in thinking.
MEDIA FOR THE POOR: The above discussion highlights the need for expanded information flows to the majority of Bangladeshi citizens. Perhaps there is even a “market” for this information — the poor have shown great willingness to spend money on education and information that is relevant to their lives.
A next step could be a strategic forum to create an entirely new media “for the poor” to provide them with empowering information, and to help transform destructive attitudes towards family planning, dowry, child marriage, sanitation, appropriate technology and violence against women (to name a few).
GOVERNMENT: The “enabling environment” of the future demands far more local (versus top-down) accountability within the administrative services. Bangladeshis are exploring ways to strengthen local government and initiate bottom-up approaches to planning. Perhaps multi-sectoral forums are required to cause these changes.
POLITICS: The eminent economist Prof. Amartya Sen and others have pointed out how democracy serves the cause of human development. At some point, those who are involved with empowering the poor and those involved in the political process could come together to devise strategies to put “empowerment of the poor” onto the political agenda.
BILATERAL AND MULTILATERAL ORGANIZATIONS: International and foreign government agencies play an important role in Bangladesh’s service delivery systems. They need to ensure that their activities contribute to an enabling environment.
Individuals in these organizations may wish to sit down with local organizations to ensure that programs strengthen local institutions, rather than simply replace them with new, costly service delivery systems. New ways must be created to shift the resources of international organizations from funding expensive expatriate experts and contractors, and increasingly build capacities run and managed by Bangladeshis.
NGOS: Bangladeshi NGOs have pioneered service delivery and local empowerment mechanisms which are being emulated around the world. At the same time, NGOs must continue to identify and alter practices which work against an enabling environment for the poor to take charge of their own local associations.
PRIVATE SECTOR: Bangladesh is rapidly developing its industrial sector, yet this growth has not been infused with a pro-poor strategy. To do so, industrialists and those who work with the poor may need to create strategy forums among people with the experience and clout to transform the input-side of industries. For example, initiatives can be taken in the garment industry that would greatly expand opportunities for the poor while increasing the value-added component of the Bangladesh economy.
The people and institutions of Bangladesh have shown extraordinary resilience and ingenuity, particularly in recent years. Bangladesh has pioneered important breakthroughs in human development, and is now spearheading the creation of an enabling environment for the poor to succeed in their own development.
As this enabling environment emerges, it will unleash the productivity and potential of tens of millions of people, whose energies will create a new future for Bangladesh.
The Hunger Project, in Bangladesh and around the world, is honored to be the committed partner of the Bangladeshi people in calling forth the breakthroughs that will create a sustainable future for Bangladesh, and for all humanity.
The Hunger Project is not a relief or development organization, but rather a strategic organization committed to the sustainable end of world hunger. It is guided by the mandate to identify what is missing in the human component of ending hunger, and to launch initiatives to provide it.
The common element in many consultations with Bangladesh’s development experts, is that what is missing is an enabling environment for the poor to succeed in their own development. Bangladesh has pioneered many of the elements which now go into the concept of “enabling environment”, but what is missing is a clear, rigorous and widely-shared understanding of this concept that can shape the direction and programs of the institutions of society.
Dr. Abdul Moyeen Khan, Minister of Planning
Dr. Sheikh Maqsood Ali, Convenor, Taskforce on Poverty Alleviation
Mr. S.M. Al-Husainy, Chairman, Swanirvar Bangladesh
Mr. Sultan-uz Zaman Khan, Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission
Dr. Fariduddin, Secretary of Social Welfare
Dr. Shamsher Ali, Vice Chancellor, Bangladesh Open University
Prof. Shamsul Haq, National Professor
Mrs. Hasna Moudud, environment
Dr. S.A.L. Reza, Director General, BIDS
Members of Parliament
Mr. Abdur Rab Chaudhury (BNP), will moderate forum
Mr. Abul Hasan Chowdhury, Son of the first President (AL)
Mr. Fazle Rabbi Chowdhury (JP)
Mr. L.K Siddiqui, Vice chairman of party (BNP)
Mr. Mahfuz Anam, Editor, Daily Star
Mr. Gias Kamal Chowdhury, Chief Correspondent, BSS
Mr. Fazle Abed, Founder and Executive Director, BRAC
Dr. Qazi Faruque Ahmed, Executive Director, PROSHIKA
Dr. (Mrs.) Fatema Alauddin, Family Research and Development
Ms. Angela Gomez, Nijera Shekhi
Mr. Nazrul Islam, Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation
Prof. Muhammad Yunus, Managing Director, Grameen Bank
Mr. Kafiluddin Mahmood, United Leasing
Mr. Salman F. Rahman, Beximco Group of Industries
Mr. Nick Langton, Representative, Asia Foundation
Mr. Manzoor Ul Karim, Unicef
Mr. Karl Schwartz, USAID
Members of the Global Board of Directors of The Hunger Project
Ms. Joan Holmes, President
Mr. Robert Chester, Chairman
Dr. Peter G. Bourne, President, Global Water
Mr. Ramkrishna Bajaj, Head, Bajaj Group of Industries
Dr. Ebrahim Samba, Director, WHO Onchocerciasis Control Program
Dr. M.S. Swaminathan, Chairman, M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation