Our guiding principles
The urgency and complexity of the arsenic problem requires a program linking research and implementation. On the one hand, agencies must take time to understand the situation in order to come up with adequate solutions; on the other, they must act immediately in order to save lives. We aim to come to grips with this tension through an adaptive and participative approach.
We consider development to be a lengthy process that has to come from within, otherwise it might not adequately reflect local priorities nor sustain itself on the long-term. For the poor, this type of ‘self-development’ is often blocked by social inequities and power relations. Our role is to trigger and facilitate change in line with the pace and concerns of those that are normally marginalised from decision making processes.
The Arsenic Mitigation and Research Foundation (AMRF) was established in 2001 as a joint effort between researchers (initially from Delft University of Technology and later from the University of New South Wales), medical doctors and development practitioners from local Non-Governmental Organisations, including BASSA, PRIDE and AITAM.
The challenge is one of implementation and governance. It is necessary to suggest viable long-term strategies and discourage damaging development programs and policies. So far, we have worked in three districts (Gopalganj, Jessore and Munshiganj) and we are looking to expand our work to other districts (Satkhira). The geo-morphological and social variation between the regions has helped us formulate recommendations relevant for arsenic-affected areas across Bangladesh. We have worked on sharing our experiences and research findings with (inter)national platforms and networks.
Partners and donations
We are extremely grateful to those who have made this work possible through their generous support. Our early work was supported by Delft University of Technology, Uniting Protestant Churches in the Netherlands and the Prince Bernhard Cultural Foundation. Since 2006, our program has been funded by private donations and a research collaboration developed with the Institute of Environmental Studies at the University of New South Wales. In 2011, we were the recipient of a Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects from the Japan Government for the building of a community clinic. In 2013, we were granted 4-year support from WaterAid to expand drinking water and sanitation projects in the Munshiganj district. We are currently also relying on capacity development support from Manusher Jonno Foundation. We have also received in kind support from AITAM Welfare Hospital to assist us with the health care aspects of our work.
Institution for General Benefit (Rechtspersonen en Samenwerkingsverbanden Informatienummer (RSIN) and Algemeen Nut Beogende Instelling (ANBI) number): 810484067
Chamber of Commerce and Industries Haaglanden (Kamer van Koophandel, (KvK) number): 27245926
Registration in Bangladesh (Foreign Donations (Voluntary Activities) Regulations Rules Registration number): 1844 (19/06/2003).