History of ADAB
ADAB was established in the year of 1974. The primary objective was to establish and foster cooperation and coordination the activities of International Donor and Aid Agencies engaged in relief and rehabilitation works in the war ravaged Bangladesh. Then it was named as ‘Association of Voluntary Agencies in Bangladesh’ which was abbreviated as (AVAB). As agriculture and food production was prioritized by its member organizations to ensure food security, in 1977 the organization was renamed as ‘Agricultural Development Agencies in Bangladesh’ (ADAB).
Further was renaming in 1983 as Association of Development Agencies in Bangladesh with its acronym ADAB remaining unchanged. In order to strengthening of the legal identity of the organization in 2013 it has been registered under the Societies Act 1860 as ADAB Society which will be known as ADAB. ADAB is also registered under the Foreign Donation Ordinance of 1978.
Thirty nine years has passed since ADAB was formed. In its long journey, in every stage ADAB has duly acted as the time demanded to safeguard and greater interest of its member organizations. To meet the demand of time and soul searching endeavors ADAB’s objective and strategy has to be reassessed in different stages. ADAB acted as coordinating body promoting friendly relationship and the commonality of purpose among various NGOs operating in Bangladesh, assist small and nascent local NGOs, form them into a national network of regional chapters, exchange of views and experiences, extending areas of cooperation, abolishing overlapping of working areas, developing institutional efficiency, maintaining liaison with Government and international donor agencies, mass media, grass-root people’s organizations and civil society are some of the areas in which ADAB is active from the very beginning.
To enhance the solidarity among the members ADAB has revised the membership categories. According to the present constitution there is no classification like Central member and chapter member. All are being treated as ADAB member. At present (till June 2023) ADAB has a total members 1065. At present networks of ADAB are extended all over the country through 61 districts branches.
Over the last four decades existence, gradually ADAB has established itself as the unique, largest and leading coordinating or apex body of the NGOs in Bangladesh. ADAB is committed to decentralize its role through developing ADAB districts branches, Upazilla NGO Coordination Committee (UNCC) and providing support to the sectoral bodies and networks. It is worth mentioning that by this time considerable numbers of UNCC, sector based forum and issue based network have been developed by direct and indirect assistance of ADAB. In fact, at present context ADAB’s role is to enhance coordination of NGO sector with the other sectors of civil society and in the greater national perspective to play greater role in empowerment of the poor, promoting good governance, democratization of society and sustainable development.
ADAB envisions a just, democratic and secular society which is environment friendly and free from poverty, oppression and all types of discrimination including gender.
The mission of ADAB is to promote, sustain an NGO sector, which will play an effective role in establishing a just, democratic and gender sensitized secular society.