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Umer Farooq

The British Council has been supporting sustainable change and helping to improve people’s lives in South Asia for over 60 years. Our experience in this ever-changing region has led to powerful relationships on the ground, valuable high-level networks and a sensitive understanding of the local situation. 

Improving education

Between June 2017 and June 2020, PEELI will have helped an estimated 250,000 Primary School Teachers (teachers of grades 1-5, all subjects), teacher trainers and head teachers to develop their knowledge and skills to significantly enrich the educational experience and attainment of primary school children across Punjab.

Increasing accountability

In Bangladesh, we have focused recently on establishing a skilled and professional civil service that prioritises the poor and marginalised sections of society. Working closely with the Ministry of Public Administration and with Capita plc through the Managing at the Top II programme, we developed effective and sustainable systems to train and monitor public sector teams both now and in the future. 

Our work on the Tawanmandi programme has increased the capacity of civil society organisations in Afghanistan to influence the government in being more accountable and responsive to the needs of Afghan citizens. Funded projects have directly benefitted almost 40,000 Afghan citizens, 47 per cent of whom were women, in 18 provinces and 80 districts across the country.

Having a real impact

Our aim is to influence change far beyond a project’s goals or its end date. Working closely with senior government we help to implement policy reform that complements and promotes national priorities. We are delighted that our management of the Maternal and Newborn Health Research and Advocacy Fund has influenced 17 examples of policy and practice change that will improve the lives of women and children across Pakistan.

Our presence

While a large part of our work focuses on Bangladesh and Pakistan, we also operate in Afghanistan, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka.