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How indirect cost recovery is supporting the development of local and national organisations

  • by Reema Islam
  • 22 Apr 20

Credit: SEEP - Urban fire in Mirpur, Dhaka

Blog Post

One of the ways that Start Fund Bangladesh is shifting more power to local organisations is by ensuring they have more access to funding for operations costs, otherwise known as the Indirect Cost Recovery (ICR) method, this enables them to improve and develop.

ICR is roughly 10% of an organisation’s project costs, but when local and national organisations are implementing partners on a project and not direct recipients of grants, little funding is left for their operational costs.

Start Fund Bangladesh works differently, it encourages lead agencies to split the ICR 50/50 with local implementing partners, and here we look at why that is important.

The Social and Economic Enhancement Programme – SEEP, is an organisation involved in combating urban disasters through a team of volunteers and staff. In two recent projects funded by Start Fund Bangladesh, SEEP received 50% of the ICR and had the chance to use this funding to support the development of the organisation.

  • This included providing about 50 volunteers with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE, which includes helmets, shoes, gloves, a jacket with multiple pockets (to store a torch and other belongings & a mask).
  • Those volunteers are also being trained to do light rescue and search, and in defining roles during a crisis situation or emergency, in terms of how and when to help the firefighters.
  • Post-incident trauma facilities are also being provided, as well as insurance in case of physical injuries.  


Next SEEP plans to:

  • Develop a resource centre in the community, hopefully as a precursor to further such infrastructures, where items like a hydraulic jack will be stored.
  • Review internal policies in order to help speed up procurement procedures during an emergency (hiring volunteers etc) hence, reshaping the systems to accommodate adaptability.
  • Share its experiences through a manual to advise on ways for various individuals of society (e.g. adults, women, children) to behave during any kind of an urban hazard or disaster.

Yeakub Hossain, Project Coordinator, Proyash Project, SEEP said: “We realize that nothing is free and ICR thus, has to be used effectively, which is more like our turn to give back, from what we learnt and gained through our collective experiences”

Reema Islam is Start Network's Communications Adviser in Bangladesh

Read more about Start Fund Bangladesh.

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