ADAB was established in the year of 1974. The primary objective was to establish and foster cooperation and coordination of the activities of International Donor and Aid Agencies engaged in relief and rehabilitation works in war-ravaged Bangladesh. Then it was named as ‘Association of Voluntary Agencies in Bangladesh’ which was abbreviated as (AVAB). As agriculture and food production were prioritized by its member organizations to ensure food security, in 1977 the organization was renamed as ‘Agricultural Development Agencies in Bangladesh’ (ADAB).

Further was renamed in 1983 as the Association of Development Agencies in Bangladesh with its acronym ADAB remaining unchanged. In order to strengthen 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 have 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 endeavours ADAB’s objective and strategy have to be reassessed in different stages. ADAB acted as a coordinating body promoting friendly relationships and the commonality of purpose among various NGOs operating in Bangladesh, assisting small and nascent local NGOs, forming 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 members. At present (till June 2023) ADAB has a total of 1065 members.  At present networks of ADAB are extended all over the country through 61 district branches.

Over the last four decades of 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 decentralising its role through developing ADAB district branches, the 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 forums and issue-based networks have been developed with the direct and indirect assistance of ADAB. In fact, in the present context, ADAB’s role is to enhance coordination of the NGO sector with the other sectors of civil society and in the greater national perspective to play a greater role in the empowerment of the poor, promoting good governance, democratization of society and sustainable development.

Contact Details


House 1/E (1st Floor), North Adabor,
Adabor, Dhaka-1207, Bangladesh.

Phone Numbers​



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