Efforts for Rural Advancement (ERA) is a development, humanitarian, non-profit, nongovernment organization (NGO) established in July 1997 with a group of local social development workers under the leadership of present Executive Director. It has been implementing integrated development activities in the district of Sunamganj, the northeastern part of Bangladesh. The head office ERA is located in the district headquarters of Sunamganj.The district of Sunamganj is located in the northeastern part of Bangladesh under Sylhet division. It is located on the bank of the river the Surma. India bound the North border, Sylhet district is located in the East, Habigonj & Kishorgonj district is on the South and Netrokona district is on the west.
Sunamganj district is the one of the low-lying, disaster and poverty prone area in Bangladesh. Natural disasters like flash flood, heavy rain, sometimes earthquake are a common phenomenon in the district. River and soil erosions are one of the major disasters and natural water flow is disrupted due to siltation of river and channel. Flash flood damages crop just before the harvesting period and it is a normal phenomenon. Different water bodies bound most of the Upazilas, communication is very difficult. In the rainy season, the country boat becomes the only mode of transport. During the dry season, people have to walk and ride on the boat (only main riverway) to cross miles of distances. More than half of the year most of the areas goes under water during the rainy season.
Basic rights of poor people are violated due to poverty and lack of awareness. They are also exploited by water-lord (lease of haor). The livelihood situations of women are the most vulnerable due to the very limited scope of involvement in IGAs and they have no power in the decision-making process in a family. Religious binding is another barrier to women empowerment.
ERA dedicated to the reduction of suffering of the underprivileged people and the ultimate elimination of extreme poverty.