Promoting Governance, Accountability, Transparency and Integrity Project (PROGATI)

In the developing countries like Bangladesh, where corruption is rampant, the fight against corruption cannot be won without citizens' support, participation, and vigilance. The media, civic and business association, trade unions, and other nongovernmental actors play a crucial role in fostering public discussion of corruption and increasing awareness about the negative impacts of corruption.
In the recent times, people have come to realize the extent to which corruption have undermined their welfare and stability, and hindered development efforts. Government, the private sector, and civil society alike have declared the fight against corruption to be of the highest priority.

As a development organization, since 1995, Democracywatch has been working to promote democracy, human rights, and good governance in Bangladesh. It conducts different programs to build awareness on democracy, human rights, and good governance. It also conducts research on different social and political issues. Democracywatch has a countrywide network of partners and civil society organizations to implement its different programs. As a part of its mission, Democracywatch has been implementing a USAID-funded project PROGATI since 2007.

PROGATI, acronym of Promoting Governance, Accountability, Transparency and Integrity, a 4-year-long USAID supported project aims to promote principles of accountability, transparency and responsiveness to decrease the level of corruption in Bangladesh. The project has been in operation since September 2007 by Development Alternatives Inc, (DAI).
The project aims to build an anticorruption force rooted in society, possessing real influence, and sustained by self-interest and credible incentives. PROGATI acknowledge that the civil society organizations have an important role to play in curbing corruptions both as stakeholders and institutions mediating between the state and the public. Social action coalitions can unite elites and civil society into a strong force for good governance and reform, deepening and rewarding political will while strengthening civil society.
One of the components of PROGATI project is the Civil Society principal objective of which is to strengthen civil society to support and promote anti-corruption reforms. The overall approach of the civil society component aims to support the countrywide development of citizen watchdogs that monitor corruption and abuse in particular policy and governance issues. Democracywatch in partnership with PROGATI is carrying out activities to achieve the objectives of Civil Society component of PROGATI project.
To increase citizen support for good governance, Democracywatch works closely with a "good governance coalition" of partners addressing transparency, anti-corruption, and human rights issues. Under USAID's local governance programs, Democracywatch trained and educated Union Parishad staff and rural and semi-rural locally elected officials on planning, collaborative decision making, and accountability and transparency of government service delivery, particularly for women and marginalized groups.
Democracywatch is a well-established, capable, and knowledgeable organization with a wealth of experience implementing democratic governance projects. Democracywatch has demonstrated its ability to effectively manage large-scale training and campaign programs. PROGATI selected Democracywatch as a key partner due to its participatory training methods, strong focus on gender in governance, and broad network of civil society organizations across Bangladesh. It accomplished the objectives set by PROGATI under the subcontract "PROGATI Civil Society and Citizen Participation" and the subsequent grant "Building CSO Watchdog Expertise and Citizen Understanding of National Budgets" in which Democracywatch trained 345 persons and conducted 48 anti-corruption campaigns.

Since its inception, Democracywatch has trained over 20,000 people in democratic governance, leadership, gender mainstreaming, human rights, and life skills. They use modern, participatory training methods and always aim to make their lessons immediately applicable to their trainees' needs. Under the PROGATI Project in 2009, Democracywatch trained 345 people in National Budget Awareness and Citizen Monitoring Campaigns. Democracywatch closely monitored their training activities and learned many lessons that they will apply in the course of implementing activities under this grant.

Democracywatch supports achievement of PROGATI Component 2, expected results of which are:
arrow1 Build and strengthen existing civil society coalitions, networks and public-private partnerships;
arrow2 Build specialized CSO watchdog expertise to monitor, analyze and publicize corruption;
arrow3 Increase citizen understanding of and participation in developing and overseeing government budgets; and
arrow4 Increase opportunities for citizen participation in and oversight of national government decision making.