Promoting Democratic Governance in Bangladesh through a Focus on Representation of the Needs of Poor and Marginalized People


Major Activities























Democracywatch starts a project to identify the possible role of MP's and other stakeholders to initiate a process to track local progress in their respective constituencies. On the other hand Democracywatch will provide support to create a more comprehensive role for civil society organizations in democratic governance by supporting, facilitating, networking and cooperating with other stakeholders that share a common commitment to assist parliament to become an effective and pro-people organization.

Democracywatch will form District Public Policy Forums (DPPFs) based on its existing Citizen Committees in different constituencies and train them on better understanding of how policies and laws are made in the parliament. The training also includes the MPs roles, governance structure, advocacy strategies on local development issues, including effective interaction between government officials and media. Through this training the DPPF will also understand the simplified approaches for developing citizen' report cards' on key public services at local level, which will include special efforts to engage women, youth, and minority communities. The DPPF will consist of representatives from different organizations and related interest groups, as well as representatives from a wider forum. This forum will be formed at the upazilla and union level to gain an in-depth understanding of citizen issues at the grassroots level.

The DPPF will act as a catalyst between various public interest groups, media, research institute and Business Management Organization's specifically women's (i.e. BWCCI, WEAB) in promoting public education, oversight of parliament and its accurate feedback, thoughtful reporting, information sharing on the implementation status at local level in facilitation of grassroots democracy. This effort will also establish an effective link between parliamentarian and people to make a pro-people parliament in Bangladesh and establish Good Governance. DPPF will have interventions with different stakeholders at different level.

Summary of the project

Total duration of the action blank 3 Years (August 2011- July 2014)
Partner(s) Swapno Sahajjyo Shongstha
Funded by The Asia Foundation
Goal Institutionalization of effective and participatory democracy to ensure adequate representation For poor and marginalized people in the governance process.
Purpose and Objectives: The purpose of this sub-award is to encourage and support Members of Parliament (MPs) of selected constituencies in their legislative, representation and oversight functions by providing them with credible local information on development issues (particularly those affecting poor and disadvantaged people) generated through effective collaboration between MPs, civil society, citizens and other stakeholders.

This sub-award will seek to achieve following objectives:

  • To increase participation of citizens and sub-national stakeholders in the national policy making process, and improve the performance of MPs in their legislative, representative and oversight roles: form and operationalising District Public Policy Forums (DPPFs) as effective platforms for sub-national level actors (community leaders and other interested citizens, civil society, local government, relevant national government departments) to engage with MPs and other national level decision makers on development policy issues, particularly those that relate to the needs of poor and marginalized people.
  • To strengthen the institutional capacity of civil society organizations (CSOs) to advance public participation in the democratic process, conduct effective advocacy, and lobby with respective MPs on national policy issues.
  • To support MPs with research and information to enable them to take a credible stand in Parliament in performing their legislative and oversight functions
Expected project results
  • By 2011 a total number of 8 District Public Policy Forums (DPPF) at Upazilla level and 1 District Public Policy Forum at district level will be formed. This Forum will also include the citizens of union Parishad (UP).
  • By 2011 a total number of 15 District Public Policy Forums (DPPF) at Union level will be formed. Each Committee will be formed from six Unions.
  • By 2011 a total number of 2 orientation courses X 24 = 48 sessions will be held on functions of parliament, role of MP's, Accountability, Transparency and civil society role to promote parliament more effective and pro-people.
  • By 2013 a total number of 3 advocacy training will be organized for DPPF members
  • By 2013 critical issues including some policy issues, agendas will be identified for national level advocacy.
  • By 2013 a total number of 6 public hearing sessions will be organized
  • By 2014 a total number of 4 sharing meetings between DPPF and guardians and other concerned authorities to reduce the drop rate at primary school level.
  • By 2014 DPPF will organize 6 dialogues with MPs and representatives from government institutions to discuss the application and implementation of national policy on safety net programmes.
  • By 2013 a total number of 6 Street drama and folk songs will be organized
    " By 2014 produce bulletins, posters, brochures on effective parliament. A number of 2 bulletin, 2 poster and 1 brochure.
    " By 2014 a total number of 6 formal meetings with MPs to inform them on project objectives and activities.
    " By 2014 a total number of 3 democracy festivals at district level will be organized
    " By 2014 MPs in six consistencies will exercise their oversight role on the local development progress
    " By 2014 a total number of 2 report cards will be produced to determine the progress of local development issue.
    " By 2014 2 meeting on the result of the report card will be shared with policy makers at national level.
    " By 2014 a series of (3) radio program will be aired through community radio on development progress.
    " By 2014 a total number of 3 Annual Partnership meetings will be organized.
    " By 2014 at least 50% of DPPF members will play proactive role to track local progress.
    " By 2014 two national convention of DPPF will be held to determine the achievement and key lesson learning during the intervention.
    " By 2014 two meeting held with concerned parliamentary standing committees and MPs at national level.
    " By 2014 8 Mock Parliament will be held at different schools at project areas.
    " By 2014 Civil Society Organizations will as a facilitator to ensure periodic interaction between MPs and their constituents.
    " By 2014 at least 50% of voters in the working areas will be sensitized on local progress and challenges.
    " By 2014 adequate budget allocation will be demanded for areas lagging behind at targeted constituency.
    " By 2014 district level progress and challenges will be highlighted by local and national media.
    " By 2014 DPPF will emerge as a platform for articulating citizen voices