Promoting Advocacy and Rights in Bangladesh
2018 - 2023
We are partnering with civil society and local, regional, and national government agencies.
We are encouraging the development of a more inclusive, resilient, and evidence-driven Bangladeshi civil society.
We are working in all eight divisions of Bangladesh.
We are supporting inclusive and evidence-based advocacy initiatives to promote good governance.
Considered a rising star in South Asia, Bangladesh has recently demonstrated considerable economic progress, boasting a consistent annual Gross Domestic Product growth rate of six to seven percent over the last two decades. At the same time, social upheaval, political conflict, and a narrowing space for civil society pose major challenges, stalling the development of inclusive, transparent, and democratic institutions. Limited understanding of governmental regulation and oversight of civil society activities is broadly believed to have limited the sector’s appetite to pursue advocacy and rights-based campaigns.
It is Counterpart’s experience that robust civil society contributes to the development of good governance, deepens democracy, and increases national prosperity. Therefore, the USAID-funded Promoting Advocacy and Rights (PAR) program, under Counterpart’s management, is designed to strengthen the enabling environment for sustained civil society institutions advancing democratic governance and citizen participation in Bangladesh.
PAR will create a more inclusive, resilient, and evidence-driven Bangladeshi civil society by supporting local organizations who are working to improve accountability and advance good governance at the local, regional, and national levels. By the end of the project, civil society or-ganizations in Bangladesh will have the skills, technology, financial resources, and connections to work in partnership with the government of Bangladesh. The project’s multidimensional ap-proach is based on the understanding that all relevant players — the private sector, media, civil society organizations, grassroots activists, and government officials — must come to ap-preciate that cooperation for mutual benefit and freedom of expression will better enable the country to achieve its development objectives.
PAR, launched in April 2018, began by conducting civic engagement forums in each of the eight divisions in Bangladesh. Representatives and citizen-activists identified important issues that affect the lives of those in their communities, prioritized them in terms of potential for advocacy, and assessed their own capacities for advocacy and networking. After analyzing the findings from these forums, PAR will address the local and national issues in each district through advocacy campaigns.
PAR will facilitate Policy Advocacy Trade Show events focusing on bridging the gap between the government and civil society sector. These events will encourage a conversation that addresses the issues at the intersection of the government and civil society.
Funder: United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United Kingdom Department for International Development
Implementing Partners: WAVE Foundation, International Center for Not-for-Profit Law