Sovereign sustainable and accountable local CSO / NGO sector which is vibrant and proactive as a sector along with positive engagement and equal partnership with state and market / private sector for humanitarianism and development.
(a) To promote informal coordination and negotiation for the greater CSO/NGO sectoral development and to take minimum commonly agreed position in this regard especially with the major actors in local CSO/NGO sector.
(b) To negotiate with government, INGOs, UN agencies and donors to encourage them to take appropriate and progressive facilitating role of in view of PoP, GB and C4Cs and to establish primacy of the role of local CSO/NGOs and thereby local leadership.
(c) To promote positive engagement with the government in all level.
- What is our primary believe
We are some activists we believe in humanitarianism and development (embodied with democracy and human rights) where civil society should act as third sector, next to the State and Market. We consider NGO (non-government organization) are also part of the civil society organization (CSO) sector. Here, we see a great role of NGOs who play a role right based approach along with service delivery. We consider state is the supreme sector where political party is a part, we believe that due to some situation political parties some time face limitations to raise all voices of societies. Where CSOs can play a positive and complementary role, but especially in Bangladesh perspective the CSO role have to be nonpartisan.
We also believe that, NGOs should develop or extend services in those respect where government agencies face limitations. It means NGOs should act as complementary to the government agencies, not as substitute or alternative. NGOs should facilitate public accountabilities of the government agencies. So, we believe that in the perspective of effective interaction of these three sector somehow important for welfare state to promote redistributive justice.
- What is our encouragement, what we have learned from international agreements and discourse
We have been following Development Effectiveness discourse (Monterrey 2011 to Nairobi 2016 declaration), where CSO have been recognized as third and equal parties as like as state and market / private sector. We believe in the spirit of GPEDC (Global Partnership of Effective Development Cooperation, www.effectivecooperation.org). So we do like to promote the sense of equal partnership of CSOs along with state and market in all level. The discourse have been initiated by state parties, United Nations and World Bank.
We have also followed and participated in the international discourse for setting Principle of Partnership (PoP) have held worldwide during 2005 to 2007 by Global Humanitarian Partnership (GHP) as facilitated by IFRC (International Federation of Red Crescent) and ICVA (International Council of Voluntary Association). Finally the PoP (https://www.icvanetwork.org/system/files/versions/Principles%20of%20Parnership%20English.pdf) embodied, Equality, Transparency, Result Oriented Approach, Responsibility and Complementarity. The PoP declaration has signed by around 40 humanitarian organizations including, INGOs, UN agencies, World Bank and Red Crescent Societies.
World Humanitarian Summit (WHS, www.agendaforhumanity.org) 2014 to 2016 is a turning point in this regard especially who have given birth of the historical Grand Bargain Commitment. WHS was initiated by UN especially to meet the gap in humanitarian funding and facilitative accountability while there are growing numbers of refugees and humanitarian crisis. Bangladeshi CSO have participated actively since the beginning of WHS which have had started with field research, country wide mobilization on issues. (https://www.facebook.com/bdnngoswhs/). Grand Bargain commitment has adopted during May 2016 in final WHS in Istanbul (https://interagencystandingcommittee.org/grand-bargain-0). It has signed by 24 states, 11 UN agencies, 5 Inter governmental organizations including Red Crescent Societies and 19 INGO/ NGO networks. Grand Bargain commitment have embodied with 10 streams including 51 measurable indicators. It is the first time clearly recognized the primacy of local actors like local NGOs in its stream 2 localization, accountability to the affected population with their participation in stream 6 participation revolution, and full aid transparency in stream 1. We are especially encouraged by these three streams and related indicators thereby.
During this WHS process, majority of the INGOs (International NGOs) came up with 8 points Charter for Change (https://charter4change.org/). The 8 points charter has embodied, Direct Funding (commit on humanitarian funding at least 20 % to national NGOs), Partnership (reaffirm principle of partnership), Recruitment (address and prevent the negative impact of recruiting national NGO staff during emergencies), Transparency (publish the amount of funding pass to the national NGOs), Advocacy (address the importance of national actors to the humanitarian donors) , Equality (address sub-contracting and maintain equality in decision making) , Support (provide robust organizational development and capacity building) and Promotion (promote the role of local actors in media and public) in respect of localization. Around 50 INGOs from global north are the signatory of the charter while more than 150 NGOs from global south has endorsed the charter. We have followed the development encouraged by the charters.
We have also followed the UN New Way of Working Approach (NWoW) as declared during 2016 WHS. For details please see this link, https://www.icvanetwork.org/topic-five-%E2%80%93-new-way-working-what-it-what-does-it-mean-ngos. All most all UN agencies has signed this. This is an approach to work on triangular basis, i.e., not only on humanitarianism and development, but it should be with sustainability forces, especially with local actors. UN Secretary General in several speeches and in respect of its explanation, has given emphasize local label accountability of the UN agencies and also in respect of working with local actors. This is also important to work for SDGs / agenda 2030 in countries. The NWoW i.e., especially importance of local CSOs is very much important while it is the matter of implementation of two Global Compacts of Refugees and Migration too.
- Situation and the need of demand side campaign from front line
All these policies are supply side, in fact in the field there are little of reflections of all those policies. So, there should be a demand side that NGOs and CSOs from local and national level should demand implementation of those agreement or policies as it was decided.
We have an example that, even there was adaptation of PoP, but there was little of implementation and little of follow up in fact, even from the initiators group.
This time, southern local NGO CSO activists encouraged so much as there are some unique characteristics of those declarations, which are (i) there are measurable indicators to support and put local actors in driving seat, (ii) UN policies has announced to anchor with local actors for sustainability of their efforts and spell out that they want to be accountable too in the local level, and (iii) majority of the INGOs has signed charter 4 change which are very measurable and action oriented too.
But these are challenging too in this regard, (i) most of the INGOs and UN agencies has no internal head quarter plan for implementation of those commitment, (ii) these are very transformational change form existing behavior, which in fact is difficult. But in fact it is encouraging fact that especially some INGOs have taken project in this regard to facilitate localization and also took some action research projects.
So in Bangladesh, we feel there should continuous and consistence demand side campaign from from Bangladesh with the participation of local NGOs, so that actors in supply side will feel pressure of public opinion for implementation of those commitment, and there by sustainable and accountable use of aid money.
- What we did in Bangladesh during 2017 and 2018
Taking above in view, we have series meeting during the last part of 2016 and first six month of 2017, and we have prepared and agreed 18 points Charter of Expectations from donors, INGOs and others, finally this Charter of Expectations signed and published in October 2017 (http://coastbd.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/CSO_Common-Space_Campaign-Paper.pdf). The charter has signed by around 50 prominent national and local NGOs in Bangladesh. Later the charter have been shortened, made it 18 points demand and developed a one pager (http://coastbd.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/18-expectations.pdf).
Main philosophy / principles behind the demand, we the local, national and international NGOs are in common space, i.e., civil society, but we have to specify our role in different level, especially in national and local level, INGOs role should be to facilitate local and national NGOs to grow as sovereign, accountable and sustainable civil society organization. Local and national NGOs will help INGOs in international level for building movement, in fact INGOs playing a great role in this regard, they need to continue this especially to challenge de-globalization of humanitarian responsibility, climate justice, equality and redistributive justice among the countries.
The charter have been placed in a public forum have held in Dhaka on 19th August 2017, the world humanitarian day, where all most all 50 NGO leaders, and round 30 INGO and UN agency leaders have had participated, the public forum have been extensively covered by media (http://coastbd.net/local-civil-society-demands-equitable-partnership-from-ingos-and-un-agencies/0 ). The public forum have had happened with the assistance of Oxfam ELNHA project, Start Fund Bangladesh, NEAR Network and ADRRN.
We have realized that, these have to be spread over whole of the country. Bangladesh is country of huge civil societies, they should be aware on all these international discourse and agreements, where prime importance given to sovereign, accountable and sustainable growth of local civil societies, for humanitarianism and development. Oxfam ELNHA project has encourage us in this regard, and we have planned to go for nine divisions. There was systematic preparation, i.e., preparation of committees in each divisions, liaison with major NGO networks like ADAB (Association of Development Agencies in Bangladesh, www.adab.org.bd, ), BAPA (Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon), CDF (Credit and Development Forum, www.cdfbd.org) ), and FNB (Federation of NGOs in Bangladesh, www.ngofederationbd.net, ), translation made of all relevant documents, training have given to all the divisional committees, liaison with government high officials in divisions. You will see all the reports including video documentation in www.bd-cso-ngo.net.
Meantime there are Rohingya influx in Coxsbazar from August 2017, local NGOs are united first for own coordination also for promotion of localization, they have formed Coxsabzar CSO NGO Forum (CCNF, www.cxb-cso-ngo.org). We have also attached with them as some of us also working in Cox’ Bazar district. CCNF have decided go without donor funding, but for their public events they have taken piecemeal support from IoM, ACF and Christian Aid and Oxfam ELNHA projects. CCNF succeeded to draw international attention and there was Grand Bargain mission visited during September 2018 and recommended localization of Rohingya response by next three years. ( http://coastbd.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Localization-Workstream-Mission-1.pdf)
- Way forward, conference and building long term process
We have realized localization will not be achieved if there are no long term process and mobilization of local NGOs / CSOs. We have also realized that there should sectoral unity at least with minimum common position especially in respect of negotiation with other stakeholders for a conducive environment for CSO NGO growth.
Taking these in view, after series of meeting an steering committee with conveners of 9 divisions have been formed, names as “Bangladesh CSO NGO Coordination Process” (bd-coordination) , with major two objectives, i.e., (i) to create public opinions so that there will be common minimum position on sectoral unity and growth especially among the major CSO / NGO networks, and (ii) to do negotiations with all relevant stakeholders especially with government, donors and INGOs in view of the Development Effectiveness discourse, Grand Bargain commitments and Charter 4 Change commitments, so that Bangladeshi civil societies will have space for sovereign, accountable and sustainable growth.
The committee have prepared for national conference on 6th July 2019, prepared a declaration with a website, all these information are available in www.bd-cso-ngo.net. The process has also decided to do similar orientation or workshop in 24 districts by June 2019 and all preparation has already taken. It is expected that around 600 civil society and NGO activists from 64 districts will participate in the conference, where they will declare accountability and expectation charter. In the site there are link of endorsement of declaration, membership form fill up and also the outline for conference is available. High level government policy makers, UN personalities, INGO network leaders from country and abroad have had invited.
- Advisory, Steering Committees and Secretariat
There is a plan to create an advisory committee in future.
COAST (www.coastbd.net) have been designated a secretariat for the process. And a steering committee have been formed. Please see the names and details in below.
Localization – Steering Committee Members 2019 -2021
|Sl||Name||Division||Organization Name||Designation||E-mail ID||Cell|
|Eng. Abul Kalam
|Mymensingh||Trinamool Unnayan Sangstha||Secretaryemail@example.com
|Subangkor Chakrabarthi||Barishal||CSo leader||Secretaryfirstname.lastname@example.org
|Asraful Islam Manir||Bagerhat||ADF||Secretary||Monir150378@gmail.com
|04||Fayezullah Chowdhury||Rajshahi||Barendra Unnayan
|Anagrasar Samaj Unnayan Songstha ( ASUS)||Secretary
|05||Md. Akbar Hossain||Rangpur||Rangpur Protibondhi Foundation||Presidentemail@example.com
|Abdul Karim kim||Sylhet||BAPA||Secretaryfirstname.lastname@example.org||01711351167|
|07||Md. Arifur Rahaman
|08||Ms. Masuda Faruque Ratna,||Dhaka||Gram Bikash Sayahak Sangstha (GBSS)||Presidentemail@example.com||8142520,
|Ms. Sayeda Shamima Sultana||Dhaka
|KHRDS ( DHAKA )||Secretary||Sayeda28@gmail.com||017111721128|
Dhaka Office – Localization – Steering Committee Members
|01||Mr. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury||Dhaka||COAST Trust & EquityBD||Chief Moderator of Localization Steering firstname.lastname@example.org||01711529792|
|02||Barkat ullah Maruf||Dhaka||COAST Trust||Steering committee Membersemail@example.com||01713328840|
|03||Muzibul Haq Manir||Dhaka||COAST Trust||Steering committee Membersfirstname.lastname@example.org||01713367438|
|04||Omar Faruk||Dhaka||COAST Trust||Steering committee Members (Finance )||email@example.com
|05||Abarul Islam||Dhaka||COAST Trust||Steering committee Members ( Technical )||Abir@coastbd.net||01713144166|
|06||Mustafa Kamal Akanda||Dhaka||COAST Trust & EquityBD||Steering committee Members ( Secretariat )||firstname.lastname@example.org||01711455591|
Draft 7th June 2019