Government Accountability in Bangladesh

January 3, 2017

To empower people to end their own hunger, the government must become more responsive and accountable to the people, and be free from corruption and violence.

According to Transparency International’s global corruption perceptions index, Bangladesh consistently ranks among the lowest in the world. In order to empower people to end their own hunger, the government must become more responsive and accountable to the people, and be free from corruption and violence. To achieve these goals, The Hunger Project-Bangladesh has two alliances to work for reform:

Shujan (Citizens for Good Governance)Elected Leaders

Shujan (Citizens for Good Governance) is a non-partisan platform of committed, active and socially conscious citizens formed in 2002. Members of Shujan are among the most respected citizens of Bangladesh: many are in academia and journalism, and have public profiles as well-regarded leaders. Once mobilized by The Hunger Project, the members work to strengthen grassroots democracy, ensure transparency and accountability of local government, and carry out advocacy initiatives at the national level. Shujan is an independent organization for which The Hunger Project serves as secretariat.

In order to promote accountability, Shujan is working for political and election reform. In 2014, The Hunger Project and Shujan produced two reports on candidate demographics for the 10th National Parliament Election for 300 constituencies. The reports, whose objective was to give access to information on high-powered candidates and candidate wealth growth rates since 2008, served as valuable resources for voters throughout Bangladesh, and resulted in a surge of first-time elected officials.

Self-Governing Union Parishad (UP) Advocacy Group

The Hunger Project has catalyzed the creation of a bottom-up advocacy movement made up of elected union parishad (local government body) representatives, who press the central government to shift more resources and decision-making power to the local level. The UP representatives, many of whom have taken the animator training, become local advocates for development in their unions, working together to support more inclusive and responsive local government.