THP-Bangladesh Increases Engagement of Unions to Meet Millennium Development Goals in 2012

Bangladesh - International Women's Day Event 2012.jpg

Update to the Global Board

October 2012

During this reporting period, THP-Bangladesh staff and volunteers carried out more than 12,000 bottom-up, gender-focused activities in 804 clusters of villages (unions) across 57 of Bangladesh's 64 districts, involving more than 320,000 participants. This work continues to take place through the dedicated work of THP staff, volunteers and partners across all seven administrative divisions of the country under a three-pillar strategy: Social Mobilization for Self-reliant Action; Interventions for Gender Equality; and Strengthening Local Democracy.
As part a result of strategic planning process, THP-Bangladesh will carry out a more intensive strategy to create 300 “MDG unions” by 2015, beginning with 80 in 2012. With increased resources and integrated mobilization campaigns, based on lessons learned in a pilot project in partnership with BRAC, the goal is for these 300 unions to track their own progress in achieving all the MDGs and serve as models for nation-wide policies.
  • Engaging with Union Parishads to meet the Millennium Development Goals: THP-Bangladesh trained more than 500 elected representatives as Union Parishad (UP) animators. Each UP body has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with THP-Bangladesh to transform their UPs into “MDGs Unions.” An MDG Union is one that is working in partnership with citizens, government officials and NGOs to meet the MDGs at a grassroots level (as well as the national level) by 2015. As a result, 80 UPs are now engaged with THP-Bangladesh to create MDG Unions. The MOUs clearly outline the strategies and agreed upon goals for promoting community-led development projects in partnership with government. This innovative approach to direct collaboration between THP and UP bodies is uniqueas this formalized role has not historically been undertaken by civil society organizations. Moreover, the Union Parishad at Patichara of Naogaon district has inaugurated their five-year plan document for the first time ever in Bangladesh with the technical cooperation from THP.
  • International Women’s Day: A successful International Women’s Day event was organized jointly with the National Girl Child Advocacy Forum and other organizations in March of this year. There were nearly 1,500 women and young girls who joined the rally in Dhaka from different organizations. Nationally, more than 28,977 women and men participated in 252 events to observe the day throughout the country.
  • Enrollment of local adults in literacy centersis increasing: For example, at Sarai local senior citizens are regularly attending learning sessions in the adult literacy center that consists of a free community library developed by the local Youth Ending Hunger (YEH) volunteers. These senior citizens, who were incapable of reading and writing, are now able to recognize alphabet and are writing their names.
  • The campaign to reduce primary school dropout is also achieving success: The THP volunteers are working shoulder-to-shoulder with teachers of local institutions and UP standing committees to persuade the guardians of dropped out children to send them back to school. For example, at the Shat Gambuz Union Parishad, animators, including the THP-trained UP body and other volunteers, are working to enroll the dropped-out students and eligible children with disabilities in local primary schools.

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