Local NGOs yesterday demanded leadership roles through equal partnership with international NGOs in development activities of Bangladesh.
They sought cooperation from all stakeholders to implement global agreements including the UN’s “Principle of Partnership”, “Charter for Change (C4C)”, and “Grand Bargain Agreement”.
Coastal Association for Social Transformation Trust (COAST) made the call during a press conference at Jatiya Press Club in Dhaka.
COAST will also organise a national convention on Saturday in the capital, from where “Bangladesh CSO [civil society organisation] and NGO Coordination Process” will be announced.
Addressing the press conference, Mustafa Kamal Akanda, coordinator of the initiative, said, “We have created the forum to campaign and negotiate for a sovereign, responsible and sustainable NGO sector in Bangladesh.”
“The INGOs have signed those agreements, but they have implemented very little,” said Badrul Alam, president of Bangladesh Krishak Federation.
In 2015, some 52 INGOs pledged a commitment under “Principle of Partnership” to bring operational changes to give local NGOs more leadership roles.
In 2016, another agreement -- “Grand Bargain Commitment” -- was signed in Istanbul under UN’s supervision.
Those agreements stress equal partnership, responsibility, transparency, and strong coordination to prevent repetition, and reduction of unnecessary logistical costs.
“In reality we do not see any reflection of those commitments,” said Mahabubul Alam Firoz, executive chief of Shield Bangladesh.
Referring to different studies, AKM Jasim Uddin, director of the Association of Development Agencies in Bangladesh, said, “Local NGOs can implement development and humanitarian activities with a lower cost.”