BANGLADESH 2020

Advancing Accountability and Transparency through the Right to Information

Research Initiatives Bangladesh

$60,000

To advance accountability and transparency through the application and implementation of right to information (RTI) mechanisms. The organization will facilitate the efforts of RTI experts and activists to submit requests to government authorities under the Right to Information Act. It will convene a series of trainings, strategy sessions, and a national conference to consider topics of public interest, monitor the life-cycle of applications, and critically assess compliance with the law by government institutions.

Building Resilient Universities: Promotion of Democratic Citizenship and Media Literacy

University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh

$80,000

To promote and reinforce democratic and civic values, critical thinking, and media literacy among university students. The organization will work with university leadership to transform its course curriculum on citizenship, pluralism, and social and emotional learning into a massive open online course (MOOC). The widespread dissemination of the online course will generate discourse that marginalizes the appeal of extremist voices and ideologies.

Building Youth Leadership on Pluralism and Social Harmony

The Hunger Project

$75,000

To strengthen the leadership capacity of youth leaders to prepare them to address issues of pluralism and democratic values in their communities. The organization will conduct leadership trainings focused on skills such as conflict resolution, negotiation, and dialogue facilitation with the expectation that trainees will use this knowledge to promote pluralism, tolerance, and social harmony in their communities. The organization will work with its network members to advance societal discourse on issues of democracy, pluralism, and social harmony. 

Civic Education and Democracy Awareness Capacity Development

JAAGO Foundation UK

$70,000

To build the capacity of youth volunteers to conduct civic education awareness programs with secondary school students. The organization will organize a training of trainers on basic civics and support volunteers to engage secondary school students from 20 schools in seminars and year–long democracy promotion activities that advocate for transparent and accountable governance.

Defending Human Rights through Network Strengthening

Manabadhikar Shongskriti Foundation

$80,000

To build the capacity of a human rights network to monitor, document, and report on human rights violations. The organization will strengthen the network’s infrastructure, including supporting grassroots networks, hosting local meetings and national conferences, improving its documentation process, and publishing press releases, reports, and related documents. It will also advocate for the protection and promotion of human rights and access to justice at the national level.

Media Landscape Study

Accountability and Governance

Supplement$51,000

To deepen public awareness about media ownership and press freedom in Bangladesh. The organization will study who owns various media outlets throughout the country, how the ownership has changed over time, and to what degree the various owners are affiliated and connected. It will produce an in-depth evidence-based report and publish it on an interactive website. The report will serve as a baseline for future research. The organization will document the use of the Digital Security Act (DSA) through gathering information on each case in which the DSA is applied, tracking cases, and examining the legal recourses made available, as well as  encouraging debate and awareness of the DSA and its implications for freedom of expression in the country.

Promoting Freedom of Expression and Access to Independent Journalism

Freedom of Information

$145,000

To operate an independent media outlet that generates content and spurs debate around democratic governance, human rights, and other critical political issues. The organization will maintain an independent media group that researches and publishes articles and other news pieces that highlight contemporary political issues. It will house and promote its content on a dedicated website and associated social media accounts for distribution in Bangladesh.

Social Cohesion between Host and Refugee Communities

Civic Education

$78,000

To build the leadership capacity of women leaders in the host and refugee communities and promote social cohesion between them. The organization will convene a series of leadership workshops with young women from the Cox’s Bazar host community and with young women from the Rohingya community. It will facilitate meetings between the trained women to discuss each community’s concerns and identify possible solutions. Subsequently, it will convene inter-community dialogues designed to ease tensions and understand the reality of circumstances faced by the other. 

Worker Rights and Environmental Justice in the Tannery Sector

Solidarity Center (SC)

$400,000

To promote decent work and a just transition to a safer and healthier tannery industry in Bangladesh. The center will support the tannery union and associated community-based organizations to organize effectively, bargain collectively, and represent the rights of workers and community members suffering from the intersecting impacts of labor rights abuses and environmental degradation.