Bangladesh is a civil society country. Civil society is the driving force of this nation’s social, cultural political and economic development. The Civic Engagement in Sustainable Management of Social Safety Net Program Project has been designed to focus establishing civil society platform on the name of Social Protection Forum (SPF), at union, pourasava, upazila and district, who will be actively participate in the management of social safety net program (SSNP) at field level. It has strengthened capacities of the SPF for ensuring their effective participation in different process and mechanism of SSNP. The project works on ten safety net issues, those include- VGD, VGF, TR, EGDP, Maternity Allowance, Old-age Allowance, Widow Allowance, Disable Allowance and School Stipend (Primary and Junior School Students). It has found that the forum members are now empowered and effectively engaged themselves in different process of SSNP (beneficiary selection process, distribution of allowance, management problems and lobbying with the concern service giver institutions for its solution. It makes close linkage with the local UP, Department of Social Welfare (DSW), Department of Women Affairs (DWA), School authorities and the Bank management. Regular sharing meetings, seminars and dialogues organized with the service giver institutions and other stakeholders. Further, it organizes exposure visits for the SPF members and government authorities for gaining experience from the good practices done by others at home and abroad. Also, it invites other institutions to visit the best practices done by them. The SPF members have been trained and make acquainted with the social audit process. They are now very efficiently using the social audit tools; find out the gaps and paying their efforts bringing the solutions as the eligible beneficiaries do not deprive getting their eligible entitlements. It results minimizing the program gaps, ensuring accountability, governance and transparency practices by the service giver institutions thus contributed targeted poor peoples for enjoying their rights and getting the entitlements and lead to sustainable management of social safety net program, the ultimate goal of the project.

Community Based Organization (CBO) Strengthening

Through the believe that creating people’s access to the rights and services make them empower thus can change their livelihoods, NDP initiates developing peoples platform on the name of group, federation, CBO and try to develop their capacities. There are various capacity building initiatives (training, exposure visit, input supports, initiation of IGA) done under different projects. The CBOs are now able to identify, organize and lead their local development initiatives based on their priorities, in mobilizing and exploring resources and services available at their level. They are assisted in developing community action plans (CAP) and, implementing it utilizing local resources and keeping effective linkage with local administration and service providers. It has found that the group, federation and CBOs under different project have strengthened their capacities, become pro-active, know the appropriate information and are capable to get their entitlements and rights. Successful federations demonstrate that a committed leader who ensures participation, respects transparency and accountability, and promotes second line leadership can contribute positively to sustainability, even in an adverse sociopolitical context, and with limited capacity-building support.