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District Policy Forums Build Momentum and Celebrate Right to Information Day 2021

Updated: Aug 7, 2023


Starting in the Spring of 2021, Platforms for Dialogue (P4D) has been organising District Policy Forums in 12 of our 21 project districts. DPF formation began in May, with Orientation and Social Accountability Tool (SAT) Trainings following shortly after. Despite logistical difficulties due to virtual limitations and changing regulations on in-person gatherings, the 12 DPFs have successfully managed to initiate new Social Action Projects, set up online presence through district-level Facebook Pages, and hold online forums to celebrate the Right to Information (RTI) Day 2021.

The DPFs, which are located in Bagerhat, Bandarban, Brahmanbaria, Jamalpur, Kishoreganj, Kushtia, Moulvibazar, Munshiganj, Natore, Nilphamary, Panchagarh, and Patuakhali, have progressed at impressive speed. With the support of P4D, each of the DPFs has initiated localised Social Action Projects (SAPs) with Multi-Action Partnerships in each region. These SAPs have already begun being implemented throughout the 12 districts. While many have remained online, including the first DPF-led public hearing on government accountability in Bandarban (pictured above), some have begun implementation in person, like the tree-planting SAP. In Moulvibazar, Patuakhali, and Jashore, DPF organisers and volunteers have planted more than 200 seeds in their community (see image on the right).


Each DPF has also developed a logo with guidance from P4D and set up their own community page on Facebook to allow for easier online engagement with members, community stakeholders, and the public. These pages not only help foster discussion outside of scheduled meetings, but they also allow the public to stay engaged and involved. One initiative by the DPFs that recently reached over 1,000 viewers, was their live-stream discussions on Right to Information Day, 2021.


In honour of RTI Day on 28 September, each of the 12 DPFs held virtual discussions on the Right to Information Act, 2009. These discussions were led by DPF members and included special guests such as local government officials and prominent community members. The in-depth discussions were informative and participatory, covering the social accountability tool in detail with thought-provoking discussion on its implementation and need in Bangladesh.


This initiative shows great promise and clear ownership by the DPF members. The discussion live streams were also shared on the P4D Facebook page, which currently has over 56,000 followers. We will continue to promote the good work of our DPFs and encourage their ideas to further promote social accountability policies safely and effectively.



 

This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Platforms for Dialogue and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.



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