Bangladesh NGO-CSO Coordination Process (BD CSO Coordination) in cooperation with COAST Trust organized a press conference at the National Press Club titled “There is no alternative to localization of development and humanitarian aid: Greater unity of CSO NGOs are needed”.
The press conference was moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of COAST and BD CSO Coordination secretariat while other speakers were Rafiqul Islam of FNB (Federation of NGOs in Bangladesh), Mr Rafiqul Islam of ADAB (Association of Development Agencies in Bangladesh) and DUS (Dwip Unnayan Sangstha), Nayeem Gowhar Wahra of Disaster Forum, Masuda Faruque Ratna, Convener of Dhaka division of BD CSO Coordination and GBSS, and Badrul Alam of Bangladesh Krishok Federation. Barkat Ullah Maruf of BD CSO Coordination secretariat read out the position paper, while Mostafa Kamal Akanda of COAST gave the welcome speech.Barkat Ullah Maruf described the background of the two year- process mobilizing CSOs and NGOs across the country and its final culmination through a national convention on 6th July in Dhaka participated by 700 NGO leaders from across the country and 20 international guests. He spoke about development effectiveness and localization, which are the base of international agreements like Grand Bargain and Charter for Change signed by all UN agencies and almost all INGOs, though that is being hardly implemented by them.
Importance and leading role of local NGOs CSOs have been accepted on those agreements, he added. During the conference CSO NGO’s charter of accountability and charter of expectations have been adopted, after being prepared through a bottom up process.
Ms. Masuda Faruque Ratna explained the Self-Accountability Charter of the NGOs with its 8 points. The Accountability Charter is titled “We are accountable to our values and to the affected population”.
Nayeem Wahra introduced the Charter of Expectations titled “Dignity in our space, Inclusiveness and complementarity.” The expectations from the government, donors, UN agencies and INGOs include use of Bangla among all UN agencies and INGOs having interventions in Bangladesh, a complaint response mechanism, official recognition of NGO-CSO work, technical assistance for the leadership of local NGOs, establishing capacity convergence and investment for accountability and transparency.
Rafiqul Islam of FNB said it is a pity that UN agencies and INGOs are leading the Rohingya response keeping Bangladeshi NGOs and CSOs aside who have proven track record of disaster management.
Rafiqul also said that Bangladeshi local NGOs and CSOs who also participated in Liberation War have sufficient capacity to lead any disaster and development initiatives, but some UN agencies and INGOs are ignoring it.Rezaul Karim Chowdhury urged media to spread the charters to promote critical mass on the issues and supporting NGOs CSOs to grow as sustainable organizations with localization instead of corporatization.