Centralized power has been an abiding impediment standing in the way of Bangladesh’s democratic flourishment. Though the issue of “decentralization of power” has never stopped making it to the public debate, little progress has been made towards devolution of power. As a result the public institutions have not internalized the values of transparency and accountability. Lack of accountability in the state institutions can give rise to discrimination and denial of rights.

Where to reach

The program has set for itself two specific objectives:

  To promote democratic decentralization, local self government, accountable public and guardian institutions and participatory democracy;

  To facilitate accountable governance mechanisms through campaign, lobbying and policy advocacy at local and national level.


In order for people to gain access to rights and justice it is important to create anenabling environment. Having democracy at the center alone is not enough.Democracy has to be established in every tier of government to ensure people’s participation in the development process. Along with it there has to be certain institutions that are accountable and serve the cause of public interest.

WAVE Foundation has been promoting strong local government, democratic decentralization, strengthening of public institutions and responsive public bodies. In collaboration with like-minded civil society organizations WAVE facilitates and leads networks and coalitions.


Democratic Decentralization & Local Self Government Campaign

The campaign aims to mobilize opinion of mass people and concerned stakeholders in support of a national decentralization policy and influence the state to endorse the policy. WAVE organized ‘Democratic Decentralization National Convention’ in 2010 demanding the execution of democratic decentralization in light of our constitution and proposed a draft Democratic Decentralization Policy. As continual effort, WAVE carries out multifaceted activities through its networkto review and finalize the proposed Decentralization Policy. Under the campaign, organization coordinates network and alliance, involve LG representatives, policy makers, political leaders, civil society members, media personnel, youth and other stakeholders and conduct continuous lobbying with concerned Parliamentary Standing Committee and policy makers.

Promoting Advocacy and Rights (PAR) Activity in Bangladesh

The goal of the project is to strengthened enabling environment to sustain civil society institutions advancing democratic governance and citizen participation. The objectives are to strengthened civil society capacity to effectively advocate for improved democratic governance and established cross-sectoral partnerships to improve government responsiveness to citizens needs. USAID’s and DFID’s prior and current investments in support of good governance, access to information and democratic political processes have laid the foundation for PAR by building trust with political parties and the GOB, identifying and strengthening reform-minded emerging leaders, and expanding the civic space to include under-represented voices such as women and youth. Through PAR, Counterpart is prepared to seize this window of opportunity to help Bangladesh mobilize and inform new constituencies on the importance of good governance and human rights, rekindle a tradition of civil debate, and further open civic space to enable the country to return to its democratic ideals. The project is covering 8 Divisions of Bangladesh.

Support for Ensuring Rights of Service Users and Strengthening Accountability in Health System for Maternal, Neonatal & Child Health (MNCH) Services in Tangail and Khulna District

The project aims to create an enabling environment in selected facilities in two project districts for protecting the rights of the beneficiaries and strengthening the accountability structure to strengthen provision of quality MNH services. In this regard, project is concentrating on awareness and capacity building of civil society groups on MNH rights and participation in service planning, support to advocacy for improvement of facility based MNH services and support in establishing effective monitoring system and institutional arrangements for enhancing accountability of the duty bearers. The project is being implemented in Khulna and Tangail district with the support of UNICEF and KOICA. GNSPU (Gender, NGO & Stakeholder Participation Unit), DG-HEU (Health Economics Unit) take advisory role as well as provide technical assistant for evaluation of the Program cooperation.

Civic Awareness and Election Observation

The project aims to promote free and fair elections in Bangladesh through election monitoring, voter and civic awareness and election observation. WAVE takes part in civic awareness and election observation programmes concerning National and Local level elections held at different parts of the country including Dhaka city. It also aims to reduce the risk of election and post-election violence. Besides, policy advocacy with Election Commission (EC) and other concerned stakeholders in the aim of strengthening electoral process in Bangladesh is one of the significant activities of this project. As a member of Election Working Group (EWG), WAVE implements this project in cooperation with The Asia Foundation-TAF. The activities are being implemented under the project titled `Strengthening and Promoting Active Citizenship in Bangladesh’. This project includes a combination of long term domestic and regional election observation and electoral reform advocacy, citizen monitoring and voter education to mitigate political and electoral violence and voter education and form to enhance responsiveness and accountability of candidates.

Active Citizen

The project intends to deliver Active Citizen Youth Leadership Training-ACYLT Programmes and youth-led Social Action Projects where young people address their own priorities and involve people of all generations to make a positive change to their communities. In the 4th phase, the project delivered 15 ACYLT covering 450 youth leaders in Chuadanga, Jhenaidah, Patuakhali and Dhaka Districts. British Council supports the project.

PRODIGY-II: Promoting Democratic Inclusion and Governance through Youth (Phase two)

The specific objectives of PRODIGY-II will empower youth leaders in Bangladesh with advanced knowledge of principles of transparency, accountability, inclusivity, non-violent civic participation, pluralism and freedom of expression to enable them to promote democratic inclusion, social cohesion and peace building in their own communities. The project’s activities focus on promote and enhance the skill and capacity of young people from rural and urban areas. And will mentor these young leaders as they initiate Social Action Projects and assist in engaging directly with local government in their communities. This Project is implemented by WAVE Foundation in Dhaka (01 Ward) and Jamirtta Union Parishad of Manikganj and follow-up activities will be continued at Chuadanga districts. PRODIGY-II is being implemented by the support of British Council.

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