DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE DOMAIN
This domain guides our development initiatives with priorities and strategies in promoting and fostering democratic governance and decentralization. We believe Democracy is pivotal to promoting sustainable development, where accountability mechanism with people’s participation is a process of governance.
The Goal of Democratic Governance Domain:
Improve quality of people’s lives with prior focus on the poor and marginalized by obtaining access to rights and services, promoting institutional responsiveness and democratic practice.
In line with the thematic premise and strategies we intervene with a two facet approach. In one facet, we promote democratic decentralization and develop interface between public service institutions and the people at the local level. Similarly, at the local level, we work with local government institutions to enhance the system of governance by promoting participation of people from respective constituencies. Here, social advocacy is another phenomenal tasks we carry out for protecting rights of specific vulnerable groups and communities who are discriminated or deprived of justice in any particular issue, such as social safety net, products price discrimination, health, education, agriculture services etc. In this juncture, we tend to educate and empower targeted population with the knowledge and examples of democratic norms, practice, accountability, transparency, responsiveness and rule of law.
In another facet, we facilitate policy advocacy. In the policy advocacy, we work to peruse people’s agenda for review, reformation and enactment of new policy. In the process of policy advocacy we conduct research, alliance building, networking, campaign and lobbing. We participate in the regional and global advocacy platforms as well.
This domain allows us to facilitate responsiveness of public service institutions, responsiveness of LGIs, local governance, democratic decentralization and strong local government, right to food and nutrition, so on.
Strategies of the Democratic Governance Domain:
Foster democratic practice in governance for ensuring responsiveness towards rights and needs of the people in delivering public services and facilitate social & policy advocacy with people’s agenda.
Programs and Projects under this Domain
Democratic Decentralization & Responsive Governance Program (DDLG)
LG leaders in Bangladesh are not fully empowered to carry out their work. Management systems are typically weak and broad-based while community participation in LG decision-making is usually limited. LG is one of the most important but sensitive items in policy- and budget-making arenas. Most of Bangladesh’s local governments are highly dependent on a historically centralized national government system. Interestingly, less than one percent of Bangladesh’s GDP funds 85 percent of LG development expenditures. Undeniably, LG bodies are heavily dependent on direct grants from the central government and shared tax revenue with the land department. Frequent changes in decentralization policy are politically motivated. Popular changes are usually made by the government with an objective in mind to create political loyalty, and to build a strong political base at the local level by putting party men in various positions. Furthermore, before formulating decentralization initiatives, public opinion is rarely ever solicited. WAVE’s Democratic Decentralization and Responsive Governance-DDRG Program is working towards mobilizing mass people’s opinion and concerned stakeholders in favor of a national decentralization policy and influence the state to endorse the policy. We are currently implementing three projects under DDRG Program stated below: