Political Party Conference Series in Bangladesh Promotes Responsive Politics
In Bangladesh DI is working with party leaders, local activists, and citizens to improve communication and dialogue through a series of conferences across the country. The conferences—part of DI’s Democratic Participation and Reform Project which has been working with the four major political parties in Bangladesh for a year and a half—are an important way for parties to discuss internal reforms and to receive grassroots input about citizen concerns. As one participant in Bogra commented, “With this conference, I feel as though my voice is being heard by my central party leaders in Dhaka.” A party General Secretary remarked, “[The project’s] ability to provide such comprehensive and detailed feedback from our party’s grassroots is very valuable to us as we organize our activities throughout the country.”
DI has assisted Bangladeshi political parties and is planning to conduct “district grassroots representative conferences” in all 64 Bangladeshi administrative districts. So far, DI has completed 16 conferences, reaching 5,340 grassroots elected presidents and general secretaries from district, upazilla (subdistrict), municipality, and union parishad (council) committees in the Bogra, Naogoan, Joypurhat, Gaibandha, Nilphamary, Dinajpur, and Lalmonirhat districts. By July 2013 DI plans to conduct a total of 256 conferences, working with more than 110,000 grassroots political party leaders.