2022 – A Year of Gathering Momentum
The year 2022 was indeed a year of gathering momentum for Citizen’s Platform SDGs, Bangladesh, as the title suggests. Citizen’s Platform designed and delivered its activities this year to incentivise and bring forth the voices and perspectives of the ‘left-behind’ citizens and communities in national development discourse.
We share some of the activities that kept us busy throughout this year.
National Development Narrative and Local Realities
Citizen’s Platform rounded up the year with a unique approach by organising a public hearing (Dhaka; 3 December 2022) at the national level, highlighting the local responses to national development narrative. Citizen’s Platform brought together 400+ participants from 25 districts, representing different left-behind communities, who articulated their demands and challenges in the presence of a distinguished citizen’s panel and media.
Connecting Youth to National SDG Process
Another conference, organised by Citizen’s Platform (Dhaka; 1 September 2022), was focused on youth in Bangladesh and their participation in policy discourse, mainly sustainable development goals (SDGs). The conference was successful and appreciated for creating a space for the youth, especially university-level students, to participate and directly provide policy feedback for the SDG implementation in the country.
As a network of non-state actors (NSAs), Citizen’s Platform initiated the discussion on the challenges and opportunities for civil society organisations and non-governmental development institutions in view of the LDC Graduation of Bangladesh (Dhaka; 19 October 2022). Citizen’s Platform also conducted a survey to analyse this specific issue.Citizen’s Platform also initiated a dialogue to expose and address the unmade demand for an aggregate picture of sustainability reporting by the private sector of Bangladesh (Dhaka; 29 October 2022). Energetic engagement of the cross-section corporate sector indicated their related interest in further work in this area.
Both issues concerning CSOs and the private sector under this LDC graduation cluster were new lacunas discussed in depth at a national platform. This initiative to open a new area was much appreciated by the partners of the Citizen’s Platform.
Citizen’s Protest in Response to Communal Violence
In response to the communal violence, Citizen’s Platform organised a citizen’s protest meeting (Dhaka; 22 July 2022). The Platform brought victims from the affected areas so that they could reflect their voices on the national platform and share their experiences. Representatives from civil society and human rights activities joined to share their solidary and support.
Citizen’s Platform on the Proposed Anti-Discriminatory Bill 2022
Why are the tea plantation workers left behind in Bangladesh?
This year, Citizen’s Platform also advocated to highlight the challenges faced by the tea plantation workers and provided a platform to promote their voices to uphold their concerns and interests through a national event (Dhaka; 23 November 2022). The dialogue brought together a set of tea plantation workers and organisations from Moulvibazar and Sylhet and representatives from other stakeholder groups, including Tea Board officials, tea garden owners and exporters, CEO of tea gardens, and international development partners.
In 2022, Citizen’s Platform brought out two working papers focusing on COVID-19 impact on SDGs in Bangladesh and adjustments and adaptation efforts of the RMG worker households to overcome the fallouts of the pandemic.
Citizen’s Platform carefully documented all the discussions and dialogues and published those under its Briefing Note Series. Citizen’s Platform published 13 briefing notes in 2022 under this series. An edited volume in Bangla, a compilation of 19 briefing notes, was also published before the Ekushey Boi Mela 2022.
Citizen’s Platform also plans to bring out a volume titled ‘Covid-19 and Bangladesh: Disaggregation, Inclusion and Transition’ from an international publisher.
Citizen’s Platform welcomed seven new partner organisations, and the total number of partners is now 125. Around 2400+ participants, of which around 800+ represented left-behind communities, joined Citizen’s Platform’s dialogues and conferences physically throughout the year. All the national dialogues and conferences were live-streamed on the Platform’s Facebook page and viewed by 24,735.
Wishing all our partners and well-wishers a very successful 2023.