By late 1990s to up-until now, in Bangladesh the NGOs/CSOs have positioned themselves as critical constituents to receive and utilize international aids and as basic services providers, contributors to the reduction of poverty, particularly concerning education, health and micro-credit, also often engaging in the implementation of governmental programmes.
In late 2014, a consultative process with CSOs and the EU ended with the endorsement of the Roadmap for Engagement with Civil Society in Bangladesh by the EU. The Roadmap identifies four priorities:
1. Enabling Environment
2. Civil Society as Development Actor in its Own Right
3. Capacity Enhancement and Accountability
4. Uphold human Rights
and corresponding actions aimed at developing a common strategic framework for the engagement with civil society at country level, with a view to improving the impact, predictability and visibility of EU actions. Since then, the EU has extended the validity of the Roadmap until 2020 and has sought to make strides towards greater capacitation and CSO involvement in the governance process. The EU Delegation has been engaged in implementing the four priorities outlined in the Roadmap through projects as part of the dedicated thematic CSO-LA programme and via its bilateral geographic envelope.
The Global objective of the present assignment is to inform the EU in their efforts to strengthen local Civil Society Organisations’ role and capacity in line with the priorities espoused in the Roadmap for Engagement with Civil Society.
The specific objectives of this assignment are to:
1. Map out key and accountable civil society organizations and actors that can play a meaningful role in the democratisation and development process of Bangladesh and to analyse their structures (including representation and coordination mechanisms);
2. Provide recommendations on how to better engage civil society in policy dialogue and cooperation in line with the priorities of the Roadmap for Engagement with Civil Society and with a view to the post-2020 programming cycle.