Bangladesh Strengthening Political Landscape
The Strengthening Political Landscape in Bangladesh program (SPL), funded by USAID and DFID, works to build political party capacity and strengthen relationships between parties and constituents while reducing political violence. SPL builds on DI’s successful previous program, Democratic Participation and Reform. Under SPL, DI will continue to support political party activists and citizens as they build the skills they need to become effective leaders, advocate for inclusive policies, and constructively engage with one another to mitigate conflict. The SPL program aims to support political party activists and politically active citizens to develop the skills and knowledge to engage in decision making and gradually internalize inclusion and best practices into party structures at all levels; and support political party activists and politically active citizens to develop the skills to engage constructively to mitigate the effects of conflict. Under SPL, DI operates seven division offices in each region of Bangladesh to reach rural, isolated populations and better support the inclusion of women, youth, and grassroots activists in the political process.
SPL will enhance the internal democratic structures of Bangladesh’s political parties, foster more inclusive and representative leadership, improve the parties’ capacities to understand the needs of their constituents, and more effectively reach marginalized women and youth. To strengthen inclusive and transparent decision-making processes within political parties, DI is building the parties’ capacity to independently hold party conferences at the district, division, and national levels. To continue to increase the political engagement of women and youth in political parties and in national political activity, DI is building upon its Narir Joye Shobar Joy (“When Women Win, We All Win”) program to further advance women’s leadership in politics through multiparty dialogue, advocacy, outreach, and networking. We are also continuing and expanding our successful Young Leaders Fellowship Program for young political party activists, which provides training and the opportunity to engage with national and regional leaders from all political parties on important political and policy issues. To strengthen the capacity of political parties to craft responsive, data-driven policy, DI is leading a series of activities to mainstream public opinion research into party platform development.
In addition, SPL will confront the challenge of political violence by engaging political parties, grassroots activists, and university students, monitoring incidents of violence, and promoting peaceful alternatives. Our partner, The Asia Foundation, is integrating its successful violence monitoring system into SPL activities. This system will monitor, track, and analyze instances of political violence across Bangladesh, and work to identify drivers of violence that can then be addressed through violence prevention activities and trainings. DI remains committed to working in interparty and intraparty contexts, from the grassroots to the national level.