Project Title: Promoting Responsiveness and Civic Participation to Establish Urban Governance
Nature of the project: The Project have a main purpose to establish Governance Khulna City Corporation and Bagerhat Pourashava manifest greater responsiveness in favor of the poor and marginalized to fulfil their demands and rights by 2016.
Goal:    Khulna City Corporation and Bagerhat Pourashava manifest greater responsiveness in favor of the poor and marginalized to fulfill their demands and rights 
Funded by: Manusher Jonno Foundation
Project Area: 31 ward of Khulna City Corporation and 9 ward of Bagerhat Municipality 
Project Period: August 2013 to December 2016,
Project Fund: (BDT) 2, 33, 74,113.00  
Project Beneficiaries: Total: 187000 Female: 91816, Male: 95184
Project Staff: Total : 18, Female: 05, Male: 13

Impact:
  • Nagorik Forum Khulna and Bagerhat are acting as voice and agency of citizens, specially poor and marginalized people to claim their rights and entitlements in KCC and Bagerhat Pourashava.
  • Social accountability of Khulna City Corporation and Bagerhat Pourashava has improved for public services like health, safety net, infrastructure, conservancy activities and education etc.
  • Citizen Forum interacts with KCC and BP for effective services and monitored through Social Audit.
  • 53 Ward Councilors in KCC and BP including 12 women councilors  are actively working to ensure services with transparency and accountability

Challenges:

  • Lack of support from the urban local government bodies under the project initiatives
  • Local level advocacy may fail to bring desired impact in project outcome
  • Lack of interest of Citizen Forum to implement project events: The project will work in a partnership mode to minimize this low risk, due care in the selection of potential male-female leaders for inclusion in Citizen Forum especially their commitments, non-partisan attitude, devotion etc.

Lesson Learnt:

  • Positive attitude of the citizen and government sector and others related the program can be  supportive to ensuring governance
  • Economic sustainability through employment and income is the key factor for poverty reduction and so opportunities for the poor and slum people is essential  
  • Strengthening local governance is a long-term process requiring regular coordinated efforts.


Reserve Sits nomination security reduced through the initiatives of Nagorik Forum
The cost for purchase of a nomination paper to the reserve seat (women) was increased to Tk. 30,000 for the KCC election of 2013 as compared to Tk. 5,000 for the last election in 2008.  Moreover, for the Mayor position it is Tk. 20,000 and General seat is Tk. 10,000 on average.
Under this circumstance, the Nagorik Forum organized the women candidates for KCC election. They developed a forum named Nari Aikko. They organized a meeting on 5th May with the candidates for reserved seats, a Press conference and Human Chain on 6th May, also submitted a memorandum to the Regional Election Commissioner on 7th May 2013 as well as sending a copy by fax to EC, Dhaka.
The response of the Election Commission was very prompt and in a day they decided that the fee for nomination paper for the women for reserved seat should be Tk. 10,000. This declaration came on 10th May 2013 from Election Commission.  
The efforts of Nagorik Forum and citizen mobilization by Nari Aikko brought this success. The victory goes to Nagorik Forum and Nari Aikko that prompted the election commission changes its decision.

Good practice
The Project significantly achieved positive changes in poverty alleviation through mobilize of poor & extreme poor women. The project facilitated to formation of women organization named “Mothers Club”. The project also facilitated to develop capacity & skill of these women through IGA, Training, Orientation (Tailoring, Block-Batik, Karuchupi, Confectionary, etc), Technical and Financial support for developing their livelihood activities. 850 women were the recipients of this support. Among these, 381 women of Mothers Club Members were created livelihood option and invested their money and commitment. As a result there income is increasing which is contributing in maintenance there family and education of children. Mothers Club leader Sheuli Begum, ward no. 10, expressed her view such as; we are now able to maintain and contribute in our family’s regular needs, our buying capacity in increased, our children going to school and we also participate in the dictions making of our family and society.