Democratic Local Governance Program

Objectives & activities

Project Objectives and Activities

Objective 1: Knowledge Development on Leadership; Accountability, Transparency and Inclusivity; Pluralism and Freedom of Expression (Months 1-10)

Identify a new cohortof 360 young people who will be trained to act as agents for positive social change. Their training will focus on: Youth Leadership; Accountability, Transparency, and Inclusivity; Grant Management; and Pluralism and Freedom of Expression. 432 youth, (80% of participants from the PRODIGY pilot) willreceive additional training on pluralism and freedom of expression.

1.1 Conduct a baseline survey in 15 Union Parishads (rural) and wards (urban) to select 360 young people aged 18-30 to participate in leadership development programs. (Months 1-2) The baseline survey will identify 360 young people from 10 newly selected communities who will act as agents of positive social change. Young people will be selected from diverse groups representing both rural and urban areas, with a female participation rate of 50%. Participants will be selected using specific criteria agreed by the British Council and its partners, taking into account both their accomplishments as well as their potential, in addition to their commitment to give back to their communities. Through a targeted approach, the project will ensure participation of at least 10% of young people from marginalized communities including the extreme poor, religious minorities, ethnic minorities and differently abled people.

1.2 Review and revise existing training modules (Month 3) The consortium, in consultation with the British Council, will review these three training modules to update the content based on feedback from thePRODIGY pilot.The project will also identify appropriate existing modules and will review and adapt them to develop a new training module on pluralism and freedom of expression.This will be done by a network of expert staff from the British Council and its partners. The new module will include contents on valuing diversity and different perspective, social cohesion, peace building.

1.3 Select master trainers from targeted Union Parishads and wards and conduct 2 trainings of trainers (ToT) (Months 3-4) The master trainers will be project staff (Field Coordinators and Program Officers), who will take part in two training of trainers (ToT) sessions. They will be trained to use the revised training modules, which will focus on: youth leadership, transparency and accountability, inclusivity, pluralism, freedom of expression, and small scale grant management. The three-day ToT sessions will be residential.As the master trainers will also play the role of Field Coordinators and Program Officers, they will be in a position to closely monitor the activities of the young people, providing valuable feedback and mentoring support.

1.4 Hold training programs for young peopleon leadership; transparency and accountability; inclusivity and pluralism; and Freedom of Expression (Months 5-8) 30nonresidential trainings (3 trainings in 10 locations, focusing on each of the following 3 modules: a. leadership; b. transparency and accountability; and c. inclusivity, pluralism and freedom of expression) will be conducted. Using the newly developed curriculum, the trainings will be delivered to 360 young people (10 groups of 36 participants) in targeted communities. Two master trainers will train 36 participants from each community.

1.5 Hold training programs on pluralism and freedom of expression for existing cohort of 432 young people (Months 5-7) 432 young people (representing 80% of the existing cohort of 540 youth from the PRODIGY pilot)will take part in a four-day nonresidential training that will focus on pluralism and freedom of expression. The trainings will take place in 15 locations across the country and will bring together 27-30 participants each. They will develop a network that will collaborate to promote tolerance in their communities, using the skills they have gained to build bridges across social and community divides.

1.6 Hold training workshops for young people on grant management, project design, implementation and community needs assessment (Months 9 - 10) The cohort of 360 youth leaders will receive additional training to plan and design their own community projects. In each of the 12 communities, groups of 30 young leaders will take part in a one day nonresidential training workshop which will focus on grant management, project design and project implementation. In addition, they will receive community needs assessment training to help them design projects that are responsive to the challenges faced by their communities. The youth leaders will receive additional support in grant management, project design and needs assessment during the implementation phases of their community projects.

Objective 2: Empower a network of trained group of youth to engage wider communities in issues around governance, pluralism and freedom of expression to raise awareness and level of motivation among citizens(Months 8 - 22)

2.1 Assist young people to design and plan their community projects to engage wider communities in local governance (Months 8 - 14) We willmentor youth leaders as they design and plan their community projects after the conclusion of the training programs. Trainedyouth will be encouraged to carry out peer learning initiatives to cascade their knowledge on transparency, accountability, inclusivity, citizens' rights, pluralism and freedom of expression. The existing cohort of 432 young people will continue to build, expand and improve the 75 social action projects which they have initiated during the PRODIGY pilot phase and mentor their peers. The new cohort of 360 young people will initiate at least 40 new social action projects from month 11 onwards. Through the social action projects, the youth leaders will create better awareness in their communities on functional issues of the local government such as open and participatory budget, citizen's charter, social safety net program, and role of standing committees for community development. Activities like street theatre, folk music, yard meeting, public rallies, discourses and dialogues between local government and citizens will be used by the young people to deliver their social action projects. These social action projectswill enable youth leaders to demonstrate to their fellow citizens that they are entitled to know how their needs and vulnerabilities are assessed and how specific interventions are designed, budgeted for and implemented by local government. This will create a demand for accountability, transparency and inclusivity within the targeted communities. A special focus will be given to promote social cohesion through some of the new social action projects aimed at building bridges across social, ethnic and religious divides. Youth leaders will promote social networking and interactionsbetween communities with different values and beliefs by celebrating Harmony Day, convening round table discussions on social cohesion and piece building at local level, organizing music and sports events as part of their social action projects. These projects will promote stronger social cohesion which will enable to community people taking a stand against all sorts of racism, prejudice and intolerance.

2.2 Provide Internship opportunity to young people (Months 12-14)In addition, 25 youth leaders from the existing and the new PRODIGY cohorts will beoffered internships in various government offices.Interns will gain practical experience inthe functional system of local governance and will be able to analyze and provide recommendations, with empirical evidence on issues related to government transparency and accountability, pluralism and freedom of expression. The interns will also gain better understanding on transparency of local government rules, plans, and processes as well as the actions of public officials and civil servants. Cascading this knowledge to peers will help reduce corruption, and reinforce trust between citizens and their government. Government officers will have additional support and gain citizen insights through having a youth leader working with them on a daily basis.

2.3 Assign local mentors (school teachers, NGO personnel) to youth leaders (Months 8 - 14) Local mentors will be assigned to help youth leaders to mobilize resources and engage wider communities in their local projects. The mentors will include individuals who are respected and trusted within their communities. They will offer young people guidance as they build their engagement with their communities and, as a result, the community projects they develop will gain in respectability in the eyes of the community.

2.4 Monitor progress, evaluate community projects and award small grants to top projects for further support (Months 11 - 22) The top 70 community projects will be awarded small grants ranging from $150 to $200 to support their further expansion. The remaining 45 projects will tasked with raising external funds to support their activity. A selection committee will be established consisting of British Council staff, partner organizations' field staff, and mentors to identify the projects that will receive small grants, and determine the amount of each grant. Community projects will be evaluated on specific criteria including innovation, sustainability, reach and cost effectiveness. All expenses incurred will have to be supported with appropriate evidence including vouchers and receipts.

Objective 3: Recognition and demonstration of youth activities (Months 18 - 22)

3.1 Mobilize young people to organize a National Youth Summit and International Youth Day celebrations in 25 locations simultaneously The National Youth Summit will take place in Dhaka, bringing together at least 500 youth leaderswho have successfully implemented their community projects.The demonstration of community projects will be open to the wider public and gender balanced panel discussions will include representatives from government bodies, the private sector, civil society, youth groups, as well as poor and marginalized groups. We will engage youth leaders to celebrate International Youth Day in the second year of the project.Each partner organization will take the lead in organizing these events in their assigned geographic areas. A total of 25 events will be organized simultaneously in each of the target communities, reaching more than 8,000 people in local communities.Activities during the events will include panel discussions, as well as round table debates involving policy makers and civil society representatives.The British Council has trained over 29,500 Active Citizens across Bangladesh, so the members of the Active Citizens network available at local level will also join with the PRODIGY youth leaders in organizing and celebrating these events. The PRODIGY youth leaders will also be linked with vibrant Facebook group of Active Citizens Bangladesh,where they would be able to share the success stories of the social action projects as well as learn some of the best examples of social action projects from the wider group of Active Citizens.