Democratic Local Governance Program

Project Description PRODIGY- II

PRODIGY-II will build young people's understanding of accountability, good governance, transparency, tolerance, pluralism and freedom of expression over a 24 months period and will empower them to promote social cohesion and peace building in their own communities.A new cohort of a further 360 youth leaders will be formed. They will be drawn from areas that are seen as recruitment hubs by extremists, particularly in cities. We will recruit participants from an additional 10 Union Parishads (rural)/Paurashabha (urban) maintaining a fair balance between urban and rural. PRODIGY-II will also continueto engage 80% of the previous cohort of 540 youth leaders through additional training focusing on tolerance, pluralism, freedom of expression and social cohesion. They will continue to work on the original 75 Social Action Projects and mentor the new cohort of youth leaders. The aim of PRODIGY-II is to increase peaceful and meaningful civic participation in local governance and create a more inclusive society by promoting accountability, transparency and social cohesion and by upholding the principles of pluralism and tolerance.The three strands of PRODIGY-II will be: 1. Knowledge Development on Leadership; Accountability, Transparency and Inclusivity; Pluralism and Freedom of Expression: This includes identifying a new cohort of 360 youth who will be trained to act as agents of change in their communities. This new cohort of young people will receive training on: i) Youth Leadership; ii) Accountability, Transparency, and Inclusivity; iii) Pluralism and Freedom of Expression; and iv) Grant Management.Consortium partners will review and revise training modules developed for the PRODIGY pilot and a new training module will be developed on Pluralism and Freedom of Expression. All participants - including 80% (432) of the existing cohort of 540 participants and the new group of 360 youth - will receive the training on pluralism and freedom of expression. Master trainers will be rigorously selected and trained by consortium partners on youth development, local governance, pluralism and freedom of expression. 2. Community Engagement: The newly trained 360 young people will initiate 40 new Social Action Projects that promote outreach to local communities, social cohesion and engagement with local government authorities. In addition, 80% of the existing cohort of 540 youth leaders,along with other like-minded young people will continue to work on their 75 Social Action Projects. Participants will be offered sustained mentoring and small grants will be provided to support the scaling up of the 70 Social Action Projects. 3. Recognition and Demonstration of Positive Youth Engagement: The National Youth Summit will be held in Dhaka in the second year of the project. It will bring together at least 500 youth leaders from different regions of the country. This event will provide opportunities to participating youth leaders to showcase their Social Action Projects to wider audiences. At a local level, International Youth Day will be celebrated by PRODIGY-II youth leaders in 25 areas of PRODIGY-II implementation. These will generate wide publicity and reach.

Target Audience

PRODIGY-II will continue to engage 432 young people from the existing cohort of the first phase. Additionally, PRODIGY-II will include 360 young people from 10 new Union Parishad (rural)/Paurashabha or wards (urban). 50% of the new cohort will be female and 10% will be from marginalized groups including the extreme poor, religious minorities, ethnic minorities and persons with disabilities. Participants will be identified during the baseline survey. PRODIGY II will include 6 Wards (urban) as new locations underDhaka (3 Wards), Khulna (1 Ward), Rajshahi City Corporation (1 Ward) and Shatkhira Pourashava (1 Ward). PRODIGY II will also include 4 Union Parishads (Rural) from Shatkhira, Khulna, Manikganj and Rajshahi district. A significant number of the young people who were engaged in recent acts of extremism came from urban areas and were students of private universities. Therefore, students from private and public universities in the targeted city corporation areas will be among the prime target audience selected for PRODIGY II.