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Social Accountability BootCamp | Time to start implementing people-led accountability mechanisms- fulfilling the promise of transformative change

A state not having the tradition of functioning under an accountable operational system faces the challenges of establishing responsive, equitable and effective governance. Youth-led action can help governments fill gaps in implementation, follow-up, and monitoring, as well as programs and policy.

The facilitators mentioned the importance of youth-led accountability mechanisms in ensuring the success of the SDG’s on the ‘Social Accountability BootCamp for Youth’, held from December 30-31th of 2020. With the participation of 30 young people from all over the country, this BootCamp was Initiated jointly by Participatory Research Action Network- PRAN and ActionAid Bangladesh, at Padakhep PIDM, Adabor, Dhaka to engage and encourage youth in ensuring the quality of public service by establishing the practice of social accountability that supports the community and hold duty bearers accountable.

Mir Masrur Zaman, Senior News Editor of Channel I; Md. Abdul Quayyum, Head of Communication, UNDP; Mosfequr Rahman, Bangladesh Project Manager of GoodWeave International;  Md. Shaidullah, Independent Consultant; Barkat Ullah Maruf, Joint Director COAST Trust, Ferdous Ara Rumee, Feminist Activist conducted various sessions in the BootCamp. Nurul Alam Masud, CEO of PRAN moderated this two-day long hands-on-training where Nazmul Ahsan and Suvendu Biswas from AAB, Aminuzzaman Milon from BANDHON, and Raha Naba Kumar  Noakhali other that than of joined too.

In the context of different discussions like basics of social accountability, understanding of social accountability tools, community service mapping, citizen journalism etc. the speakers said the internal and external mechanism of social accountability was already vulnerable due to existing political, economic, and social conditions with complex rules and procedures of weak institutional support. The sudden spread of the COVID 19 pandemic has worsened the condition rendering the task of public management difficult. This is high time to start implementing new people-centered, people-led accountability mechanisms specially youth to fulfill the promise of ambitious and transformative change.

Several sessions and group works were conducted on citizen charter, participatory video, right to information by use of different facilitation techniques by the trainers which included question and answer, brainstorming, group discussions, case study discussion and practical implementation practice by the participants. The participants spontaneously took part in the exercise.

A prize-giving ceremony was arranged on the closing day to handover the crests, fellowship money and certificates to Golam Kibiria Limon, Arifuzzaman Uzzal and Shamzujjaman Raju, The Champion, 1st Runner up and 2nd Runner Up of Budget Olympiad 2020 respectively. At the end of this two-day-long BootCamp, the participants expressed their interest on some specific issues related to social accountability of which they are interested to play a decisive and formal role in monitoring the accountability and transparency system.

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