VOICE is a rights-based, activist organization working mainly on the issues of food sovereignty, aid effectiveness, economic justice, and the right to information and communication, both in Bangladesh and on a global scale. By building a broader constituency of alternative voices to the ‘mainstream development discourse’ through research and public education, VOICE is taking a stand against unjust and undemocratic practices.


In the spotlight : Thesis paper by Farhana Akter

By farjana - Posted on 13 October 2017

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Farhana Akter, Program Coordinator of VOICE successfully completed "Masters in Inter Asia NGO Studies" with distinction from SungKongHoe University, South Korea.  

 

As part of her Master’s thesis, she performed a comprehensive analysis on communication surveillance in Bangladesh which received the best thesis award. 

 

In this dissertation, which goes through an extensive list of reference materials, Farhana outlines the several facets of communication surveillance ranging from local to national and global level. Her work reveals how surveillance has become a key site for understanding the workings of power within the global informational economy. Truely, surveillance is no longer merely a matter of deliberate, individual scrutiny and consequent fears for personal privacy. It has become an everyday experience, run by myriad agencies for multiple purposes and exempting no one. 

 

Furthermore, every state has the obligation to respect, protect and fulfil human rights – Farhana argues, and privacy is one of those rights. This thesis elaborates on the links among privacy, human rights and global surveillance and reviews critical challenges. 

 

Facebook refuses MoU with Bangladesh police

By farjana - Posted on 23 March 2017

The proposal was placed before representatives of the social media platform on the sidelines of the international police chiefs conference in Dhaka on Monday.

Social networking giant Facebook has refused to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bangladesh Police, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) AKM Shahidul Hoque has revealed.

“Bangladesh wanted to sign an MoU with Facebook, however they refused as such deals are against their policy,” the IGP said. “However, they assured us that they would cooperate with Bangladesh police whenever required.”

The IGP added that, while no MoU would be signed, representatives of the social media site said they would discuss the proposed measures placed before them by the Bangladesh Police.

Earlier on Monday, Bangladesh Police asked Facebook authorities to demand additional identification, including NID numbers, from Bangladesh nationals who want to sign up to the social network.

The proposition was raised during a bilateral meeting between Bangladesh Police and Facebook representatives on the sidelines of the ongoing conference of police chiefs of South Asia, as many militants are found to have been radicalised through social media.

Article on Technical Cooperation in Bangladesh

By farjana - Posted on 17 November 2016

"Vision 21 Plan, also known as the Perspective Plan (2010 - 2021), provides a road map for economic growth whereby Bangladesh will become a middle-income country by the year 2021. It was developed with the assumption that foreign aid will continue to play an important role in the country’s development. 

Although foreign aid contributions have been decreasing, they still figure prominently the country’s Annual Development Plan (ADP) with more than 30% of the ADP being supported by aid in 2015. However, several studies have identified concerns regarding the management and coordination of foreign aid as well as its alignment with national development plans and strategies. In the case of aid delivered through Technical Assistance (TA), country ownership, alignment and effectiveness are largely absent. Lack of enforcement of these aid principles has frequently been noted in TA projects and activities". 

 

Full report:file:///F:/Back%20Up%20C%20drive/Downloads/RoA%20Full%20Report%202016%20ecopy.pdf

Pre-budget discussion held on 7 May 2016

By farjana - Posted on 10 May 2016

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A pre-budget discussion held on 7 May 2016 at National Press Club, Dhaka. The discussion was jointly organised by SUPRO and other 7 civil society organisations including VOICE. The occasion widely covered by national media. Some news links have pasted below:

 

file:///F:/Back%20Up%20C%20drive/Downloads/PDF%20of%20News%20paper%20of%20SUPRO's%20National%20Pre%20budget%20discussion%20meeting%202016-17.PDF

 

http://www.arthosuchak.com/archives/263766/%E0%A6%B8%E0%A7%81%E0%A6%B7%E0%A6%AE-%E0%A6%89%E0%A6%A8%E0%A7%8D%E0%A6%A8%E0%A7%9F%E0%A6%A8%E0%A7%87-%E0%A6...

 

http://www.banglanews24.com/economics-business/news/486987/%E0%A6%B6%E0%A6%BF%E0%A6%95%E0%A7%8D%E0%A6%B7%E0%A6%BE%E0%A7%9F-%E0%A6%AC%E0%A6%BE%E0%A6%9C...

 

http://banglamail24.com/news/150075

Legal notice seeks halt to biometric SIM registration

By farjana - Posted on 12 March 2016

A Supreme Court lawyer on Wednesday, March 2, 2016, serves a legal notice seeking halt on biometric registration for subscriber identity module (SIM) cards of mobile operators claiming it violates privacy and has a potential malafide purpose. Star file photo

A Supreme Court lawyer today served a legal notice seeking a halt to biometric registration for subscriber identity module (SIM) cards of mobile operators claiming it violates privacy and has a potential malafide intention.

Lawyer Md Humayan Kabir Pallab also added concerns that the biometric data, supplied to some private companies, might be used for criminal activities.

The lawyer served the notice on behalf of Khairul Hasan Sarker, a citizen from Segun Bagicha in Dhaka. The collection of biometric data is absolutely illegal, arbitrary, malafide and without any substance of state security, he said in the legal notice.

Post and telecommunication secretary, law secretary, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), inspector-general of police (IGP), Dhaka metropolitan police commissioner, Grameenphone, Robi Axiata Ltd, Airtel Bangladesh Ltd, Banglalink Ltd, Teletalk Bangladesh Ltd, and Pacific Bangladesh Ltd (Citycell) have been made respondents to the legal notice.

Call to form participatory, inclusive nat'l implementation plan for SDGs

By farjana - Posted on 15 October 2015

Speakers at a city programme on Wednesday emphasized the importance of implementation of the `Transforming our World - The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)' that has been adopted by the September 25-27 UN General Assembly in New York.
A Meet-the-Press event was held in this regard at the Jatiya Press Club jointly organised by development research organisation VOICE and NOW SDGs and Beyond 2015, a global civil society platform advocating for sustainable development goals.
VOICE Executive Director Ahmed Swapan Mahmud in his keynote paper termed political will as indispensable to start implementation of the 2030 Agenda at national, sub-national and local levels including introduction of clear plans and timelines for participatory implementation at national and local levels. He, however, stressed the need to formulate a national sustainable development strategy for implementation of SDGs through a participatory process. "Governments must prioritize sustainable development investment, especially in pro-poor infrastructure and utilities, which starts with the needs of the poorest and the most marginalized people, ensuring that programme success indicators are linked directly to positive and measurable impacts," he said.

Speakers Demanded to Form a Participatory and Inclusive National Implementation Plan for SDGs

By farjana - Posted on 14 October 2015

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[Dhaka, 14 October 2015] Speakers emphasized the importance of implementation of the `Transforming our World - The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDG)’ that has been adopted by the United Nations Member States in 25-27 September 2015 in New York through UN’s 70th General Assembly. A Meet-the-Press event was held at the National Press Club today jointly organised by VOICE, a development research organisation, NOW SDGs and Beyond 2015, a global civil-society platform advocating for sustainable development goals. Reading out the key note paper, Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, executive director of VOICE told that political will is indispensable to start implementation of the 2030 Agenda at national, sub-national and local levels, including introducing clear plans and timelines for participatory implementation at national and local levels.

Meet the Press

By farjana - Posted on 12 October 2015

A Meet the Press is to be held at the conference room of National Press Club, Dhaka at 11 a.m. on 14 October 2015. The event will be organized by VOICE and Beyond 2015. 

The meeting will discuss on how we, the stakeholders including civil society, media, business sector can play a collective role in review and monitoring SDGs. It will demand Government to formulate national strategy of implementation SDGs and form a national committee comprising the representatives from the different stakeholders in a transparent and accountable way. 

Global campaigners for new world order based on redistributive justice

By farjana - Posted on 12 September 2015

UN summit on new universal agenda begins Sep 25

Global campaigners are spearheading a move to persuade policymakers to adopt an agenda at the UN summit for a new world order based on equality and redistributive justice for all.

As part of the global campaign, development activists at a meet in Dhaka Friday called for framing such new agenda on sustainable development goals (SDGs) to be taken up at the United Nations Summit 2015.

The meet-the-press event was organised jointly by VOICE, a development research organisation, and Beyond 2015, a global civil-society platform advocating for sustainable development goals.

The UN summit is going to be held at the UN headquarters in New York on 25-27 September on the theme 'Transforming Our World-The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)'. The global meet will adopt Sustainable Development Goals as the next development paradigm.

As the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) end in September 2015, the United Nations undertakes new development framework that will be adopted at the summit session of world leaders during the 70th UN General Assembly.

A high-level Bangladesh delegation led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina leaves on 22nd September for the UN summit.

Speakers Demanded to Form a Participatory and Inclusive National Implementation Committee on SDGs

By farjana - Posted on 11 September 2015

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Speakers emphasized the importance of implementation of the `Transforming our World - The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDG)’ ahead of United Nations Summit in New York from 25-27 September 2015 for the adoption of Sustainable Development Goals. 

As the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) ended in September 2015, the United Nations undertakes new development framework that will be adopted in 25-27 September 2015 through its 70th General Assembly. Speakers highlighted that a majority of people are living in the extreme poverty condition though Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is being reached to end while many of the goals would not be fully met by 2015. Speakers indicated the growing inequality between rich and poor and among countries emerged as a huge challenge that must be properly addressed in the new framework that will be adopted at the United Nations Summit in September. Speakers urged a sustainable agenda for the world based on equality and redistributive justice for all enshrined by human rights.