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VOICE meeting in Rajshahi: Peoples’ Right to Information and IFI accountability

By voice - Posted on 10 April 2008

A meeting was organized by VOICE and Borendra Unnayan Procesta (BUP), a local NGO on `Peoples Right to Information: IFI’s accountability’ on 17 March 2008 at the Rajshahi Gender Development Resource Centre (GDRC). The meeting was attended by NGO activists, journalists and different professional groups. Fayezullah Chowdhury, Executive Director of BUP, acted as a moderator and Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, executive Director of VOICE, presented as a key speaker at the meeting.

Ahmed Swapan Mahmud asserted that people have a rightst to access information and our present government has agreed about this issue in order to disseminate information. Financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB) and World Trade Organization (WTO) are not accountable to disseminate all information to the people. People have not even have the right to file a case against them. People in Rajshahi are not informed about the strategies of the projects implemented in their locality. People have no participation in the design of projects, which are made by consultants.


Several recommendations were made at the meeting which are as follows:

• Investigation report must come out within a certain time.
• Policy makers should be responsible for any kind of implementation policy.
• Anyone should have the right to access the information of certain organizations.
• The WTO and IMF must disseminate all their information to all.
• Before implementing any project in a locality, the people must take part in the strategic planning.
• The project goals and objectives should be clear to all and any kind of corporate activities i.e. business in the name of development should be removed.
• Projects which seem to counter the development of the poor and / or environment etc. must be stopped.