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.


From Bangkok (UN climate talks): Asian Peoples’ Solidarity for Climate Justice

By farjana - Posted on 02 October 2009

The Asian Peoples' Solidarity for Climate Justice was formed to prepare the civil society program in parallel with the United Nations climatetalks, 28 September to 9 October 2009, Bangkok.

On the 29th of September, there was a press conference organized by The Asian peoples's solidarity for climate justice where Farjana Akter from VOICE read out the statement which is below:

We, the Asian Peoples’ Solidarity for Climate Justice,  are gathered here in Bangkok, Thailand to take our stand in the face of an unprecedented conflict.
It is a conflict over resources, a conflict driven by unfettered profiteering and the slavery of consumption, it is a conflict brought about the domination and ascendancy of private interest over public good.

Among the direst consequences of this conflict is global warming and the planetary impacts that are just beginning to unfold as we speak, such as rising seas, mass forced migration due to massive drought and the increase in frequency and severity of extreme weather events. The impacts also include rapid economic meltdown and the destruction of jobs and livelihoods, because the environmental ills the world is facing today are inextricably wedded to the global economic and financial system.

VOICE at Media Festival held in Tokyo, Japan

By farjana - Posted on 28 September 2009

Global media activists criticized control over media and proposed alternatives

 A three day Medifes was held in Tokyo Women’s Plaza, Japan from 20-22 September 2009 organized by OurPlanet-TV, a network of media activists based in Tokyo. The conference was attended by a large number of stakeholders from Japan and international civil society organizations.

Tokyo Medifes 2009 is an annual event of alternative media, community media and citizen media held in Japan. Participants of the conference shared and discussed the experience on media and proposed alternatives while media in a global corporate control.

Hajime Shiraishi, the Representative of OurPlanet-TV told the conference to uphold the alternative media and citizen broadcasting realizing the diversity and publicity of wide range of stakeholders to really make media benefit for the people.
 

Documentary: Troubled Waters: Water Sector Transparency and Accountability viewable NOW

By voice - Posted on 13 September 2009

NEW! Troubled Waters: Water Sector Transparency and Accountability.

Initiated by VOICE in July 2008, this documentary focuses on the
inherent corruption in the water management systems and the problems of
the water services in the Mymensingh municipality. Not only does it
bring to light the inadequacies of the water system and their effects
on the people, but also the role of the administrative system.

The film also highlights how people struggle to have their needs met
and recognized by policy makers and water service providers, further
encouraging the development of more accountable and transparent
practices. It relates the consumers opinions and suggestions on the
feasibility of overcoming the water sector corruption problems. It also
shows the necessity of public awareness of water sector issues so that
people know their basic rights, as well as promotes the building of an
accountable relationship between water service providers and the
citizens.

See the complete water sector documentary on Youtube here.

Read more details about our videos on our Audio/Video page.

VOICE is now on Youtube and Facebook!

By voice - Posted on 13 September 2009

Voice now has its very own Youtube page where the videos and documentaries described here are viewable by the general public. We invite you to take a look, and leave comments, suggestions, or questions.

Visit the VOICEBD YOUTUBE Page -->

See our new documentary, Troubled Waters: Water Sector Transparency and Accountability (In collaboration with the Water Integrity Network).

See our Reflect Circle Video on Youtube: (part 1) ; (part 2)

See our Perspectives on Aid Video on Youtube:

Read more details about our videos on our Audio/Video page.

VOICE Published a New Report onTransparency And Accountability In Water Supply & Management

By farjana - Posted on 08 August 2009

Despite significant development in Bangladesh's water sector during last decade it has not been possible to  achieve universal access to safe water. Water supply services in many of the cities, towns and smaller municipalities in Bangladesh tend to be detrimentally effected by dysfunctional utility and water departments. Inadequate tariff structures, corruption, poor cost recovery, unaccountability, intermittent services, and deteriorating water quality all represent major barriers to providing citizens with clean drinking water. This evidence suggests that this resource crisis is not simply based in water scarcity, but rather in a lack of good governance. That is to say that today millions suffer for lack of leadership and transparency, not for lack of water resources.

Climate and peoples’ livelihood

By farjana - Posted on 06 August 2009

Despite strong pressure from communities and NGOs, the ADB continues to support destructive carbon-intensive development projects such as coal-fired power stations, large dams and private sector-biased highways, thereby accelerating the adverse impacts of increasing global temperatures. Farjana Akter of VOICE, an active Forum member, talks about the consequences of such reckless programs and direct impact of climate change in Bangladesh.

Most of the rural people of Bangladesh think that the changing climate, as well as the frequent natural disasters, happened by God's hand. These are natural disasters. They also think that because of our sins God gives us these troubles. These simple and vulnerable people are quite far removed from global politics and injustice order. They do not know that they are victims of climate change.

North must pay ecological debts to south

By farjana - Posted on 29 July 2009

The southern countries are suffering from the global climate change impacts and the northern countries should compensate them for the ecological degradation speakers said in a panel discussion  on 'Climate justice towards CoP 15 Copenhagen, ecological debts: We are the creditors' jointly arranged by EquityBD, Jubilee South-Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development, Philippines, Media Foundation for Trade and Development, SUPRO, VOICE and Unnayan Onneshan at the National Press Club on 27th of July 2009, Dhaka.

Lidy Nacpil, convenor of Jubilee South-APMDD, a regional network in the Philippines, referred the example of the Bolivian government which formally placed the demand of ecological debt to UNFCC in its Bonn conference in June.She said the north has exploited the rights of all human beings who have equal shares to the global commons which include ozone layer, air and on natural resources. These global commons should be utilised in equitable and sustainable way. The north has exploited those and also created negative consequences like present climate crisis.

MYMENSINGH MUNICIPALITY Majority people out of water supply coverage

By farjana - Posted on 18 July 2009

http://www.newagebd.com/2009/jul/16/home.html

Most of the dwellers in the Mymensingh municipality are out of water supply coverage and those who are under the supply network never get water round the clock, a study showed.

Only 22 per cent of the dwellers have access to the municipality water supply while the rest 78 per cent collect water from other sources, revealed the study of VOICE, a research group.
 The study showed that a large number of dwellers are pilfering water through illegal connections as corruption and mismanagement in water supply go rampant in the municipality.

‘The municipality supplies water only for four hours a day, leaving the dwellers in serious problems,’ Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, executive director of VOICE, said revealing the findings of study. He said the study was carried out recently to assess the current state of people’s access to safe drinking water in Mymensingh municipality.

Around 25 per cent respondents said, they fell victims to fake bills while 90 per cent of them complained about irregular supply of water. Most of them also had complaints about safety of the supplied water.

Sharing Meeting on Findings of the Research on Water Sector Transparency and Accountability

By farjana - Posted on 15 July 2009

[VOICE, Dhaka, 14 July 2009] Speakers at a sharing meeting held today in Dhaka stressed the need for water access rights to be guaranteed by supply management systems across all municipalities in Bangladesh. The group concurred that this could only be achieved through greater transparency and accountability.

Organized by VOICE, a research and activist group, the roundtable was held in the city’s SUPRO’s meeting room. Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, executive director of VOICE presented the meeting with the findings of research conducted by VOICE on water sector transparency and accountability in the Mymensingh municipality.

“The municipality only supplies four hours of water per day, which causes serious problems for consumers.” Said Ahmed Swapan. “Twenty-five percent of our research participants said that they have been victims of fake billing, while ninety percent complained that they did not receive a regular water supply.”

The research reveals that consumers suffer due to consistent impurities with the water supply, as seventy-six percent of users are dissatisfied about the cleanliness of their municipal water. The findings also show that only twenty-two percent of residents are covered by the municipality's water supply, while other seventy-eight percent are forced to collect water from different sources.

Sharing Meeting on Findings of the Research on Water Sector Transparency and Accountability

By farjana - Posted on 14 July 2009

Sharing Meeting on Findings of the Research on Water Sector Transparency and Accountability

Venue: Meeting room, COAST Trust, Shyamoli, Dhaka-1207

Time: 3:00pm

Date: 15th July 2009

VOICE will present the findings of a research on water sector transparency and accountability, a case of Mymensingh municipality. It will also screen a documentary titled Troubled Waters.