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.

Climate Insurance for a dead man: UN Climate Change Conference

By farjana - Posted on 10 December 2008

(Originally published on the UN Climate Change Conference Blog. Read the original post here)

The adverse impacts of climate change are already threatening communities around the world. Over the last century the level of carbon dioxide has increased by 25 per cent. Developed countries are mainly liable for the climate crisis. And this problem is devastating environment and biodiversity, damaging people’s life and livelihoods around the globe. Climate change victims are increasing in number every day. It is alarming that there is no obligation for states to recognize the international and external displacement of people due to climate change and other environmental issues.

A study shows that 95 per cent of deaths from natural disasters in the last 25 years occurred in developing countries. And $100 billion has been lost every year due to these natural disasters. The communities of the developing countries are trying to cope with disasters. And the governments of developing countries are generating money for adaptation and mitigation programmes within their countries.


Dispatch from the cold city of Poznan: Cold weather and hot discussion on climate change

By farjana - Posted on 10 December 2008

“Stop harming, start helping.” December 9, the day has began with 0 degree temperature in Poznan. Who cares? People struggle for climate justice now! Oxfam International held a demonstration in front of the main entrance of the event's venue. It was excellent! They brought with them an ice statue, saying, "START HELPING."

During the first half of the day, two important contact group meetings were held. One is on delivering on technology and financing, including consideration of institutional arrangements. The second one is on enhanced action on mitigation and its associated means of implementation. Here are some of the things that were raised in the meetings:

In the discussion on technology transfer, Pakistan focused on the necessary flexible mechanism for technology transfer. Mexico demanded for creating cooperation on technology development and building capacity at the national and local levels.

Japan, on the other hand, urged to review the effectiveness of faster technology. The Turks demanded engaging with public-private sector on all technological development process and technological cooperation.

Let's Take a Stand: COP 14 blog post

By farjana - Posted on 08 December 2008

In the last two days, i.e. 7 and 8 December, the official negotiation was closed but there are still so many side events that have continuously been happening here in Poznan. Indigenous peoples community, business and industry sector, trade union, women, youth, environmental group and other network and civil society organizations organized many events to raise everyone's awareness on climate change and unite everybody’s voice to make a fair commitment in a common ground.

CSOs from northern countries stand side by side with groups from southern countries -- developing countries -- to make their voice meaningful and to make an immediate action from the climate change agenda. Delegates from a youth network from Europe, America and Southeast Asia, and from the rest of the globe, ask climate justice from the UNFCCC.

Legal framework to protect data about citizens stressed

By farjana - Posted on 05 December 2008

Speakers at a discussion on Monday said the government should immediately start working on developing a legal framework to protect the secrecy of the data about citizens, which were submitted to either the government or the commercial organizations.
The discussion styled ‘privacy and the protection of the citizens, consumers and economy’ was organised by a local non-governmental organization, VOICE at the National Press Club auditorium in the capital.
Ahmed Shawpan Mahmud, the executive director of VOICE, said that personal and family information of the Bangladeshi citizens were stored with the Election Commission and different telecom operators.
‘The data carry potentials for being commercially traded. So the sales or transfers of such data should be legally prevented,’ he suggested.
It is the responsibility of the government to assure the citizens that the secrecy of their information will be guarded by the government and the companies, before calling them to submit information about them, he pointed out.
VOICE has partners like the London School of Economics and Political Science and the UK-based Privacy International in this campaign.

VOICE roundtable: 'Water sector transparency and accountability in Mymensingh Municipality'

By farjana - Posted on 19 November 2008

Wednesday 19 November 2008

VOICE will organize a meeting to share research findings on `Water sector transparency and accountability in Mymensingh Municipality'.

Date: Wednesday 19 November 2008
Time: 3:00pm-6:00pm
Location: Muslim Institute Auditorium, Mymensingh


The objective of the dialogue is to identify the key features of water delivery system as well as draw attention to water sector transparency and accountability in the Mymensingh area.

The Mayor of the Mymensingh municipality will preside over the meeting.

This will involve municipality officials, local elected bodies, consumers, civil society including activists, researchers, academics, journalists, women groups, farmers' associations, local and national NGOs and members of professional bodies.

Please contact us for more information! (email: exchange.voice@gmail.com, Mobile: 01712-990078)

Questioning aid: Bangladesh perspective

By farjana - Posted on 27 October 2008

Aid, in the neo-liberal framework cannot be effective, and it can rarely put positive impact on the ground for which it is supposed to work for the development of the poor people in particular. It is also important that developing countries devise their own means to maximise utilisation of aid effectively denouncing the imposed conditions and at the same time hold lenders and recipient overnments accountable to the people. And for effective aid, there must be the real commitments to realise ownership, harmonisation, alignment and mutual accountability that have been emphasised in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, writes Ahmed Swapan Mahmud

IFIs are major barrier to development effectiveness

By farjana - Posted on 19 October 2008

Speakers at a discussion yesterday said that international capitalist mode of productions, speculative capital, unjust and ndemocratic role of International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and multinational corporations are the major causes of recent financial crisis. The discussion titled `IFIs are the Major Barriers to Development Effectiveness: Linking Financial Crisis to Food, Debt and Climate Change' has been held at the Cirdap auditorium, Dhaka on 16 October. The discussion was moderated by Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, executive director of VOICE while eminent economist and also a teacher of Dhaka University Prof. Abu Ahmed, eminent leader of Workers Party of Bangladesh Haider Akber Khan Rono, economist, leading economist Dr. Piash Karim, renowned leader general secretary of Biplabi Workers Party Saiful Haq spoke as panel discussants.

Use local resources to boost economy

By voice - Posted on 17 October 2008

Speakers urge govt

Staff Correspondent/ http://thedailystar.net/story.php?nid=59113


Speakers at a discussion yesterday called on the government to increase dependency on local resources instead of foreign loan to accelerate socio-economic development in the country.

They said this at the discussion on 'International financial institutions are the major barrier to development effectiveness' organised by VOICE, a local NGO, at Cirdap auditorium in the city.

Economists, politicians, development workers, civil society organisations, NGOs and human rights groups participated in the discussion.


Home-grown policies can ward off global shocks: speakers

By voice - Posted on 17 October 2008

Staff Correspondent/ http://www.newagebd.com/2008/oct/17/busi.html


 Economists, politicians and rights campaigners have stressed that Bangladesh needs to have its own independent policies to protect its economy from the dangers of global turmoil caused by thoughtless expansion of capitalism.

They blamed international capitalist mode of productions, speculative investment, unjust and undemocratic role of international financial institutions and multinationals for the latest global financial crisis, worst since the Great Depression of 1930.

Bangladesh Social Forum

By farjana - Posted on 14 October 2008

Bangladesh is passing through multi-faceted challenges in the recent past propagated by its economic depression due to deregulation of the state machinery dictated from International Financial Institutions. Commoner's life and livelihood is highly suppressed from inflation, unemployment and unprecedented risks. Triple attack of food, fuel and financial crisis on the global economy is also affecting peoples' daily life as the country is a net food importing LDC and its remittance mostly comes from by exporting garments and frozen foods along with low skilled manpower.  Bangladesh needs increased investment in food, griculture, employment generation along with spending in basic services. But the govt. can not invest more as they have
to pay back more than USD 1500 million for debt servicing per annum to World Bank, IMF, Asian Development Bank and to other bi-lateral donors, which is more than 15% of it's national budget. Besides new loan programs in the name of Multi Donor Trust Fund proposed to be managed by World Bank will trap its citizens to new debt burden. Massive awareness needs to be created to
challenge this undemocratic venture of the Bank.