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.


Transparency and accountability in water sector stressed in the dialogue

By farjana - Posted on 18 September 2008

[Voice, Mymensingh, 18 September 2008]

A dialogue on water sector transparency and accountability has been held in Mymensingh Pourashava auditorium organized by Voice, a Dhaka based research and advocacy organization. Mayor of Mymensingh pourashava, Advocate Mahmud Al-Noor Tarek presided over the occasion while Additional District Commissioner of Mymensingh Mohammad Mohsin attended as a special guest. Representatives from local government and engineering department, NGOs, CSOs, professional bodies, business communities, journalists, members and councilors of municipality attended the function. The dialogue was moderated by Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, executive director of Voice.

Upcoming Event: 'Environment and Climate Change : Role of Asian Development Bank in Bangladesh’

By farjana - Posted on 16 September 2008

VOICE is organizing a day long workshop on 'Environment and Climate Change : Role of Asian Development Bank in Bangladesh’

Day: Tuesday 23 September 2008
Time: 9:00am-6:00pm
Location: Dhaka

The objective of the workshop is to examine the neo-liberal perspective--the policies and projects of international financial organizations (IFIs), and in particular to analyze the role of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Speaker: Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, Executive Director,VOICE, Avlash Raul, NGO Forum on ADB, Dr. Piash Karim, Brac University

The workshop will involve NGOs/CSOs from both national and local levels who are engaged in the relevant field.

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

No strings with foreign aid demanded

By voice - Posted on 29 August 2008

http://www.newagebd.com/2008/aug/28/nat.html/ 28 August 2008

Social and development activists on Monday called for bringing an end to conditions in taking foreign aid and ensure a transparent, accountable and coordinated process based on the UN charter.
Representatives of a number of organisations, under the banner of Aid Accountability Group, expressed their concern over the issue at a news conference at the Dhaka Reporters Unity, organised ahead of the ministerial meeting on 'effectiveness of foreign aid' to be held in Ghanaian capital Accra in September 2-4.

The speakers warned that the US and the World Bank at the Accra meeting would try to establish the dominance of the lenders in setting terms and conditions for providing foreign assistance to developing countries.

Alongside the ministerial meeting, citizens' organisation from all over the world will also meet in Accra from August 31 to September 1 to discuss how foreign assistance can be made more effective in the development process of a country.
The coordinator of the Aid Accountability Group, Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, also the executive director of Voices for Interactive Choice and Empowerment, stressed ensuring 'democratic ownership' of foreign aid.

Transparency while receiving foreign aid stressed

By voice - Posted on 29 August 2008

http://nation.ittefaq.com/issues/2008/08/28/news0990.htm

28 August 2008

Speakers at a press conference called for maintaining transparency and accountability while receiving foreign aid in the greater interest of the country.

Speakers at a press conference yesterday said the government should receive such foreign aid, can protect the right of the country.They were speaking at a press conference on 'Effective Foreign Aid' jointly organised by Voice and Aid Accountability Group, two local NGOS at the Dhaka Reporters Unity auditorium yesterday.Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, Executive Director of Voice, read out a statement at the press conference.

 

VOICE organized a press conference 'End Policy Conditionalities, Ensure Democratic Ownership'

By farjana - Posted on 28 August 2008

No strings with foreign aid demanded

Social and development activists on Monday called for bringing an end to conditions in taking foreign aid and ensure a transparent, accountable and coordinated process based on the UN charter.

Representatives of a number of organisations, under the banner of Aid Accountability Group, expressed their concern over the issue at a news conference at the Dhaka Reporters Unity, organised ahead of the ministerial meeting on ‘effectiveness of foreign aid’ to be held in Ghanaian capital Accra in September 2-4.

The speakers warned that the US and the World Bank at the Accra meeting would try to establish the dominance of the lenders in setting terms and conditions for providing foreign assistance to developing countries.

Alongside the ministerial meeting, citizens’ organisation from all over the world will also meet in Accra from August 31 to September 1 to discuss how foreign assistance can be made more effective in the development process of a country.
The coordinator of the Aid Accountability Group, Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, also the executive director of Voices for Interactive Choice and Empowerment, stressed ensuring ‘democratic ownership’ of foreign aid.

Multi-stakeholder national consultation on CSOs and aid effectiveness: OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT

By farjana - Posted on 13 July 2008

1. BACKGROUND

Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) play important roles in development. They are also important and distinctive contributors to aid effectiveness as a function of their independence, their advocacy and watchdog roles, their close connections to the poor or their effectiveness as channels for aid delivery.

As development actors, CSOs share an interest in the concept of aid effectiveness as an important one for keeping development efforts on-track, for drawing attention to outcome and impact level results, and for drawing lessons of good practice from accumulated experience. The shared pursuit of aid effectiveness provides a legitimate entry point for dialogue among all development cooperation actors, including CSOs. Recent discussions involving civil society and the Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (DAC) in Paris indicate that there is considerable interest in engaging in this sort of dialogue.

The March 2005 Paris DAC represents a landmark achievement for the international community, which brings together a number of key principles and commitments in a coherent way. It includes a framework for mutual accountability, and identifies a number of indicators for tracking progress on the part of donors and partner countries.

Strong local govt seen vital for tiding over aid dependency

By voice - Posted on 10 July 2008

Staff Reporter, 10 July 2008

http://www.theindependent-bd.com/details.php?nid=89209
Participatory democracy, capacity building of politicians as well as public administrations, strong local government and long-term commitment can make Bangladesh an aid non-dependent country.

Donors will come to the country as visitors to see how we developed if, we pay taxes regularly, our government keep us informed about the state policies, our foreign remittances are utilised for the benefit of the poor and our local government develop into a strong force to mobilise local resources, said Dr Kazi Kholikuzzaman Ahmed, president, Bangladesh Economist Association.

It this regard partnerships among civil society organisations, government and non-government organisations are imperative, he also said.

 

VOICE national consultation on 'Road to Accra: Paris Declaration and Aid Effectiveness'

By farjana - Posted on 10 July 2008

Multi-stakeholders discussion held: Effective use of foreign aid helps reduce poverty

Staff Reporter, 10 July 2008 - http://nation.ittefaq.com/issues/2008/07/10/news0105.htm
Speakers at a discussion yesterday urged donors and recipient countries to reform and properly manage foreign aid in order to improve its effectiveness.They however, said that widening of tax net and proper investment of foreign remittances could significantly help reduce the country's aid dependency.

If the necessary reforms were carried out in the utilization of foreign aid then it would reduce poverty, inequality, accelerate economic growth, build capacity and enhance the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG's), they added.

 

Lenders’ reps admit failure to judge quality of projects

By voice - Posted on 10 July 2008

Staff Correspondent, 10 July 2008

http://www.newagebd.com/2008/jul/10/met.html
Overseas funding agencies and countries providing aid have not always shown due discretion in judging the quality of projects and spending mechanisms of recipients including Bangladesh, admitted two donor representatives on Wednesday.
At a multi-stakeholder consultation on ‘Aid Effectiveness’ in Dhaka, they said the voice of Bangladeshis had not been reflected in development planning and formulating policy documents such as the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, especially in the absence of a functional parliament.

 

ADB's Long Term Strategic Framework Criticized for its Anti-poor Stand and Corporate Bias

By farjana - Posted on 21 June 2008

[VOICE, Dhaka, 19 June 2008]

Speakers in a meeting strongly criticized the Long Term Strategic Framework (LTSF) for 2008-2020 of Asian Development Bank for its anti-poor stand showing blanket biasness toward private sector led development. The meeting was organized by a research organization ‘Voice’ in the Supro conference room on 19 June 2008. Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, executive director of Voice moderated the meeting while it was attended by civil society organizations, trade unionists, farmers’ organizations, NGOs, students, activist groups and civil society actors.

Farjana Akter, programme coordinator of Voice presented the key note speech terming the long term strategy as anti-poor. She said that the ADB is far behind its commitment to reduce poverty, rather its involvement with corporate sector makes the poverty situation worsen in the region.