Today I read news on research on commitment to national development: education, decent employment, gender equality, conducted by the renowned think tank `Centre for Policy Dialogue – CPD’, published in the renowned and popular Bangla newspaper `the daily Prothom Alo’. The news, facts and awareness of people are totally frustrating. Thousands of NGOs have been working to create awareness of the people for claiming their rights for 50 years after the independence of the country, but the news put eyes on fruitless results, indicating that most of the citizens weren’t able to inform their demands or needs to the election candidates, but some able to speak with the local policy makers on the local problems directly.
Maybe there was something more in the research, but the news missed the major findings or grabbed only the minor news items, or provocative items for increasing popularity. The next parliamentary election will be held at the end of the following year and, obviously, we should talk about a free, fair and participatory election to strengthen democracy as well as establish the principles of our independence in 1971. But if we try to put all our focus only on the next election, it will be horrible and, unfortunately, the newspapers are showing more interest in the horrible approaches that should also be reviewed.
The role of NGOs for creating awareness among people about claiming their rights, which we discussed earlier, should also be reviewed for bringing fruitful results instead of fruitless outcomes. Only fund driven without commitment approaches jeopardizes social action and brings a fruitless result that the news is showing. NGOs should re-examine the approaches. Taking thousands of initiatives by thousands of NGOs for 50 years, why couldn’t people find an appropriate way to claim their rights? We should ask ourselves this question.
A corruption and politics free education sector, creating opportunity for employment and removing loan complications of entrepreneurs, removing wage discrimination between male and female, establishing day care center irrespective of cities and villages – the needs of people which highlighted at the meeting, the minister has disagreed on the findings and said, `social safety cards, drinking water, sanitation, bridges and culverts, decent works are demand of people which doesn’t reflect in the discussion or research’, we should focus on it at last. The disagreement on findings occurs due to the research methodology and its methods to conduct the research and analysis of generated data for reports. Although it has been said that 918 respondents responded at 90 courtyard meetings of 15 districts as research methodology, is it enough to generate appropriate data for assessing commitment to national development: education, decent employment and gender equality? What does the political economy and context analysis say? As a researcher, we should think scientifically about the socio-economic and demographic context of respondents before setting up research methodology to remove the disagreement and differences.
We all are working for a peaceful country in different sectors and have responsibility of everyone to make it fruitful. After 50 years of independence, we should look back once for review our own initiatives and formulate a new one for sustaining the country’s development, prosperity and peace.