Fakirhat: SDG Union Strategy
The Hunger Project-Bangladesh (THP) works in 185 Unions, Bangladesh’s smallest unit of rural government, to empower and mobilize both the local electorate and the elected Union Council through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Union Strategy. The SDG Union Strategy is a demand-driven social development process in which communities move through phases of development at their own pace, self-directing and engaging in community priorities of their own choosing. The work proceeds through four phases: (i) Mobilization, (ii) Capacity Building, (iii) Taking action, and (iv) Assessing results. An SDG Union is a cluster of nine Bangladeshi villages that through partnership with THP has committed to achieving the SDGs at the local level. The SDGs will be achieved through increased engagement of active and informed citizens, enhanced democratic processes, and improved access to resources.The SDG Union Strategy looks to build volunteer-driven civil society from the bottom up, creating a shared vision for the union towards sustainable self-reliance and progress for all, driven by community mass-action. The Fakirhat Upazila is located in the Bagerhat district, inside the Khulna division of southwestern Bangladesh. THP is active in six unions in Fakirhat: Betaga, Subhadia, Fakirhat, Bahirdia Mansa, Lakhpur, and Pijanga, and in 54 communities.
The Hunger Project aims to strengthen Unions for transparent, accountable and inclusive governance at the local level in order to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs. Activities foster a partnership between the people, their elected local government representatives and, wherever possible, the government functionaries at the grassroots in order to help achieve the SDGs. The centerpiece of The Hunger Project's strategy is the local level training and ongoing support of nearly 270,000 volunteer Animators, 60 percent of whom are women, who organize mass action campaigns in their areas. As mentioned above, the animators focus their actions in clusters of villages known as unions and work closely with the elected local government bodies, holding trainings focused on gender issues and leadership to local women leaders. These leaders then proceed to organize local meetings, lead workshops and initiate campaigns against early marriage and dowry, malnutrition, maternal and child mortality, gender discrimination, and inequality, illiteracy and corruption.
The Hunger Project has been active in Bangladesh since 1990 and is currently active in 29 districts, reaching 4.5 million people. The Hunger Project’s strategies in Bangladesh occur on two scales: one focuses on the local landscape at the union level (as described above), the other on the national, with significant strategic overlap. At the national level, The Hunger Project addresses two pernicious cultural conditions that form major barriers to ending hunger in Bangladesh: youth development, gender discrimination and corruption. This is done through Youth Ending Hunger (YEH), the National Girl Child Advocacy Forum (NGCAF) and Shujan (Citizens for Good Governance). Thousands of students participate in the YEH program, which mobilizes students across the country to conduct national campaigns based on such issues as nutrition, education, family planning, tree planting and environmental education. The Hunger Project catalyzed the creation of the national alliance NGCAF, committed to ending all forms of discrimination against girls. Each year on September 30, this alliance organizes National Girl Child Day events across the country. A formal alliance of 300 organizations, the NGCAF also works to address domestic violence and the spread of HIV/AIDS. Shujan is a country-wide platform of committed, active and socially conscious citizens, mobilized by The Hunger Project, to strengthen grassroots democracy, ensure transparency and accountability of local government, and carry out advocacy initiatives at the national level. Shujan is also working for political and election reform.
Gender, agriculture, health, nutrition, human rights, democracy, governance, education, economic recovery and development
- Economic Recovery and Development
- Human Rights Democracy and Governance