Volunteerism is a powerful means of engaging people in addressing development challenges

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Bangladesh

UNV facilitates actions to increase recognition and integration of volunteerism in national policies and discussions as one way to engage people from the bottom up in all stages of planning, implementing and monitoring the post-2015 development framework.

UNV in Bangladesh, together with partner organizations and volunteer groups, supported the first round of post-2015 national consultations in 2013, engaged local stakeholder and reached out to Bangladesh people, including through the rollout of the MY World survey.

Bangladesh report coverIn 2012-2013, UNV Bangladesh supported the UNDG-led post-2015 national consultations. The "Report on the post-2015 development agenda for Bangladesh", launched in Dhaka on 13 May 2013, summarizes their outcomes.

In particular, the report endorses the integration of volunteerism in the post-2015 agenda on page 4 ("Volunteerism and culture-led development are highlighted as tools for achieving greater impact.") and on page 16 ("Volunteerism is a very old tradition ... (A)nd potentially fruitful approach when thinking about national development policy ... Volunteerism fosters ownership and broad-based, inclusive and sustainable development that contributes to the achievement of several goals simultaneously.").

The report also quotes UN Resolution A/RES/57/106 with reference to volunteerism: "By purposefully creating ways of participation, volunteerism can help to enhance the integration into society of marginalized groups such as the poor, people infected or affected by HIV/AIDS, women, people with disabilities and youth as well as older people."

at BRAC 3To support the UNDG national consultations for the post-2015 development agenda in Bangladesh, the United Nations Resident Coordinator’s office (UNRCO) and the UNV programme jointly led the first phase of the MY World survey rollout in Bangladesh, both offline and online.

The United Nations System in Bangladesh specifically decided to involve young people due to the high percentage of youth in the Bangladesh population.

Volunteers played a major role for the success of MY World in Bangladesh

As I joined the UNV Field Unit in Bangladesh, UNRCO and UNV were already thinking about ways to increase participation to the MY World survey. I joined the discussion addressing many questions: Can we translate the survey into Bangla? How do we reach out to the rural and urban poor? And most importantly: whom do we want to target?” said Merel Fuchs, international UN Youth Volunteer for post-2015.

The UNV Field Unit in Bangladesh coordinated the process and acted as a focal point for all participating organisations as well as for volunteers. The translated Bangla version of the survey was distributed and collected by different UN entities and international and local NGOs. The numerous partners disseminated the survey through their networks. In total, more than 9,000 surveys were distributed throughout the country, and over 4,000 votes were gathered.

Volunteers in the field administered the survey and informed young people about the post-2015 process of consultations and the opportunity to participate in the debate and have their voices heard also through the MY World survey.

Online volunteers also played an essential role in making the survey work in Bangladesh: they translated the survey into Bangla and over 40 of them supported UNV Bangladesh in entering the results. People from across the globe came together to support the MY World process in Bangladesh: from all continents, online volunteers applied to enter data.

To me it is really inspiring to see volunteers from Colombia, the USA, DRC, Czech Republic, India, Australia and of course Bangladesh commit their time and energy to turn MY World into a “youth success” in Bangladesh”, said Merel. “Last but not least, of course, is the active interest of UN agencies, NGOs and local volunteers in administering the surveys who are the driving force of MY World in Bangladesh”.

Read the full story: "Merel, Youth Volunteer for post-2015: Bangladesh" in the MY World 2015 blog (posted on 20 August 2013)

UNV Bangladesh keeps invoving youth around development issues through MY World thanks to the support of a new post-2015 UN Youth Volunteer, Noreen. During the MY World Global Week of Action, UNV Bangladesh in collaboration with local volunteers engaged with students at the University of Dhaka, contributing over 3000 votes to the MY World survey.

  • Together with UNV Bangladesh, the post-2015 UN Youth Volunteer in 2013 organized youth consultations in Jessore, Chittagong and Dhaka on 'The world we want', based on discussion of the 16 MY World priorities and on country experience on the MDGs. All activities were conducted in partnership with local volunteer-involving organizations, to build local capacity and to ensure liaison between action at national and global level. 

BGD Post-2015 Youth-English w85The world we want - Bangladeshi youth voices on a post-2015 world presents the views of young people from Bangladesh on their 10 priority development issues, along with suggested way forward and requests to decision-makers. Equality emerged by far as the top priority, in close relation to respect for diversity. Participants emphasized the need for non-discrimination, whether by gender, sexual orientation, colour, caste, class, religion or abilities. It is interesting to note that the priorities set by the 84 Bangladeshi participants to these consultations match those expressed by other young people across the globe through MY World.
Read/download the report (.pdf) | Read the report online

Beyond 2015: How the youth see it is a synthesis of the report that was featured in the Dhaka Tribune on 29.1.2014

  • Publication coverVolunteering for the MDGs in Bangladesh features volunteers stories about actions to achieve the MDGs in the country and touches upon post-2015 approaches. For Goal 8, dealing with a global partnership for development, a UN Youth volunteer shares her experience on promoting social inclusion in a post-2015 perspective. The post-2015 agenda and the sustainable development goals are introduced at the end of the book as a bridge to the forthcoming development framework.

 

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