U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from a U4 Partner Agency. The U4 Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International in collaboration with the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre based at the Chr. Michelsen Institute.

Query

What examples of social accountability initiatives and civil society contribution have there been to anti-corruption efforts in Bangladesh? The question should look at activities beyond those that TI Bangladesh has been involved in and look at journalism, faith-based organisations, community groups, people's movements, NGOs, youth groups and professional organisations, etc.

Content

  1. Background
  2. Examples of social accountability initiatives and civil society contributions to anti‑corruption efforts
  3. References

Summary

While scoring very poorly on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, Bangladesh has recorded moderate to good progress on other indicators of socio-economic development, leading some to speak of a “Bangladesh paradox” (US Department of State 2016; Mushtaq Khan 2017; Transparency International 2018). Moreover, despite the myriad challenges civil society groups face, ranging from government backlashes to threats from rising radical groups, there remain a number of civil society organisations actively engaged in anti-corruption efforts in Bangladesh.  

Anti-corruption initiatives of the Bangladeshi civil society are undertaken largely by not-for-profit non-governmental organisations, mostly in the form of increasing accountability of government institutions and setting the stage for participatory governance, especially at the local level (for example, BRAC and Shujan). 

While larger bodies, like Transparency International Bangladesh and Centre for Policy Dialogue, offer research and advocacy for the national level, other decentralised organisations, like Manusher Jonno and DW Akademie, focus on the grassroots or a particular sector (radio communication in the case of the latter). Media houses, especially print dailies like Prothom Alo and The Daily Star, serve a watchdog function.

Authors

Kaunain Rahman

Reviewer

Matthew Jenkins, Transparency International, tihelpdesk@transparency.org

Date

20/12/2018

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