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Project Description

The PRODIP program is a five-year program funded jointly by USAID and the UK Department for International Development. Implemented in partnership with The Asia Foundation, for the first four years SUNY/CID had primary responsibility for the parliamentary component. In this effort, SUNY/CID provided ground-breaking assistance to the Parliament of Bangladesh to improve its capacity for representation, lawmaking, and oversight while supporting efforts to increase democratic dialogue between Parliament and the citizens of Bangladesh. This approach addressed both supply side issues of internal capacity building and demand side needs for greater transparency and responsiveness.

Despite working in an increasingly volatile pre-election political environment, PRODIP’s legislative team made significant strides on many fronts:

  • Three cross-party caucuses established in the past two years addressed issues critical to Bangladeshi development including the prevention of Violence Against Women, Population Management, and Food Security.
  • The project supported the three major parties in the development of Single Party Caucuses to define and disseminate policy positions for their respective Party Platforms.
  • Thirteen Standing Committees are worked directly with PRODIP to improve their internal planning and documentation procedures and, at the same time, increase their outreach and oversight capacity through vehicles such as public hearings, expert testimony, and greater access to research. These efforts have led to a demand for changes in the Rules of Procedure to permit more open policy deliberation.
  • A parliamentary internship program was established and widely accepted by MPs and the Parliamentary staff. The Secretariat is currently actively engaged in the recruitment, training and oversight of the university students.
  • Development of a text (in Bangla) and curriculum plan for a civics education program focused on Parliament for middle school youth. The program has been approved by Parliament and is currently being used in three schools in Dhaka.
  • A pilot project for Constituency Offices throughout the country has been launched with very positive results. The success and popularity of the pilot offices has led to a widespread demand on the part of the legislators and citizens for full-scale support for constituency offices.
  • Support to the Parliamentary Analysis and Monitoring Unit of Parliament (BAMU), in the form of mentoring by embedded technical experts and a series of targeted trainings, has resulted improved fiscal oversight and increased parliamentary debate and oversight as they relate to the notional budget.