Speakers on Saturday said it was high time that donors and international aid agencies concentrated their efforts for strengthening local NGOs.
This means giving the grass roots more space to raise their voice which would eventually contribute to strengthening democracy in the country, they retorted.
‘Civil society voice is getting shrunk around the world, and with this the space for democracy is becoming congested,’ said former caretaker government adviser Rasheda K Choudhury.
‘We need to strengthen the voice of civil society and it can be done by promoting local NGOs,’ she added.
She was addressing a seminar on ‘strengthening civil society and promoting localisation agenda’ at Lakeshore hotel in Dhaka in the morning.
The seminar was jointly organised by Bangladeshi NGOs for World Humanitarian Summit, Coastal Association for Social Transformation Trust, Oxfam and Start Fund Bangladesh as part of the observation of World Humanitarian Day on Saturday.
Speakers at the seminar also called on international NGOs to engage more local NGOs in implementing their projects.
Humanitarian Leadership Academy representative Suman Islam said it would be wise to work on gaining trust of affluent people in the society to raise fund for local NGOs so that their functioning did not become only donor-dependent.
Manusher Jonno Foundation executive director Shaheen Anam suggested that local NGOs should increase their capacity in fund management to ensure that donors find them eligible in investing money for the good of the people.
Moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of COAST, the seminar was also attended by NGO Affairs Bureau director general Khondokar Rakibur Rahman and representatives from national and international NGOs.
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