Project Duration: JANUARY 2017- FEBRUARY 2019

The Carter Center, a nongovernmental organization founded by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter to advance peace and health worldwide, is implementing a project titled “Advancing Women’s Right of Access to Information (AWRAI) in Bangladesh”. This project is funded by the USAID. Women in Bangladesh face disproportional challenges in exercising the fundament right of access to information, which hinders economic empowerment and the promotion and protection of other human rights. Although the Bangladesh Right to Information (RTI) Act went into effect in 2009, the benefits of meaningful access to information for women have not fully been met. To address the current inequities in case of women’s access to information, the 30-month long project aims to advance a meaningful right of access to information for women in three target districts (Dhaka, Sylhet and Khagrachari) in Bangladesh. The project will contribute to reaching three mutually reinforcing objectives: (i) Government and civil society promote an environment that enables women’s exercise of the right of access to information; (ii) National and target local governments, ministries and information officers more capably, effectively and equitably provide information to women; and (iii) Civil society organizations in targeted districts focused on women’s rights and economic empowerment advance women’s right to information through awareness-raising, advocacy and increased capacity.

The project is implemented by Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) with three local partners: Management and Resources Development Initiative (MRDI) in Dhaka, Institute of Development Affairs (IDEA) in Sylhet; and Trinamul Unnayan Sangstha (TUS) in Khagrachari. BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), BRAC University is primarily responsible for monitoring and evaluation of the project. In this respect, BIGD is carrying out activities like selection of indicators, data collection and analysis, data management and ensuring quality, reporting, and developing information dissemination strategy. Baseline study, final evaluation (end line) and quarterly reports are the key deliverables by the BIGD.  Dr. Wahid Abdallah, Research Fellow and Head of Governance & Politics Cluster of BIGD is leading the team consisting of other two members – Mohammad Sirajul Islam, Senior Research Associate and Ahmed Asif Enam, Research Associate.

Prior to this project, BIGD conducted the piloting of the Carter Center’s Implementation Assessment Tool to evaluate implementation of the Right to Information in Bangladesh along 10 countries during 2011-13.