LNOB is a global platform formed by 12 NGOs in Germany in 2017
Experts suggest that we need to change our mindset to ensure the inclusion of marginal people in the development process, noting that data is the major barrier for any development activity in developing countries.
Speakers reiterated the notion at the national conference, “Inclusion of marginal people in development process: leaving no one behind,” organized by Leave No One Behind (LNOB) at Krishibid Institution, Dhaka, on Wednesday.
LNOB is a global platform formed by 12 NGOs in Germany in 2017. LNOB’s Bangladesh wing was created in 2018 by nine organizations (Brac, ActionAid Bangladesh, Care, VSO International, CBM, Save the Children, Islamic Relief, Plan Bangladesh and Transparency International Bangladesh) actively working in Bangladesh.
The platform particularly focuses on identifying marginal people, conducting research to help in policy framing and improving the health condition of the marginalized.
KM Abdus Salam, director general of NGO Affairs Bureau was the chief guest at the conference. In a panel discussion, Salam said: “NGOs are playing a big role to elevate people from marginalized conditions. NGOs should fix an action plan for their future activities to achieve our goal to become a developed country by 2040.”
“The government also recognizes the importance of NGOs in the development process but their activities have to be transparent,” he said.
Sudipto Mukherjee, resident representative of UNDP Bangladesh said: “Marginalization is not a problem created by marginal people. The problem lies in the minds of the privileged. We have to change our mindset first to pull out people from marginalized situations.
“Identifying marginal people is a problem in development. Every country has different problems in development. Bangladesh has to figure out what its problems are,” he said.
Asif Saleh, executive director of Brac, said: “We should change our mindset to understand that everyone has equal rights. We are pleased with the current GDP growth. Digitalization has also taken shape but I am scared about the rising possibility of the inequality gap.
“Marginal people will be lost if we fail to hear their voices. We can share our learning while the government has to play a major role to bring them to light. In this regard, data and micro narratives are important,” he said.
Mokammel Hossain, additional secretary, Prime Minister’s Office, said: “It is not development when someone is left behind. To become a self-sufficient country, we have to be developed inclusively.”
“Per capita income has increased. It should be disbursed to all marginal groups. Only then can we become a developed country,” he added.
“But for the goal to be achieved, the government, civil society, and NGOs, must come forward and work together. It needs a holistic approach. Marginal people also have to come forward with confidence,” he added.
The session was moderated by K A M Murshed, director, Brac.