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Expecting Accountability is People’s Right

In the seminar title “Accountability toward Grass Roots, Humanitarian Assistance in Bangladesh : HAP Standard 2011” held in BRAC Inn Mohakhali, speakers urged accountability from both NGOs (non government organization) and government agencies, they mentioned that Expectation of Accountability is a People’s Right, it should not be a charity gesture. The seminar was moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, of COAST, who is also HAP governing board member. Panelists of the seminar were Saheen Anam of Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF), Abdul Latif Khan of CDMP, Nayeem Gowhar Wara of Disaster Forum, Hasina Inam of Dun Church Aid, Gereth Price Jones of Oxfam GB. Chief Guest of the seminar was Sayedul Huq MP (Member of Parliament) and Chair Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Food and Disaster Management, Golam Mowla Roni MP, Lt Gen (Rtd) Mahbubur Rahman, Member Standing Committee, BNP has also spoke on the seminar. Two presentations on translation process and HAP member practices on accountability have been presented by Sanat K Bhowmik of COAST, Farhana Islam of World Vision, Tauhid Tarafder of Muslim Aid, Jackline Riviera of Save the Children, and Failure Rahman of DCA.

Ms. Marian Ceasy Executive Director of Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP), a Geneva based NGO alliance was also as special guest in the seminar, who has formally lunched the bangla translation of The 2010 HAP standard in Accountability and Quality Management. The seminar was organized by HAP peer support group in Bangladesh, namely Action Aid, CARE, CARITAS, COAST, CODEC, Dun Church Aid, DSK, Dwip Unnayan Sangsta, Emergency Capacity Building Project, Islamic Relief, Muslim Aid, Oxfam GB, Plan, Rurpantor, Save the Children, Tear Fund and World Vision.

Sayedul Haq MP has said that government has also need to show accountability toward the humanitarian victims too first. He also mentioned that if political leaders will be accountable then there will be reduce level of corruption. Lt Gen (Rtd) Mahabubur Rahaman of BNP standing committee said that, accountability should be from family to state level have to be facilitated and ensured. Golam Mowla Roni MP, young generations have to come forward to demand accountability in all level.

Saheen Anam of MJF said, NGO accountability is a big political question in the country, right to information act has to be fully complying in respect of NGO accountability, and she appreciated the HAP initiative of setting minimum standard in this regard. Abdul Latif Khan of CDMP said that accountability should be considered common minimum human rights of the peoples, getting assistance or relief during disaster should not be considered as mere charity. Gowhar Nayeem Wara of Disasater Forum criticized the inclusion of indemnity clause for the relief official in the draft disaster management bill, he urged government to withdraw the clause, as it will became a hindrance in ensuring accountability. Hasina Inam of Dun Chaurch Aid given emphasized on pre-preparation in respect of emergency operation, where there is little scope of learning by doing. Gereth Price Jones of Oxfam praised government effort which is renowned world wide in respect disasater management, he emphasize now to give importance at local government level to facilitate sustainable community capacity.

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