Enforcement of Local institutional laws focusing public awareness through Sustainable good governance approach (ELFOS) in CHT.


Background situation

The administrative system of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) is different & more complex than other parts of the country in terms of historical background, ethnic representation and accountability perspective relating to the governance. The CHT has been tagged with the British Empire in 1860 as Excluded area and ruled under CHT Regulation of 1900. It has also been recognized as Tribal dominated area in the constitution of then Pakistan.  The region covers an area of 13,295 square kilometers constituting 10 percent of the total land area of Bangladesh. The region comprises three hill districts and three Circles. This region is home of the eleven multi-lingual indigenous communities namely Chakma, Marma, Tripura, Tanchangya, Mro, Khumi, Khiyang, Lushai, Pankuwa, Chak and Khumi.According to the some reports of international and national human rights groups in general and CHT Commission in particular, the governance situation of CHT is still poor in spite of consuming twelve years of CHT Peace Accord. The 90,208internally displaced families’ particularly indigenous peoples have not yet compensated any rehabilitation for their confidence building.
The Land Commission for settlement of land dispute in CHT has not functioning for years. As a result tension often occurs in the region which is also a significant threat for establishing good governance in the region.  On the other hand according to the CHT Accord, fifteen more subjects would have to be transferred to the Hill District Councils (HDCs) including Land and Land Management and Police (local). In addition, According to the CHT Accord, the Chittagong Hill Tracts Regional Council, which supervise and co-ordinate the activities of three Hill District Councils of CHT and other government and non-government organizations has not empowered properly. Eventually the situation in CHT is awful and good governance is far away from the people.

Institutional set up in CHT

There are two types of administrative set up in the region i.e. self-ruled governance system and central governance system. The self-rule governance system has two parts- part one is Hill District councils and CHT Regional Council and the part is traditional institutions led by Circle Chiefs who are well as Rajas. The central Governance system includes Union Parishads, Upazila Parishads and Ministry of CHT Affairs (MoCHTA) along with Deputy Commissioners. Though Deputy Commissioner has a part of responsibility as per CHT Regulation of 1900 but they are representative of central government.

Governance situation

The CHT has been facing some crucial problems regarding coordination and supervision among administrative units which resulting poor governance in the region. Moreover, peoples are not aware of several laws and institutions which are influencing their everyday life as well. The CHT Accord of 1997 signed between Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samiti (PCJSS) and Government of Bangladesh aiming at ensuring peace, stability and development in the region recognizing CHT as Tribal dominated area. But there are still some functioning vested interested groups who are performing their roles as anti accord elements and have been trying to stop development in the region by kidnapping three foreign nationals in 2002.

Purpose

The Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh is governed by several institutions at different level ranging from village to ministry level followed by particular regulation. The administration is mainly run by self-ruled governance institutions such as CHTRC, HDCs and Circle Chiefs and MoCHTA and Deputy Commissioners. Moreover Union Parishads and Upazila Parishads are also functioning in the region. It is the concern that a complex situation has been remaining among the institutions which resulting poor coordination, lack of accountability and transparency among CHT institutions. In addition, people are ignorant of the rules and regulations, constitutional and traditional laws which is also resulting awful governance in the region.
Overall objective

Improve transparency, accountability and responsiveness of the duty bearers in CHT for delivering basic services to the people.
Specific Objectives

# Awareness of the people of CHT about relevant laws, rules and procedures for claiming the available rights and services enhanced.
#  Institutional capacity of the local government bodies strengthened.
# Access to basic services improved in intervention areas through facilitating the coordination of the relevant institutions.

Outputs

# Relevant laws, rules and procedures for claiming the available rights and services collated, published and disseminated.

# Rights Based Approach (RBA) Training materials developed, updated and used.

# Enhanced participation of community people at different level in CHT in the decision making process on the issues affecting their lives.

# Performance of duty bearers increased as per Citizen Charter.

# One information resource center will function managed by PNGO.

# Functioning capacity of CHT institutions increased at Upazila and district level.

# A functional relationship increased at Upazila, district and regional level among institutions.

Activities

# Office Set up

# Materials purchase

# Recruitment of staffs

# Orientation session on the project;

# Training of project staffs on Community Mobilization, Project Management, Human Resource and Financial Management,

# Formation of Program Implementation Board (PIB);

# Collection of relevant laws, rules and procedures for claiming the available rights and services;

# Participatory training topics identification through workshops at Upazila level;

# Development of training manuals on identified focus topics such as:

i) Good governance and basic rights;
ii) State law, customary law and land issues
iii) Basic rights, customary law and state law &
iv) Gender & Rights.

Procurement of Consultancy services

# Awareness campaign on focus topics through group discussion at union level

# Workshop on Land issues and Rules and Responsibilities for Traditional Leaders

# Identification of potential training participants such as Headmen and Karbaris, CBOs, CSOs, NGOs, Media persons, SPs, LGIs,

FGDs on similarities and dissimilarities of existing laws

# Training delivery at Upazila and District level on
Good governance and UP manual for UP representatives
Basic rights, state law, customary law and land issues

# Establishment of Information Resource Center( IRC) on CHT related laws/ journal/ documents

# Publication of legal educational instruments;

# Development of several campaign materials (Book, Card, Leaflet, Poster, Calendar, Diary and etc.)

# Assistance for developing Citizen Charter Board and Card for Service Providers,

# Facilitating quarterly coordination meeting at Upazila, District and Region level Service Providers;

# Annual Audit

# Project Evaluation & Planning (Strategic).

Project Activity Based Pictures

The primary stakeholders of the project are as follows:
1)   Indigenous communities in selected Upazila of Rangamati district
2)   Traditional and elected local government leaders and
3)   CBOs
4)   CSOs
5)   SPs
6)    LGIs
7)    Media persons
8)    NGOs
9)    Lawyers
10)  Women
11)  Youths &
12)  District Administration.

 

Beneficiaries:

The community people of three Upazila (Sub-district) namely Rangamati Sadar Upazila, Naniarchar Upazila and Kawkhali Upazila of Rangamati Hill District with over population of 6,000  will be direct & 20,000 will be indirect beneficiaries along with existing CBOs, CSOs, SPs, NGOs, TIs, Women groups, Youths, UPs Upazila Chairmen and Vice Chairmen, media personnel and etc. The total population of Rangamati Hill district is the secondary beneficiary of the project.

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