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Young Power in Social Action (YPSA) is an organization for sustainable development and NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC)

Assessing Activating Village Court Project’s Impact: EC ROM Visit from Sunamganj to Sylhet

EC ROM visit DC Office on Sylhet

Embarking on a journey from Shantiganj upazila in Sunamganj district to Sylhet, international consultants and local authorities conducted a comprehensive assessment of the Activating Village Court in Bangladesh Phase-III Project’s effectiveness under the European Commission (EC) Result Oriented Monitoring (ROM).

Initiated by the Local Government Division of the Government of Bangladesh, the project aims to activate Village Courts nationwide, with support from the European Union, UNDP Bangladesh, and YPSA (Young Power in Social Action) as a supporting organization. YPSA is supporting the project in 15 districts in 3 division of Bangladesh. Sunamganj and Sylhet both are YPSA’s working area.

On 22nd April, Under the guidance of Ms. Sandra Elena, an international consultant from Argentina, selected by the European Commission, along with Mr. Saradar M. Asaduzzaman, Assistant Resident Representative of UNDP Bangladesh, and Mr. Bivash Chakraborty, the AVCB-III Phase National Project Coordinator, the delegation started their engagement in discussions with Union Parishad members, including Chairman Abdul Bashit Sujon, at the Joykalash Union Parishad in Shantiganj. They observed a trial of Village Court at the Union Parishad, directly interacting with applicants to understand the project’s implementation challenges and successes.

Trial of Village Court
Trial of Village Court at the Union Parishad

Next, the delegation proceeded to Shantiganj upazila in Sunamganj district and had discussions with Upazila Nirbahi Officer Mr. Sukanto Shahar. The Upazila Nirbahi Officer expressed the necessity for Village Courts, emphasizing their importance for the convenience of the people. However, he pointed out that most Union Parishads lack the necessary expertise to conduct Village Court proceedings. There is a need to enhance their skills through training and increase public awareness. During the aforementioned interaction, several chairmen from Shantiganj upazila were present.

The delegation then exchanged views with the District Commissioner of Sunamganj district, Mohammad Rashed Iqbal Chowdhury, Deputy Director of Local Government, Mr. Deowan Mohammad Tajul, and Additional District Commissioner (General) Mr. Mohammad Rezaul Karim.

The delegation exchanged views with Mr. Mohammod Hemayet Uddin, Senior District and Sessions Judge, Ms. Sulekha De, District Legal Aid Officer (Senior Assistant Judge), and Mr. Mohammad Rokon Uddin Kabir, Chief Judicial Magistrate. During the discussion, they mentioned that if the Village Court project is implemented properly, it will reduce the pressure of cases at the district level.

Mohammad Iqbal Hossen, District Manager of the AVCB Phase III Project in Sunamganj, actively facilitated the delegation in coordinating all activities throughout the day.

District Commissioner of Sunamganj

Transitioning to Sylhet on the same day, the delegation convened at the District Commissioner’s office for a meeting with Mr. Sheikh Russel Hasan, Deputy Commissioner of Sylhet. Local officials, including Mrs. Subarna Sarkar, the Deputy Director of the Local Government Department, and Mr. Showkat Hasan, the District Manager of the project joined the discussions. The delegation discussed several issues & way forward for the successful implementation of the project.

On April 23rd, the delegation made a productive visit to two Union Parishads in Sylhet District. Their day began at Dayamir Union Parishad in Osmaninagar Upazila, where they met with Chairman S.T.M. Fakhruddin, secretary Md. Yusuf Ali, and all the UP members.

The delegation then traveled to Balaganj Upazila, where they met with Upazila Nirbahi Officer Maria Haque. Their visit culminated at Boaljur Union Parishad, where they were welcomed by Chairman Anhar Mia, Secretary Gobinda Kumar Deb, and again, all UP members.

Group photo in fron of UP office

Throughout these interactions, the challenges and successes in Village Court implementation were highlighted, emphasizing the importance of effective coordination between international consultants, local administrators, and key personnel. The visit was part of Result Oriented Monitoring (ROM), focusing on assessing the project’s outcomes and progress.

These collaborative efforts signify a commitment to promoting justice and empowering grassroots communities across Bangladesh. Through meticulous evaluation and dialogue, stakeholders aim to ensure the optimal execution of the Village Court project, ensuring that justice truly serves the needs of the people.