Bangladesh’s National development policies have clearly indicated skill building, employment generation, and meaningful participation of youths which is accelerating their local level engagement process. To support them to receive basic services equitably, empowering young people is key. SERAC-Bangladesh with the support from UN Democracy Fund and UN-Habitat is initiating urban youth councils at four city corporations of the country, namely Rajshahi, Rangpur, Mymensingh, and Narayanganj under the Advancing Engagement by Setting Up Urban Youth Councils in Bangladesh project. According to the subsequent activities of the project on 21st June 2022 (Monday), Urban Youth Council Guideline Drafting Workshop was held in collaboration with Narayanganj City Corporation and SERAC-Bangladesh was held in Narayanganj.
This joint meeting was moderated by SERAC-Bangladesh’s Assistant Director (Program) Md. Salim Miah, Md. Moinul Islam Urban planner of NCC, Councilor ward-06 Md. Matiur Rahman, Reserved seats-16,17,18 ward councilor Afsana Afroz of NCC, Social Workers, and Journalist all are present as a guest.
In this meeting discussed that the “Urban Youth Council” project will enhance the capacity of civic engagement among the youths of this city, and engage them with a participatory democratic and electoral process, where they will nominate and elect their own representatives to take their issues to the city corporation and formal spaces and the next four years, they (the task force members) are given instructions on how they will function and what responsibilities they will have, and how they will work with city mayors. The combination of all these will create and formulate the policy in question in collaboration with the task force. The city youth council will also advise the mayor regarding meaningful youth presence in the planning, implementation, and monitoring of development activities in the city. Which will support the government achieve SDGs 11, and 16 at the local level.
They also stated some of the key activities under this project will include youth council guideline preparation, formation of the urban youth council, voter list preparation, and electing 20 youth councilors from the registered youth voters of the age of 18-35 in the city. The proposed urban youth council will connect with the Bangladesh Urban Youth Councils Network, and the World Urban Youth Councils Network and build partnerships to improve the capacity of the local youths.
Officials of the NCC attended the meeting and expressed their fullest support and cooperation towards the project implementation. Also present in the program were Associate Program Officer Md. Nahidur Rahman, Program Associate Sumaiya Akter Mili, Program Associate Md. Shahadat Hossain Shahin of SERAC-Bangladesh and members of the Task Force.