Empowering smallholders to strengthen local democratic governance




Empowering smallholders to strengthen local democratic governance

Accountability and responsive governance in Bangladesh is still hampered by centralization of government systems and processes. The project aims at strengthening the capacity of 812 smallholder farmer-led grassroots CSOs, and facilitating their engagement with local authorities (LAs). Enduring partnerships between CSOs and LAs will be built to improve economic and social rights of marginalised farming communities. Local democratic governance and accountability of the LAs to the citizens will be strengthen.


From 1 January 2018 to 30 June 2021 (42 months)

Budget (Euro)

EUR 1,653,149.00, EU contribution EUR 1,487,834.00 


Gaibandha, Kurigram, Mymensingh, Sherpur and Satkhira


Implementing Organization (s)

1. Traidcraft Exchange – Lead applicant

2. Christian Aid,

3.Solidarities International,

4. Rural Development Sangstha (RDS),

5. Gana Unnayan Kendra (GUK) and

6. Shushilan







Outputs and Outcome

The overall objective of this action is to ensure inclusive economic development in rural Bangladesh by stimulating the effective engagement of smallholder farmer-led CSOs in local democratic governance.

The specific objective is to catalyse Local Authorities (LAs) and smallholder-led CSOs to develop innovative and inclusive partnerships that strengthen the economic and social rights of small and marginal farmers, with a specific focus on women, disabled people and ethnic minorities.

  • Output 1 – Smallholder-led CSOs are effective, well-run, financially sustainable and able to contribute to LA policy development and implementation.
  • Output 2 – LAs and local government bodies develop an inclusive enabling environment through sustained collaboration with smallholder-led CSOs.
  • Output 3 – Smallholder-led CSOs work in partnership with LAs to ensure socio-economic policies and practices respond to needs of marginalised groups (women, disabled people and ethnic minorities).
  • Output 4 – Smallholder-led CSOs work in partnership with LAs to ensure entitlements related to sustainable agricultural practice reach the target populations.

Target group(s)

  • 373 for Rural Development Sangstha (RDS) in North-East region
  • 300 for Gana Unnayan Kendra (GUK) in North region
  • 115 for Shushilan in South region

Final beneficiaries

23,640 poor farmers of which 50% will be women, 10% will be from ethnic minorities and 5% will be disabled people.