The government of People’s Republic of Bangladesh has enacted the Right to Information Act-2009 with the objective to empower the citizens by promoting transparency and accountability in the working of the public, autonomous and statutory organizations and other private organizations constituted or run by the government or foreign financing with the ultimate aim of decreasing corruption and establishing good governance in our democratic society in real sense.
As the Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) are dealing the community people with small scale financial services including the microcredit loans and savings; it requires to be transparent and accountable not only to the government but also to the community people who are the members of that MFI. At present, there are 699 MRA registered Microfinance Institutes (MFIs) working in Bangladesh with 35 million members. Thus, for ensuring the transparency and accountability of these huge number of members institutions (MFIs); it is very much important for these MFIs to disclose their all information to its members, beneficiaries, public and government.
DISA has been working with advocacy issues for long time; especially on protection of Child and Adolescents rights. Recently, DISA has started to work with information rights of the public in line with Government and NGOs. In this perspective, DISA created a strong network with Information Commission (IC), Bangladesh. Observing the interest of DISA and its training wing DISA Academy in taking forward RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT-2009; Information Commission of Bangladesh has gladly come forward with technical support for the interest of the people especially through the huge sector i.e. Non govt. organizations and MFIs in Bangladesh.
Purpose of RTI training: The overall purpose is to develop the capacity of the Selected MFIs on “Right To Information Act 2009” for ensuring Accountability and Transparency of their Organization.
On 5-6 April 2014, a regional workshop on “Right To Information Act 2009” has been organized with the joint collaboration of Information Commission of Bangladesh and DISA. The senior management staff and Chief Executives of different organizations especially MRA (Microcredit Regulatory Authority) registered MFIs (Microfinance Institutions) have attended in the workshop. The Chief Information Commissioner, Ambassador (Rtd.) Mohammad Farook was the chief guest and the Secretary of Information Commission Md. Farhad Hossain was the special guest. The technical supports for this training i.e. publication materials, documents on RTI Act-2009, Expert Trainers etc. has been provided by Information Commission. The workshop discussed on different aspects of the RTI act, responsibilities of NGOs and MFIs for ensuring accountability and transparency.
Following the Regional Workshop of Dhaka, DISA and FDA with the technical support of Information Commission has organized a regional training on Right To Information Act 2009 for the NGOs and MFIs. Twenty Eight local organizations has been participated in this training. The Additional District Commissioner of Faridpuir was present as the chief Guest at the opening session of the training while Md. Shahid Ullah, Chief Executive of DISA was present as special Guest and the executive Director Mr. Azharul Islam presided over the session.
Also another Training program was organized by DISA Academy in Mymensing District on 29th June, 2014 with the joint collaboration of DISA & GRAMAUS. Total 32 representatives have participated in the training from deferent organizations. Md. Farhad Hoosain the Secretary of IC was the Chief Guest of the opening session, while the Additional District Commissioner.
From 28th September to 4th October, DISA along with Information Commission of GoB observed and celebrate the Information week. DISA participated in rally on 28th September, 2015. Besides, DISA Academy organized a discussion session on Right To Information Act 2009 on 2nd October 2015. The program was chaired by the Chief Executive of DISA Md. Shahid Ullah. Dr. Kurshida Begum Syed, Information Commissioner, GoB was the chief guest and Mr. Jesse Smith was the special guest of the program. More than 60 community people participated at the program from different professions: Government service holders, students, community leaders, business man, lawyers etc.