The WSSCC-Bangladesh Coalition consists of over 35 partners, who include national and international NGOs, the Government of Bangladesh, development agencies, and academics. The purpose of the chapter is to strengthen theparticipation of poor people in water and sanitation-related policies and activities. The chapter organizes grassroots consultations so that poor and marginalized people can be better informed about and yield greater influence in sanitation and water policy. This bottom-up approach contributes to the Government’s goal that every Bangladeshi should gain access to sanitation by 2013.
There have been over 600 grassroots consultations in the past eight years, and these local meetings have fed into national and regional for a, such as SACOSAN, the South Asian Conference on Sanitation. The impact of these campaigns on communities’ knowledge of government initiatives is now available here.
The coalition helps community-based organizations build relationships with local elected bodies. The coalition hosts capacity building activities so that CBOs are effective in convincing government to support pro-poor sanitation policies. An achievement in this vein is that the national government made grassroots participation one of its main themes in celebrating the International Year of Sanitation in 2008.
At the national level, the coalition has put forth a united and strong network of sanitation advocates. It organized a National Grassroots Convention in 2008 and 2010. More recently, it established the National Grassroots Sanitation Federation, which is officially recognized by the government.