Escalating Capacity of Local NGOs
Local Non-government Organizations (LNGOs) in Bangladesh endure a prominent impact in the rural community. The recent strategic shift in donor funding lessened and seized the opportunity to acquire modern skills. Meanwhile, data literacy emerged as critical skills for all tier of workforces in every institution. Advanced public and private sectors are leading the negotiation wheel using data skills. Whereas, LNGOs in Bangladesh again lagged due to incompetency in data literacy among their workforces. Many of them are not conversant with data and are hesitant in conversations within the institution and with external stakeholders. They are not prepared to derive meaningful insights from their institution, government and private sector data. Thus, local LNGOs are getting incompetent day-by-day to place robust effort for improving internal governance and democratic practice. Even they struggle to trigger meaningful data for advocacy benefits in favour of community people and to push public sectors for transparency and accountability.
It is vital to work in this regard with LNGOs in Bangladesh, who mainly work to improve the quality of life of the rural poor and disadvantaged. These NGOs provide critical services in the areas of social and economic development, healthcare, education, disaster management, law, environment, gender, governance, rural infrastructure, and capacity building of community. Organically, LNGOs educate and empower marginalized groups, including indigenous groups, and ethnic minorities. Before any action is taken it would be important to understand the data literacy competency among the LNGOs, their data usages behaviour both internally and for external governance practice, also their data access and usage tradition within the institution, and their capacity needs on data literacy. Using these findings a tailor-made course outline, modules, and knowledge toolkits could be developed and consulted before rolling it out.
Customized course outline and easy learning materials aligned with the level of data literacy should be developed. Face to face training will be required for each group. Furthermore, an e-Learning platform having interactive online services with relevant information and resources may be developed. Besides, trained staffs should be guided to form peer groups for developing a data learning culture within their institution.
Most importantly a mechanism to ensure on-job and online mentoring support is provided. Learners could be connected via an e-Learning platform to exchange their knowledge and for further assistance. During implementation, learning from the project results and best practices can be captured, synthesized for further fine-tuning and framing the future of the initiative.
This initiative will contribute to increasing public sector accountability and transparency and strengthening the democratic institutions and practices at the local level. Through enhancing the data literacy competencies among the workforce, this intends to see data-driven decision-making culture is improved that will strengthen democratic practice and governance within LNGOs. This way this huge workforce will be able to place and communicate meaningful and relevant data during interaction with public sector stakeholders for advocacy activities and campaign. As a result, it will contribute to enhancing public sector accountability and transparency to ensure public services for the targeted communities.