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Working Paper

Making Rights Work for the Poor: Nijera Kori and the Construction of Collective Capabilities in Rural Bangladesh

Published on 1 January 2003

Whilst there is a formal commitment to rights in Bangladesh, spelt out in its constitution, its legal framework and its ratification of various international conventions on rights, the reality for its citizens is one of violations as much as the observance of rights. For the poor, in particular, who rely for their survival on relationships which position them as dependent on more powerful patrons, there is little prospect of demanding justice. The NGO sector in Bangladesh has sought to compensate for various deficits which characterise the lives of poor and marginalised groups. However, few attempt to directly address the ‘rights deficit’. One of the few to do so exception is Nijera Kori whose strategy is to build the capacity of the poor to mobilise in defence of their rights and in pursuit of justice. Its focus therefore is on ‘collective’ rather than individual capabilities. The paper concludes by drawing out what Nijera Kori’s experience tells us about processes of social change and its challenge to the linear logic that characterises donor agency approaches to accountability.

Authors

Image of Naila Kabeer
Naila Kabeer

Emiritus Fellow

Publication details

published by
IDS
authors
Kabeer, N.
journal
IDS Working Paper, issue 200
isbn
1 85864 524 7

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About this publication

Region
Bangladesh

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