Land Rights- Community-Led Development

This project’s ultimate goal is to help the camp-dwelling Urdu-speaking community in Bangladesh secure their land rights and upgrade their housing and infrastructure. Starting in late 2019, our first phase included focus groups of youth, women and camp officials to hear their baseline thoughts about these issues, and begin some basic social and physical mapping of the camps. In 2020, during Phase II we expanded on these efforts by conducting a formal household census and establishing a support network of block leaders and project advisors. This preparatory work will continue into Phase III, in 2021, where we report the findings of our survey back to the community in block meetings and discuss their ideas further, work on detailing our geo-referenced maps of the camp housing and infrastructure, and initiate small projects to demonstrate the success of community-led development.

After catalyzing the community, we will formally establish a community development corporation (such as a community land trust) to negotiate and facilitate the transfer of land title to the community residents, as well as lead the upgrading efforts. These later phases will be primarily funded by the residents or specific funds set up for land acquisition.