Peace Pressure Groups (PPGs) owe their origin to the People Against Violence in Elections (PAVE) project implemented by The Hunger Project since 2015 in partnership with International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), with the support of USAID and DFID. Each PPG is consists of 20 members, about two-thirds of whom are political leaders primarily from sub-district levels. The other third are civil society leaders and professionals. The political leaders normally include Presidents, Vice Presidents, Secretaries and other senior members of the Upazila committees.
The PPG is formed through a three-day PAVE training held in a residential venue. The 20 PPG members select three Peace Ambassadors – normally one from Awami League, one from BNP and the other from civil society. A Coordinator is also selected from the PPG members to help coordinate their activities.
In the first phase (2015), a total of 28 PPGs were formed, with 511 members and 84 Peace Ambassadors. In the second phase (2016), under the SPP I projects, 20 PPGs were formed with 318 members and 60 Peace Ambassadors. In sum, a total of 48 PPGs were formed under Phase I of the PAVE project with a total of 829 members and 144 Peace Ambassadors. Of the 28 PPGs formed in the first phase, four are from urban areas.
The SPP II project, supported by DFID, is being implemented from the beginning of 2018. Under SPP II, follow-up activities of 43 PPGs will be carried out in 2018 and five more PPGs will be formed in 2019.
Under the Strengthening Political Landscape (SPL) project, 10 new PPGs are to be formed in 2018. In addition, the SPL project will do follow-up activities of five existing PPGs in 2018. Thus, a total of 63 PPGs will be formed by the end of 2019.
As of February 2018, there are 58 PPGs with 1,221 members. They are from 54 Upazilas and 4 City Corporations from 31 Districts of Bangladesh.
Table: PPGs by Divisions
|Divisions||PPG Units||PPG Members|
|District Covered||Number of Upazila/PPGs||Male||Female||Total|
Graph: PPGs by Divisions
Map: PPG Locations
The following MAP shows the Upazilas/ City Corporations where PPGs are located. Out of 58 PPGs, 43 are under SPADE II project and 15 are under SPL project.
PPG Formation Year
As of February 2018, we have a total of 58 PPGs with 1,221 members. We began our journey in 2015. Each year we formed new PPGs with follow-up activities in the old ones. In 2019, we have plan to include 5 more PPGs.Table 2: PPG Enrollment Year
Table: PPG Enrollment Year
|Year||Number of PPGs||PPG Members|
Graph: PPG Enrollment year
- In 2015, we launched 28 PPGs under the PAVE project supported by the IFES. Out of 28 PPGs, there were 4 PPGs in City Corporation areas.
- In 2016, we launched new 20 PPGs under the SPPI project supported by the IFES.
- Under the SPL project, we planned to launch 10 PPGs supported by the Democracy International (DI). 5 PPGs were launched in 2017 and the other 5 in 2018. We have also started follow-up activities of 5 PPGs formed with the support of IFES.
- In 2018, we have launched the SPADE II project supported by the IFES. Where we started follow-up activities in 43 PPGs launched during 2015 and 2016.
We have a total of 1,221 PPG members.
Table: PPG Members
Graph: Gender Distribution of PPG Members
Graph: Age Distribution of PPG Members
Graph: Marital Status of PPG Members
Graph: Education Status of PPG Members
Table : Social Status and Political Affiliation of PPG members
Graph : Political Affiliation of PPG members
The Hunger Project is implementing following projects to support the PPG network:
Strengthening Political Landscape (SPL)
Under the SPL project, we planned to launch 10 PPGs supported by Democracy International (DI). Five PPGs were launched in 2017 and the other five in 2018. We have also started follow-up activities of five PPGs formed with the support of IFES.
Support for Peaceful and Democratic Elections (SPADE II)
In 2018, we have launched the SPADE II project supported by the IFES and DFID. Under this project, we have started follow-up activities in 43 PPGs launched during 2015 and 2016. We will also launch five new PPGs in 2019.
Restoring Community Trust to Promote Social Harmony
Funded under Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) project by Canadian High Commission, we have launched this project in Nasirnagar, Brahmanbaria, where the Hindu Community was attacked by an unruly Muslim crowd based on a fake facebook posting,G to restore community trust by upholding the values of pluralism, tolerance and inclusion for redressing identity-based prejudice, and by promoting social harmony and religious freedom. Our nearest PPG, located in Brahmanbaria, played a critically important role in organizing an Interfaith Festival and signing a Code of Conduct by local political leaders.
Empowering Citizens in Promoting the Right to Freedom of Expression
Under this project funded by the Netherlands Embassy, we are working in 10 Upazilas to support PPG and Bikoshito Nari Network members to contribute to the improvement of human rights, including the right to freedom of expression within local community.
Some Notable Achievements
- Free and fair Union Parishad elections, without any violence, were held for the first time in Gangni Upazila, Meherpur in 2016.
- In Nasirnagar, Brahmanbaria, where the Hindu Community was attacked by an unruly Muslim crowd based on a fake facebook posting, an Interfaith Festival was held and a Code of Conduct signed by political leaders.
- In Manirampur, Jessore, Peace Ambassador Sarder Bahadur prevented his followers from tearing down his rival’s campaign posters in retaliation, thereby avoiding serious electoral violence.
- Peace Ambassador Bikash Saha and others in Laksam acted to prevent retaliatory escalation of a hate crime by restraining the Hindu community, whose temple and idols were vandalized by a group of Muslim fanatics.
- After the recent Court verdict to jail Begum Khaleda Zia on corruption charges, the PPG members, belonging to both AL and BNP decided not to initiate any provocative political activities. PPG members belonging to AL also approached the local law enforcement authorities not to interfere in BNP’s peaceful agitation and not to arrest any BNP leader or activist.
- During the recent PAVE training held in RDA, Bogra, two prominent political families of Putia Upazila, Rajshahi, who have been in longstanding feud, settled their disputes.