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Community Development Association (CDA) is a highly secular, non-partisan-non-Government Development Organization (NGDO) established in theyear 1985-1986 in North Western Part of  Bangladesh CDAgradually has been shifted its strategic position from charity to a Right based Organization now facilitating among the poorest, landless and marginal farmers along with the plain land indigenous people (IP) including the differently able men, women&youth with a view to empower, ensure and secure access to land Rights from its inception.Initially, CDAentered voluntarily in the rural poor communities in the remotest villages in greater Dinajpur district the thenand it was committed to organize the rural landless poor with the concept of Integrated Community Development Program(ICDP) and tried to unite them in several small groups at their doorsteps in several villages from 1985-86 to 1988 -89 in association with OXFAM-GB UK&CAFOD-APHD-Hong Kong.

Later, upon  the practical experience gathered from the realityCDA initiated and facilitated the small groups to reorganize themand re-strengthen theircapacity to institutea village basedFederationof the landless poor  connecting with the village context with a view to ensure access & utilize local resources within the village to promote the sustainable livelihood through implementing of Integrated Rural Development Program (IRDP)for the period from 1989 to 1995-2004 and able to develop a people centered development model which wascontributing to bring significant qualitative changes in the lives of rural poor and IPs in the Northern part of Bangladesh.CDAhad a significant growing period for institutionalizing itself with an unique image of integrated approach assisted to obtain a  very clear political strategy to innovate the socio-political development framework followed by the International human rights declarationsleading towards the formulation of the National pro-poor policy(s) for the poverty reduction, empowerment of the rural poor, women rights, Land rights,Labourrights, Consumer’s rights ,Child rights as well as ecology and development,in relation with the National Constitutional option with the support from OXFAM-GB,NOVIB-The Netherlands, Swiss Development Cooperation(SDC)and Bread for the world-Germany. ConsequentlyCDA itself has been inspired to design and determined its mission statement and formulated the shared vision as well asbuilding up the unityof the landless, disempowered and the marginalized peasant’se.g. ( amongrural poor men,women,and the youth through building their self-help institution at the village level separately but, CDA has been playing the role of facilitating and assist tostrengthen for identifying and addressing their poverty issues independently but collectively from the socio-economic, political ,cultural and ecologicalcontext. Considering such an effective mechanism to identify the local needs and demands CDA gathered more experience about the social transformation from suchmobilization process by the organized peopleandin sighted tothe alignment of this process with the ICESC rights and civil and political rights. ThenCDAtook the opportunity to include and apply the human rights approach in its development process and startfacilitation towards the Peoples Initiative for Rights Assertion(PIRA) by the village based Federation.CDAdetermined, its role, specified its support activities and separated its identityfrom the village based institutions and re-positioned having a very strongstaunch upon the human rights and  facilitating the united poor people to strengthen their management capacity to deal with institutional processparallel  to the political and Government Administrative tiers at the local level to make the local authorities accountable  at the grass-root level and a solidarity-networking processconstituted with the Civil Society Organizationsmoving forward to the Agrarian reforms to ensure the rights having  access to the public land, water ,forest  along with securing rights to the natural resources for sustainable livelihood. CDA has been facilitating its technical knowledge generation support among the united rural poor and its solidarity networks at the various human resource mobilization levels on the basis of gathered experience from the practice of the micro-institutions which is already establishedas a protection mechanism evidently.Also,such an effective mechanismhas a role to ensure the People Centered Governance towards building an effective convergencetied-upover the poor, local CSOs and the local Government in taking theLocal level decision collectively. So, Institution Building (IB) is acore program of CDA in the name of Peoples Organizationis constructed with the village people parallel to the local Government Institutionsareattainable an unique people centered pluralistic development effortsas a tool ofsustainable intervention strategy inspiring to undertake the supportive role for achieving all sorts of demand driven issues for the rural landless poor especiallyfor defending the ancestral land of ethnic minorities and Indigenous People against the grabbers throughout the plain land including the support to the differently able persons as well. Village Based Institution Building is not only the program of CDA it is also a Process in implementing or mobilizing any People Centered activities or reform/governance issues for social change and development meaningchange the lifestyle, attitude and the behavior ofthe rural disadvantage communities by themselves getting information about their rights as a citizen fromlocal, national and international sources through CDA as a facilitating organization with the support from Bread for the world(Bftw)-Germanyand the moral and knowledge support from the different networking organizations e.g.National, Regional and the Global civil societyorganizations as well.

People Centered Development Strategy



 4th June, 1986


  • NGOAB, Registration number: 283 dated: 16/01/1989 bureau
  • Department of District Social Welfare Registration number: 258/86, dated: 14/06/1986

SHARED Vision:

An United Agrarian Society through People Centered Democracy and land Governance, which is socially just and free from all discriminations, Human Rights are established with Political stability, and Communities are economically productive with ecologically balanced Environment.


Building Institutions of the Rural disempowered landless poor, argil- Labor  and the Marginal peasants including the Differently able, Old-age, Ethnic & Religious minorities and IPs to ensure and secure their access to and control over the public &Natural resources (Land, Water and Forest) with Gender equality.


  • Reduce Hunger and Poverty
  • Empower Economic, Socio-Political and Culturally.
  • Capacity Building
  • Promote Human Rights and Social Justice
  • Protect Environmental de-gradation.


  • Institution Building from the village level to the constituency level..
  • Right to Land, water& forest.
  • Health and Food Security
  • Education & Culture.
  • Environment, Ecology & Sustainable Land use.
  • Human ResourceManagement.
  • Gender& equality and women rights to land.
  • Networking, Alliance Building &Policy Advocacy for Agrarian Reform.


  • Participatory
  • Bottom up Decision Making
  • Human Rights(ESC HR & C& P HR)
  • Learning by Doing
  • Networking & linkages.


  • Facilitate to Human Rights defenders (Activism).
  • Advocacy and Communication.
  • Integration with mass movement
  • People Centered Land Governance
  • Engagement in endogenous policy mobilization.
  • Convergence building.


  • The Federation of NGOs in Bangladesh (FNB)
  • Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD)
  • CAMPE for Quality Education
  • Credit and Development Forum (CDF)
  • PHM Bangladesh for Right to Health
  • People, Land and Agrarian Reform in Northern Ecological Territory (PLANET).

Regional Level:

  • Asian NGO Coalition for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ANGOC), The Philippines
  • Asian Farmers Association (AFA), the Philippines
  • Asian Health Institute (AHI),Japan.


International Level:

  • International Land Coalition (ILC), Rome
  • FIAN, Germany
  • World Rural Forum (WRF)
  • World Forum for Access to Land
  • International Year for Family Farming ( IYFF+10).


Networking & Alliance Building:

In Order to ensure policy mobilization 16 nos. of local NGOs coordinated by CDA from the Northern Districts in two divisions Rajshahi&Rangpur having  an alliance namely People, Land and Agrarian Reform in Northern Ecological Territory (PLAnet) facilitates as a vehicle to accelerate Peoples Centered Land Governance.