Zahurul Alam

Director
Election Working Group
Focus Area(s): 
Elections
Critical Tasks: 
Voter registration
Interviewers: 
Varanya Chaubey
Country of Reform: 
Bangladesh
Town/City: 
Dhaka
Country: 
Bangladesh
Date of Interview: 
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Abstract 

Zahurul Alam discusses the role of the Election Working Group—a coalition of 33 nongovernmental organizations—in voter registration, voter education, and election observation in Bangladesh. He begins by discussing recent events in Bangladeshi politics, including the boycott of most political parties of the 2007 elections and the imposition of a state of emergency. He speaks about other challenges to fair elections, especially the existence of 15 million false entries in the voters list. The working group and the Bangladesh Election Commission together created a new voters list. He elaborates on the efforts of the working group to mobilize voters for registration, including voter education, advertising and information dissemination, and the organization of rallies across Bangladesh. Alam discusses specific efforts to provide information to rural and minority voters. He further reflects on the organization and management of the working group, and speaks at length about support from the election commission, other NGOs, the media, and the army. Finally, Alam speaks about the subsequent role of the working group in election observation in 2008. 

Case Study:  Energizing the Civil Service: Managing at the Top 2, Bangladesh, 2006-2011

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Full Interview: 
87 MB
Zahurul Alam - Full Interview
Profile: 
At the time of the interview, Zahurul Alam was director of the Election Working Group, a coalition of 33 nongovernmental organizations, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He had held the position since 2006. Previously, he managed another electoral project at the Bangladesh Election Commission. Prior to that he had been employed by various international organizations, including the United Nations Development Programme, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, U.K. Department for International Development and the Canadian International Development Agency.  
Language: 
English
Nationality of Interviewee: 
Bangladeshi
No
Zahurul Alam
J
10
Keywords 
Voter Registration
voter fraud
voter education
rural voter registration
monitoring
media relations
enfranchising marginalized groups
Election Management Body
Donor Relations