Activity of SHUJAN

Organizational activities:

SUJAN’s policy of operation stipulates that the national committee must hold a meeting at least once every year, while the central executive committee must meet at least four times a year. Additionally, the zila, upazila, and union committees are required to hold meetings once every two months, totaling at least six meetings per year. All levels of committees must hold annual general meetings each year, and when a committee’s tenure ends, new committees are formed through the annual general meeting or by organizing conferences. All decisions made during these meetings must be reached by the consensus of the majority.


Since its journey as ‘SHUJAN’, the organization has moved beyond its initial focus on election-centric activities and has been engaging in advocacy efforts with policy-makers to promote democracy, development, and good governance on various important issues. Its aim is to establish these values in the larger context. SHUJAN is actively involved in advocating for political and electoral reform in Bangladesh. To this end, the organization regularly conducts a variety of activities, including press conferences, round table meetings, human chain, citizen gatherings, citizen dialogues, and campaigns.

Election-Focused Activities:

Since its establishment, SHUJAN has been engaged in activities to ensure the process to elect candidates who possess qualities of integrity and dedication toward public welfare. Right from the outset, the organization has aimed to bring about positive and qualitative changes in the electoral culture of Bangladesh. Apart from observing the election, SHUJAN is also involved in conducting exchange meetings with citizens, facilitating civil dialogue, compiling information provided by candidates on their nomination papers, and distributing it to voters in a comparative format. Additionally, the organization brings rival candidates onto a common platform to face the public, conducts press conferences to demand free, impartial, and fair elections, organizes poster and leaflet campaigns to promote the selection of well-qualified candidates, and holds human chain activities to call for free and fair elections in a peaceful environment. Currently, its secretariat prepares reports based on the assessment of the election and publishes books related to the election.

Conduct Legal Action/Battle:

In addition to engaging in multifaceted activities, SHUJAN also pursued legal battles on a variety of issues. For instance, after a case was filed for the public interest by SHUJAN, in 2005 the High Court issued an order asking the candidates to provide eight types of information, and the High Court ordered that the Election Commission disclose this information to the public. This directive was subsequently implemented in various elections. In 2007, an appeal was filed with the aim of overturning this judgment by an individual named Abu Safa. However, despite efforts by vested interests to falsify the ruling, SHUJAN was able to successfully resist the appeal in the Supreme Court through diligent legal action.

In addition, following a writ petition filed by SHUJAN leaders in the High Court in 2014, on 18 February 2016 the High Court ruled that the Election Commission is obligated to provide information to citizens who request it regarding political parties. This landmark judgment was delivered by a double bench of Hon’ble Justice Farah Mahbub and Hon’ble Justice Kazi Izarul Haque Akand in response to the writ petition. This legal battle represents a step forward in the establishment of citizens’ right to information.

An application has been submitted under the Right to Information Act requesting the list of individuals who have recommended the recently appointed Election Commissioners to the Election Commission.

Research and Survey Activities:

As The main objective of the organization is to mobilize and organize citizens for advocacy purposes. While SHUJAN is not a traditional research organization, it does conduct election-centric research and survey activities in response to the needs of the times. Some of the research activities that SHUJAN has already conducted include 1) A joint study with Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) on preventing vote-buying in 2005, 2) Provided assistance in the preparation of an accurate voter list in 2008, and 3) Conducted an Expert Opinion Survey to evaluate the 11th National Election in 2018.

Local Public-Interest Activities:

SHUJAN engages in activities that are not limited to national issues but also address various local public interest matters.  As a part of movement relevant to local issues, various activities were conducted in different areas, such as observing demand days, building drug-free community, reforming canals, protecting rivers, improving healthcare in hospitals, reducing traffic, rehabilitating roads, developing drainage systems, stopping illegal mining of underground stones and sand, preventing brick kiln construction in human settlements, protecting dams in Haor area, and taking measures against providing leases to powerful people depriving common fishermen. Later, the matter of local issue-based movement was included in SHUJAN’s central secretariat’s agenda.