Songshoptaque is operating in a dynamic yet a fast changing operating environment. Being based in Chittagong, the operating environment of Songshoptaque is crisscrossed by the social, economic, political and environmental realities of this region. The strategic planning process have tried to analyze current as well as unfolding realities in this region and attempted to locate itself where is may fit best in the foreseeable future. Following are some of the most relevant issues that would implicate Songshoptaque to destine its future course of programmes and activities.
Environmental and climate change impact on Chittagong: Proximity to sea and geographical condition of Chittagong posed particular threat to environmental degradation, salinity, pollution and climate impact. Unplanned industrialization and the raise of ship braking industry are causing serious pollution and health hazard in the port city and its surrounding area. Environmental threat will continue to be a major developmental issue in the foreseeable future.
Expanding garments factories and the compliance issue: Export oriented garments industry is fast expanding in the city areas. Women mostly from the suburb areas work for these garment factories. Importing countries are increasing demanding social compliance in the factories including ensuring rights of garment workers. In other words ensuring compliance matters is evolving a prerequisite for business sustainability of the garment sector.
Expanding microfinance programme of the large NGOs: Microfinance activities used to be less intense in these areas compare to other parts of the country. But in recent times a number of large micro finance NGOs have stretch their activities in these areas making the micro finance operation more competitive. The demand for microfinance on the other hand is also growing fast.
Low education and awareness of the general masses: General education and awareness social and human rights are relatively low among the poor and marginalized people in these areas partly because not much attention have been given by the NGOs. Conservatism and restriction on women is more profound and thus women and child rights are overtly neglected in private and social respect and arena.
Livelihood security of the peri-urban and rural population: Agriculture and fisheries is the main livelihood for the rural population. Salinity, pollution and climate change are causing a negative impact on the agriculture and fisheries sector. People in these professions are beginning to feel the impact on their livelihood. There is no adoptive measures are in place at scale to mitigate the impact. Signs are evident that rural people are switching to other profession for livelihoods.
Rights of the marginalized people: Marginalized people including minorities and persons with disability are especially subject to violation of rights. Efforts for raising social awareness and sensitivity towards these groups remain limited and fragmented. Marginalisation process prohibits them from access to legitimate services and opportunities. Therefore poverty and social insecurity descend on them in a dominant form and eventually isolating them from the mainstream social processes.
Growing civil society: Civil society and NGO activities are increasingly evident in this region though relatively less organized and profile than other parts of the country. They are increasingly raising voice on issues like environment, human rights, social integration and good governance. A number of thematic NGO networks are also working to push forward their respective issues both in regional and national forums.