Training on “Strengthening Local Government and Decentralization in Bangladesh”

The Union Parishad Governance Project (UPGP) and Upazila Governance Project (UZGP) have jointly organised a five-day international (in-country) training on “Strengthening Local Government and Decentralization in Bangladesh” at Cox’s Bazar on 12-16 September 2015.

Mr. Abdul Malek, Secretary of Local Government Division (LGD), inaugurated the training as chief guest while Ms. Pauline Tamesis, Country Director, UNDP Bangladesh; Mr. Nick Beresford, Deputy Country Director, UNDP Bangladesh; and Ms. Shaila Khan, Assistant Country Director and Head, Local Governance Cluster, UNDP Bangladesh, as special guests.

Professor Roy Kelly of Duke University, Professor Jamie Boex of Georgetown University and Professor Salahuddin Aminuzzaman of Dhaka University facilitated the training.

The training was designed to further strengthen the technical capacity of relevant government officials and other stakeholders including elected public representatives from Upazila and Union Parishad in the area of policy review, monitoring, lesson learning and policy formulation for improved local governance.

Speaking on the occasion, the LGD Secretary said that a strong, efficient, accountable, transparent and “self-governing” local government institutions (LGIs) is a must to empower the people in true sense.

“The LGIs will be progressively decentralised to establish a devolved local government system constitutionally mandated with adequate transfer of power, functions and authority with a guaranteed share in centrally mobilized revenue resources on the basis of population,” he said, citing the Government’s Vision 2021.

Listing the government’s initiatives including the recent decision to directly disburse fund to Upazila Parishad (UZP) for paying salaries and allowances of the staff of the 17 transferred departments aimed at improving local service delivery by strengthening role of LGIs, the LGD Secretary said that the move will further enhance accountability of the public servants of the offices transferred to the Upazila Parishad.

He hoped that the week-long training will provide an opportunity to discuss possible interventions to further strengthening the LGIs and to pull the local government bodies into a comprehensive local governance strategic framework.

Stressing the need for capacity development of relevant government and elected public representatives, Ms. Pauline Tamesis, Country Director, UNDP Bangladesh said that appropriate policy reform is needed to ensure delegation of power, responsibilities and resources from higher to lower levels of government.

Mr. Nick Beresford, Deputy Country Director, UNDP Bangladesh hoped that the participants will come up with a roadmap for implementation of decentralization policy reform.

Ms. Shaila Khan, Assistant Country Director, UNDP Bangladesh, laid emphasis on “localizing” the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to reach the fruits of the development interventions to the grass-roots people.

A total of 36 participants from different ministries and departments and elected public representatives from Upazila and Union Parishads took part in the training.


Source: UPGP. Date: September 16, 2015