Md. Shahriar Islam's picture

Good Democratic Local Governance in Bangladesh: Ramification of Upazila Parishad in Accelerating Local Development

The objective of the paper is to look at the various governance and democratic aspects such as participation, accountability, transparency, rule of law etc. at the Upazila level in Bangladesh and to what extent the indicators portray good democratic local governance at the Upazila level. This paper examines to what extent the aspects of governance and democracy is being channeled to ensure that the needs and wants of the local people are met and alleviate poverty towards local development. Our paper would discuss whether the Upazila Parishad in Bangladesh is ensuring good democratic local governance to expedite the development process at the local level.
Tek Nath Dhakal's picture

Strategy for Mobilizing Volunteers in Development in Nepal: Prospects and Challenges

The use of volunteers in development and service delivery in an organized form is a modern concept, however, the practice of volunteerism in the society has been found since times immemorial. The traditional mode of voluntarism in Nepal was mostly based on personal relations and was also a felt need due to the lack of and/or the weak presence of the state to deliver basic services to the people particularly at the local level. In addition, the reciprocity of voluntary support and the contribution was also very much influenced by the religious feeling and the cultural practices. In Nepal, National Planning Commission (NPC) has initiated to mobilization of volun-teers through its National Development Volunteers Service (NDVS) program in development through various local level organizations such as District Development Committees, Health Posts, Agriculture service office, and the Animal Health Service including local academic institutions for the last fifteen years. In this context, query arises whether the NDVS program proves to be an appropriate strategy in Development and delivery of services in Nepal. This study reviews the implementation status of NDVS program and discusses with the volunteers and NDVS unit of the NPC to substantiate factual information. The study found that there was a high demand of such volunteers from the recipient organizations to substantiate the shortage of technical human resources in those local level organizations. It was also found quite important to build enthusiasm of volunteerism among the potential volunteers. The experience of such voluntary works also found to be helpful to the volunteers for skill development through practical learning, motivation to offer voluntary services, and useful for getting future career jobs. However, the NPC has been facing the challenge of sustainability of such schemes and retention of volunteers particularly the technical human resources due to the financial constraints, at least, to provide basic level of survival benefits to the volunteers.

Who Participates and Who Doesn’t? Lessons from a Community-based Development Project in Bangladesh

It is generally claimed that the second wave of participatory development, which received momentum in the 1990s, tends to be informed with broad-based social inclusion, social change and transformation. However, many have portrayed participatory development —the way it has been managed — as tyranny. This paper is a further attempt to explore some of these tyrannies of participation by focusing on a participatory development project in Bangladesh. This paper draws on a comparative case study on two project communities, and investigates: first, how socio-economic differentiation influences the extent of participation; and second, how this influence may be exaggerated by faulty project implementation guidelines. It is found that people’s ability to participate in community development project is greatly influenced by socio-economic status measured by, for example, household income, educational background and residency status. No additional effort from the project management side was made to include the most disadvantaged community people in the project activities or to make the weaker participants more active in group activities.

Development Role of the Local Governance Institutions in Bangladesh: Empirical Overview

Local governance institutions are widely recognized as the best ground in which people can learn the art of governance through their own experiences and the reality that exists around them. Local government is also always, in all circumstances, considered as the important vehicle and only the means to provide state benefits and services to the local inhabitants. This paper attempts to analyze the performance of local governance institutions (public, non-profit and private) in Bangladesh in a critical and a comparative manner. It is found that, despite frequent reform measures, the public institutions have failed to become people-oriented democratic units due to strong intervention of formal and informal actors. As a result, corruption has burgeoned and pervaded every sector of the country as fatal disease, and has become an inevitable part of the daily life in Bangladesh. The findings of this paper indicate that the public institution is structurally stronger than the non-profit and private institutions but functionally weaker. The paper also suggests that strong public institutions can not work effectively and efficiently given their various malfunctioning practices, while comparatively weak institutional structures (NGOs) are able to work efficiently due to their good practices. As a result, it is recommended that in order to eradicate and overcome the features of poor governance, the partnership form of local governance system might be the best possible solution in aid recipient countries like Bangladesh.
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