A national conference on “Upazila Parishad Governance to Improve Service Delivery” was held on June 26, 2014 at CIRDAP. The conference was organized by Unnayan Shamannay and Prof. Dr. Khondker Mokaddem Hossain, team leader of the study, presided over the conference and welcome remarks was addressed by Mr. Jerome Sayre, Chief of Party, SDLG Project.
The power-point presentation on the finding was presented by Dr. Mahfuz Kabir. Besides that Prof. Dr. Zarina Rahman Khan also pointed some important gap in policy level. The Guest of Honor of this conference was the Honorable state minister Mr. M.A. Mannan MP. Besides, representative from different type of donor agencies, the govt. level officers and media were present there.
Strengthening Democratic Local Governance (SDLG) is USAID-funded project, which is implemented by Tetra Tech ARD for supporting devolution and local capacity building in Bangladesh. The event was arranged to present the findings of the Bhairob Upazila Case Study, provide recommendations to strengthen democratic local governance particularly on upazila parishad in Bangladesh and get feedback from participants.
Mr. Jerome Sayre, Chief of Party, SDLG, said that SDLG project trained 600 elected councils including 100 Upazila councils and Bhairab Upazila. Training was also provided to the citizens to clearly understand the role of local government. He mentioned that success of SDLG project depends on training and practice.
Dr. Mahfuz Kabir, lead researcher of SDLG project delivered the power point presentation on the findings of the case study conducted in Bhairab Upazila (Model Upazila). He also presented some performance indicators based on the three components, viz. Financial Management & Resource Generation, Participatory Planning & Budgeting, and Service Delivery & Monitoring,to get score from the participants related to their involvement with the upazila parishad. It was found that Upazila Parishad only achieved 74% success for service deliver and monitoring whereas other indicators did not show any satisfactory scores. He also brought up some problems associated with the local government level like UNO influence over the monthly meeting and provided suggestions for the problems.
Mr. M A Mannan, State Minister, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Planning delivered his speech where he said that no immediate change is possible. Rather, local government should be given opportunity to evolve by itself and thus good governance will come over time.
Delegates from local government level officers and different type of donor agencies participated in the discussion enthusiastically in the open floor.