Union Parishad Governance Project

What the project is about?

 Women's Group Discussion A fundamental requirement of UPGP is the dedication of 30% of all community schemes, for women by women, leading to a greater number of women-centered local development projects. Photo: UNDP Bangladesh.

The Union Parishad Governance Project (UPGP) aims to support the government of Bangladesh in meeting the Millennium Development Goals through effective, inclusive, participatory and democratic local governance. Its focus is to enhance the accountability local administration, transition the current service-delivery towards a pro-poor approach and to strengthen the Union Parishad (lowest tier of local administration)’s institutions and policies.       

The local government division of the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives is the main partner in implementing this program.

The UPGP is linked to the larger World Bank financed LGSP-2. One of the raisons d’etre of the UPGP is its ability to add value to LGSP-2; spearheading local governance, CB and fiscal innovations as well as regulatory improvements and best practices which can be up-scaled and disseminated nationwide though LGSP.

The UPGP provides capacity support to all 564 UPs in the seven districts and is piloting an annual UP performance grant, which is allocated to the best performing (approximately 70 %) UPs, in FY 2012/13, this was 404 UPs and in FY 2013/14 this was 410 UPs.

What have we accomplished so far?

UPGP has improved transparency, accountability and participation at UP level and there is credible documentation of improved pro-poor, gender friendly planning and MDG service delivery in pilot areas.

Capacity Building: UPGP has facilitated the process of installing a formal mechanism for promoting of public consultative processes and open hearings to ensure that UPs are more responsive to citizens’ needs. The citizens have now better access to information and are more aware of the roles and responsibilities of Ups as the project has installed a democratic accountability system through community engagement and mandatory public display of information regarding UP expenditures, the Citizens Charter etc.

As a result of the project’s trainings and workshops, all meetings conducted by Ward Shava, Parishad and Standing Committee and other UP Committees are almost up to the standard set by UP Act 2009.

Planning and Budgeting: UPGP’s intervention has strengthened the capabilities of UPs to foster participatory local development planning and service delivery including addressing the MDGs. By installing an accountability system, the project has ensured the inclusion of pro-poor infrastructure and services in its planning and project selection process. Significant improvement has been observed in preparing the Annual Plan and Five Year Plan mainly due to the capacity development training under UPGP, and the incentives created through the performance-based fiscal facility provided by the project.

Policy and Research: The newly installed MIS system has been playing a great role in the gathering of updated information from UPs. Monitoring and supervision has been increased and as a result the quality of service delivery regarding project selection and implementation has also been improved.

Gender Mainstreaming and Empowering Women: Through WDF, women, particularly elected women representatives of UPs, have become more aware of their rights and other issues. The objectives of the WDF are to create a platform for elected female representatives, for networking and monitoring, strengthening UP and UZP linkages and pursing advocacy on women’s issues. Through UPGP, WDF members have been trained on gender issues at LGIs, gender responsive planning and budgeting, networking and resource mobilization, women empowerment and leadership skills. 


  • 7,809 government and elected stakeholders from 545 Ups have received a 2-day training in planning and management
  •  307 UPs (55 % of the total) have been provided with backstopping support through regular communication and visits by the officials
  • 53% of activated Ward Shavas were conducting business in accordance with the UP Act by 2013
  • 100% of the mandatory 6 Standing Committees at UP level have been formed and are producing at least 2 monitoring reports a year
  • 87% of UPs shared their Annual Budget in an open session, greatly improving the transparency and participatory nature of local governments
  • 91% of targets Ups have at least 1 woman representative participating in a Women Development Forum
  • 93% of UPs are now conducting regular monthly meetings
  • 1,567 local schemes have been implemented with the support of UFF in 404 UPs, reflecting core areas of service delivery with approximately 48 % targeting directly MDG sectors and 1,442 new schemes are being planned

Who finances it?

European Union $ 9,305,556  
DANIDA $ 5,585,552  
UNDP $ 2,000,000  
UNCDF $ 1,500,000  
GoB BDT 80 million  

Delivery in previous fiscal years

Year Amount
2014 $ 2,001,030
2013 $ 1,581,501
2012 $ 197,900