Output 1 : Strengthened Upazila Parishads as functional, democratic and accountable institutions

This Output aims at capacity building of the UZP mainly to transform it into a fully functional institution and to promote democracy first from within, and then to empowering people, in particular the women representatives to participate in the policy debate of the UZP. The capacity building efforts will include making the UZP functionaries (elected and non-elected) understand their basic roles and functions. This will contribute to enhancing their skills to perform within the provisions of the existing legal framework and meeting the expectation of their male and female constituencies.
Capacity building will involve a wider set of institutional challenges than covered by the existing support to UZPs. The existing support will cover the areas related to Parishad members representative function and requirements, formulating and operationalising rules and regulations. It will also enhance the transparency, and downwards accountability; as well as strategic capacities relating to fair and equitable development; social inclusion and social cohesion etc. As the program develops, capacity building will focus on the broader development roles of councilors in terms of addressing shortfalls in UZP MDG targets and addressing poverty and vulnerability; combating gender-based violence; climate change and other issues identified by councilors themselves as important within their UZP. The capacity building will be delivered using a range of methods such as through formal training, peer-to-peer learning; practice based training, coaching and mentoring.

In promoting democracy, the output will support the development of local democracy at Upazila level contributing to the Parishads functioning as institutions of local representative democracy. This will help realizing the rights of people to participate in governance with a specific focus on women and marginalized groups. To this effect strong focus will be put in supporting the contribution of the elected Parishads to increase democratic space, particularly in relation to citizen-state engagement both at horizontal and downward accountability levels. The realization of the Right to Information Act and the Digital Bangladesh vision will be supported to enhance the interface between government and citizens. The mainstreaming of Gender aspects throughout this Output will be complemented by the support to ‘Women Development Forum’s that will provide an important voice platform for female representatives.

Input-wise Estimated Budget: This output aims to provide a broad range of support, building on existing practices which will support UZPs through several activities and Sub-activities. Estimated budget of this output would be Tk.4506.48 lakh (US$6.025 million).

Output 2: Strengthened Planning & Budgeting System at Upazila Parishads with MDG orientation and pro-poor service delivery mechanism

This output will be aimed at creating a simple and viable planning and budgeting system under the existing legal framework and support improvements to the management and coordination of the infrastructure support and local services assigned to all the Upazila Parishads of Bangladesh under capacity development support. Gender and vulnerable group sensitive planning, budgeting and service delivery will also be taken into account while attempting the capacity supports will ensure preparation and implementation of Upazila level 5-year plan.

The project under this output will also provide support to an MDG oriented participatory planning and budgetary framework for few UZPs of Bangladesh. This will include a fiscal facility intended both to support development planning and actual delivery of gender sensitive and inclusive local services and infrastructure to a selected number of UZPs spread over all the seven divisions of the country. To do this, Output 2 will address the challenge of enabling the UZP to fulfil a strategic and coordinating development role linking the line agencies, pourshavas and the UPs to focus on coherent development Outputs. The Output will support the Upazila Parishads as a means to improve basic service delivery within the areas assigned to them further clarifying the roles and responsibility to be carried out as duty bearers, making a difference in development and contributing to the achievement of the MDGs.

Input-wise Estimated Budget: To achieve the above output-2, two activities and seven sub-activities have been identified to implement under this project. Number of interventions would be implemented under each activity during the project period. A total cost of Tk.4668.46 lakh has been estimated for ouput-2.

Output 3: Strengthened national capacity for effective policy review, monitoring, lesson learning and capacity development of LGIs for enhanced Local Governance

This output is common to the UZGP project and its partner project Union Parishad Governance Project (UPGP). It includes support to the development of national policies and systems including rules and regulation which will enable implementation of the Upazila Parishad Act. The project will also assist the government to prepare and operationalize manuals including those for planning, human resources and administration. This Output targets the capacity for policy development and national systems supporting local governance comprising both the LG training institutions, technical support and monitoring by the DLG, and DDLGs at divisional and district levels and relevant sectoral entities. Most of the activities of output 1 and 2 will be delivered through these national policies and systems rather than independent project mechanisms. Output 3 will mainstream Gender equity throughout the policies and institutional tools it will develop and contribute to.

National coverage will be promoted through working with the offices of the LGD offices of (Director(LG), and Deputy Director (LG) located at the Divisional/Deputy Commissioners’ offices, and the additional main elements of the national framework supporting LGs. Capacity support will be delivered through the existing training institutions and experienced non-state actors; professional bodies primarily responsible for developing the individual capacity of the chairs, vice-chairs, members and staff of local government. Output 3 outlines in more detail how the program will contribute to the institutionalizing of an innovative and demand-driven approach to capacity building which moves beyond the classroom and responds directly to the needs of local government actors.

Additionally, the program funded capacity building, including aspects of institutional trainings, backstopping and the peer-to-peer horizontal learning, will be delivered to all. Evidence from the existing peer-to-peer learning initiatives by WSP with the UPs suggests that once good practices are identified, non-participating UPs are quick to learn and adopt such practices leading to a wider take-up and embedding of good practice across a broad geographical area. The LGD, concern officials at Divisional and Deputy Commissioner’s offices and UNO will be taken on board along with some specialized academic organizations such as BARD, RDA , NILG, BRDTI (Sylhet), RPATC, BIAM and other institutions

Input-wise Estimated Budget: Under the output-3, three main activities and eight sub-activities have been identified to implement during the project. Under each sub-activity several interventions would be implemented under the project. An amount of Tk. 2011.76 lakh (US$ 2.689 million) would be needed to implement the activities and sub-activities of ouput-3. 

Output 4: Effective Project Management

The aim of this output is to support effective project management that will facilitate the implementation of activities reflected in Outputs 1, 2 and 3. In support of this output, project management structures such as a Steering Committee (linking both the Union Parishad and Upazila Parishad projects) and an operational Project Boards are going to be established. Different specialized units will be put in place with the Project management team, technical team, Monitoring team, field coordination team and admin/finance support team. Emphasis will be put on a strong technical team that will ensure a sound democracy, fiscal decentralization and citizen engagement support. The M&E team will also be crucial to ensure experiences and progress are captured and duly utilized. A Women empowerment Officer will also be placed to look into Gender-sensitive and pro-poor budgeting ensured in the relevant output. The senior technical advisers will look after the democracy and fiscal support system. This output will also ensure the physical premises with units in Dhaka and at Divisional and District level to support the project implementation. UZ Parisad and UNO , me
Input-wise Estimated Budget: Under the output-4, a project support team would be established to implement activities and sub-activities of the above three main outputs. All vehicles, equipments and necessary logistics will be procured under this output. Project operation and maintenance costs will be carried out and necessary reviews and reporting would be done under this output.An amount of Tk 2106.58 lakh (US$ 2.816 million) would be needed to implement the activities and sub-activities of ouput-4. In addition an amount of Tk 700.00 lakh would also be needed for CD/VAT and registration for vehicles procurement.

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