UZGP holds PSC meeting
The 3rd Project Steering Committee (PSC) meeting of Upazila Governance Project (UZGP) was held at Conference Room, Local Government Division (LGD), Bangladesh Secretariat, Dhaka, on 28 July. Mr. Abu Alam Md. Shahid Khan, Secretary, Local Government Division (LGD), presided over the meeting.
Mr. Md. Shah Kamal, Additional Secretary (Admin) and National Project Director (NPD), UZGP, briefed the meeting about the revision of Annual Work Plan (AWP) 2013 and future activities of the project till December 2013 and the meeting unanimously approved it.
Mr. Akram-al-Hossain, Joint Secretary (Upazila) and Focal Person, UZGP made a brief presentation on the progress the project made from January to June 2013 and key achievements/results of the performed activities. The FP informed the participants that all of the decisions taken in the 2nd PSC meeting have already been implemented and are in practice.
Listing the achievements of the UZGP till June this year, Mr. Akram said a total of 1550 UZP Chairs, Vice-chairs and UNOs received 3-day General Training while 163 UZP functionaries from 22 UZPs received a 9-day specialized training specially focusing on planning and budgeting, team building, financial management and Public Procurement Rules (PPR).
He also informed that a total of 158 Women Development Forums (WDFs) were formed at UZP level while 7 at district level and 481 UZPs submitted budget to LGD. The other activities that have already been done are included completion of performance assessment of 7 target UZPs, disbursement of first tranche of fiscal grants amounting Tk. 17.4 million, completion of project baseline survey and publication of 2nd UZP Manual.
The UZGP future activities are included holding a nationwide peer dialogue/exchange visit to promote good practices among pilot UZPs, capacity building of designated information officers in line with the RTI Act for target 14 pilot UZP, national media awareness training and media field trip, support publication of 65 targeted UZPs budget and plan book, national Conference on Sharing Experience of UZP level Planning and Budgeting, disbursement of 2nd tranche of Performance Grants 2012-13 to 7 UZPs, disbursement of first tranche of Performance Grants 2013-2014 to 14 UZPs and one national policy dialogue.
Showering praise to the UZGP for its achievements made so far, UNDP Bangladesh Country Director Pauline Tamesis said that the project is trying to conduct a policy research on a number of institutional arrangements including legal structure, roles and responsibilities and capacity development of LGIs as part of policy reforms in LG. "I hope that the policy research will help the LGD and the government reform local governance," she added.
Mr. Swapan Kumar Sarker, Director General, MIE and Additional Secretary, LGD, Mr. Khurshid Alam, former secretary, LGD, Ms. Shaila Khan, Assistant Country Director and Head of Local Governance Cluster, UNDP Bangladesh, Mr. Mozammel Haque, Project Manager, UZGP, Mr. Jesmul Hasan, Programme Analyst, UNCDF, representatives from EU and SDC, different Ministries and Divisions`, public representatives from Upazila Parishads and other agencies concerned, were also present at the meeting.