Empowering LGIs to deliver quality services stressed

Aug 31, 2013

Policy dialogue held at Conference Room of Deputy Commissioner’s Office in Khulna. Photo: UNDP Bangladesh.

​Speakers at a policy dialogue on local governance on 31 August stressed the need for empowering local government institutions (LGIs) at all levels to deliver quality services to citizen.

They also observed that most of the efforts of local government institutions (LGIs) concentrate on micro-infrastructure such as roads and culverts while services like education, health, agriculture, fisheries, livestock, sports and culture, women and children are generally neglected.

They made the observations at the policy dialogue held at Conference Room of Deputy Commissioner’s Office in Khulna on Saturday, 31 August.

The Upazila Governance Project (UZGP), being implemented by the Local Government Division (LGD), organized the dialogue to create and collect public opinions on local governance reforms from local level functionaries, public representatives, general citizens and members of the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and NGOs.

The dialogue emphasized the concentration of non-infrastructural areas, major reforms on legal framework, existing LG elections and structure, and overlapping functions between LGIs and government functionaries’ at all corresponding levels.

In this connection, the dialogue recommended for an all encompassing “Mother Law” for all LGIs from City Corporation to Union Parishad.

Addressing the dialogue as chief guest, State Minister for Labour and Employment, Begum Monuujan Sufian said that for making a balanced development of the country, local government plays a vital role. “In Bangladesh, government is committed to reform and develop existing local government system,” she urged the audience to come forward with constructive suggestions towards making meaningful changes in local government system.

Mr. Md. Shah Kamal, Additional Secretary (Admin), LGD and National Project Director (NPD), UZGP was present at the programme as special guest while, among others, Mr. Akram-al-Hossain, Joint Secretary (Upazila), LGD and Focal Person, UZGP, Ms. Shaila Khan, Assistant Country Director and Head, Local Governance Cluster, UNDP Bangladesh, Mr. Ashoke Kumar Biswas, Additional Divisional Commissioner, Khulna, Mr. Md. Gaus, Additional Divisional Commissioner (General), Khulna, Mr. Abdul Hannan Biswas, Director, Local Government and Mr. Mesbah Uddin, Deputy Commissioner, Khulna, spoke on the occasion.

Eminent LG expert and National Technical Advisor (NTA), UZGP, Dr. Tofail Ahmed presented the key note paper. Mr. Abdul Jalil, Divisional Commissioner, Khulna, presided over the dialogue.

More than 200 participants from 33 different professional categories, divided into seven thematic groups, took part in the dialogue and made a set of recommendations to strengthen LG service delivery and bring necessary reforms.
This was the third dialogue in a series of seven dialogues the Upazila Governance Project (UZGP) is going to hold at seven divisions of the country. Earlier, the first two dialogues were held in Sylhet and Barisal.

The European Union (EU), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), UNCDF and UNDP, are providing financial and technical assistance to the project.