Our initiative to strengthen local government institutions started in 2003. It aims to develop the capacity of the local government and their accountability to rural citizens with increased transparency. Additionally, it aims to promote participatory democracy, and create platforms for rural citizens and the local government to work together to meet local development challenges. Since 2003, we have provided capacity-building support and gender sensitisation to 30,022 UP members and chairmen in Bangladesh. Interventions under this component include:
Capacity development of UP representatives
Training and workshops are arranged for UP representatives (both women and men, including the chairmen) from selected areas. It ensures that the local government representatives have a clear understanding of the UP’s structure and activities and of their own roles and responsibilities to the people as elected members.
Upazila (sub-district) forum
Sub-district forums are formed with participation of UP members who are women. These forums create direct links with the sub-district level government officials, allow networking and sharing among themselves, strengthen accountability and promote women's leadership in the UP.
We ensure that the trained UP officials conduct two ward shabha (ward meetings of union council officials, also known as ward council) every year as mandated by the Union Parishad Law 2009 in the wards they represent. The council allows marginalised members of the community to share their concerns and problems with the UP officials.
We provide support to the UP to prepare budgets which are formulated in line with the Union Parishad Operations Manual. This is followed by the open budget session, and is arranged to ensure transparency while taking our citizen’s opinions into account. It is a process that allows direct participation of citizens in the government’s decision-making procedure regarding development planning and resource allocation. It also enables citizens to hold the government accountable.
We have adopted a bottom-up advocacy approach to bring out concerns from the grassroots through the local levels to the national level. Advocacy initiatives engage key government officials at different levels, NGO and media representatives as well as different civil society stakeholders.
• Local Government(Union Parishad) Act 2009
• Evaluation report: Post-project evaluations for the United Nations democracy fund
• Gender and good governance issues in local government of Bangladesh: A baseline report
• Facilitating good governance at grassroots: BRAC and woman membes of UP
• Poster on good governance
• Poster on active citizenship
• Poster on union parishad standing commitees
• Report: district level advocacy workshop