Decentralized Planning and Budgeting as Social Accountability Tools: A Study of Social Accountability in Local Government in Bangladesh

  • Shuvra Chowdhury


This chapter examines the scope and limits of mechanisms used to encourage social accountability (SAM) in local government in Bangladesh, particularly at the Union Parishad (UP) – the lowest unit of rural local government in Bangladesh. It focuses on two major mechanisms of social accountability – Participatory Planning (PP) and Participatory Budgeting (PB) – as provided for in the Local Government (Union Parishad) Act, 2009. The chapter particularly explores the extent to which there exists any gap between what has been prescribed in the statute and the way the role actors behave and examines the reasons that explain the divergence between rules and roles, if any. Many reasons – political, administrative, and social – account for the hiatus between the law and the reality. However, notwithstanding several drawbacks, PP and PB can be seen as beneficial from several standpoints. Direct fund transfer to UPs is now considered to be feasible, due to greater accountability and participation in spending such funds. The formal planning and budgeting practices have challenged the existing power structure in the local government institutions. UP officials have been rendered accountable and UP financial management has become more professional following the introduction of SAMs. The chapter has suggested some reforms to make PP and PB effective.


Participatory Planning Participatory Budgeting Social Accountability Mechanism (SAM) Local Government Union Parishad The Local Government (Union Parishad) Act, 2009 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shuvra Chowdhury
    • 1
  1. 1.University of RajshahiRajshahiBangladesh

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