Decentralized Planning and Budgeting as Social Accountability Tools: A Study of Social Accountability in Local Government in Bangladesh
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.
KeywordsParticipatory Planning Participatory Budgeting Social Accountability Mechanism (SAM) Local Government Union Parishad The Local Government (Union Parishad) Act, 2009
- Aminuzzaman, S. M. (2011). Local Governance Innovations: An Assessment of the Challenges for Mainstreaming Local Governance Support Program. In I. Jamil, S. M. Aminuzzaman, S. Askvik, & S. T. M. Haque (Eds.), Understanding Governance and Public Policy in Bangladesh. Dhaka: North South University.Google Scholar
- Aziz, M. A. (1991). The Union Parishad in Bangladesh: An Analysis of Problems and Directions of Reform. Dhaka: National Institute of Local Government.Google Scholar
- Cheema, G. S., & Rondinelli, D. A. (n.d.). From Government Decentralization to Decentralized Governance. Available at: http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/press/ books/2007/decentralizinggovernance/decentralizinggovernance_chapter.pdf. Accessed 01 May 2013.
- Chowdhury, M. S. (2015). Impact of ‘the Local Government (Union Parishad) Act, 2009’ on the Local Governance in Bangladesh: A Focus on People’s Participation and Accountability (Unpublished PhD Thesis). Rajshahi: Department of Public Administration, Rajshahi University.Google Scholar
- Crook, R. C., & Manor, J. (1998). Democracy and Decentralization in South Asia and West Africa: Participation, Accountability and Performance. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Faruki, A. J. (2011). Resource Mobilization in Local Government Institutions: A Comparative Analysis of Five Union Parishads in South Western Region in Bangladesh. The Journal of Local Government, 37(2), 41–56.Google Scholar
- GoB (Government of Bangladesh). (2009). The Local Government (Union Parishads) Act 2009. Dhaka: Ministry of Local Government.Google Scholar
- GoB (Government of Bangladesh). (2012). Budget Booklet 2012–13. Dhaka: Finance Division, Ministry of Finance. Retrieved from http://www.mof.gov.bd/en/budget/booklet/booklet_en.pdf on 15 Jun 2014.
- Khan, M. M. (2011). Local Government in Bangladesh: Some Contemporary Issues and Practices. Dhaka: A H Development Publishing House.Google Scholar
- Malenat, C., Forster, R., & Singh, J. (2004). Social Accountability: An Introduction to the Concept and Emerging Practice. In World Bank, Participation and Civic Engagement (Paper No. 76). Washington, DC: The World Bank.Google Scholar
- Olsen, H. B. (2007). Decentralization and Local Governance, Module-1: Definitions and Concepts. Retrieved from http://www.deza.admin.ch/ressources/resource_en_167288.pdf
- Olum, Y. (2014). Decentralization in Developing Countries: Preconditions for Successful Implementation. Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance (15). Retrieved from http://epress.lib.uts.edu.au/ojs/index.php/cjlg on 1 Dec 2015.
- Panday, P. K., & Asaduzzaman, M. (2011). Politics, Problems and Trends of Decentralized Local Governance in Bangladesh. In I. Jamil, S. M. Aminuzzaman, S. Askvik, & S. T. M. Haque (Eds.), Understanding Governance and Public Policy in Bangladesh. Dhaka: North South University.Google Scholar
- Rahman, A. (n.d.). Effective Participation: Community Engagements in Participatory Budgeting in Bangladesh. Bangladesh: Unnayan Shamanay, Shahbag, Dhaka. Retrieved from http://www.engagingcommunities2005.org/abstracts/Rahman-Atiur-final.pdf. On 07 Sept 2013.
- Rahman, A. (2005). People’s Budgeting at the Local Government Level in Bangladesh. In United Nations, Participatory Planning and Budgeting at the Sub-national Level. Retrieved from http://www.unpan.org/Portals/0/60yrhistory/documents/Publications/Participatory%20Planning%20and%20Budgeting.2005.pdf on 7 Sept 2013.
- Razzaque, F. (2016). Reality of Citizen Engagement in the Development Activities at Local Level in Bangladesh: A Study of Union Parishads. Asian Journal of Development and Governance, 1(1), 31–54.Google Scholar
- Sarkar, S. K., & Dutta, A. (2011). Country Paper: Bangladesh-Democratic Accountability in Local Governance Institutions. In Democratic Accountability in Local Governance: Experience from South Asia. New Delhi: PRIA Global Partnership.Google Scholar
- Ullah, M. A., & Pongquan, S. (2011). Revenue Mobilization Performance of Union Parishad in Bangladesh: Is It Convergence of Central-Local Relations. Asian Social Science Journal, 2, 25–40.Google Scholar
- UNDP. (2010). Re-Thinking the Approaches to Local Governance Programming in Conflict Affected Countries in the Arab Region: An Exploratory Study. New York: UNDP.Google Scholar
- Vijayalakshmi, V. (2002). Gender Mainstreaming in Sirajganj Local Governance Development Project. Bangalore: Institute for Social and Economic Change.Google Scholar
- Wampler, B. (2007). A Guide to Participatory Budgeting. In A. Shah (Ed.), Participatory Budgeting. Washington, DC: The World Bank.Google Scholar
- World Bank. (1998). Public Expenditure Management Handbook. Washington, DC: World Bank. Retrieved from http://www1.worldbank.org/publicsector/ pe/handbook/pem98.pdf. On 21 Aug 2014.
- World Bank. (2007). A Guide to Participatory Budgeting. In A. Shah (Ed.), Participatory Budgeting. Public Sector Governance and Accountability Series. Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
- World Bank. (2014). Bangladesh Local Governance Support Project II: Overview. Retrieved from http://www.worldbank.org/projects/P124514/bangladesh-local-governance-support-project-ii?lang=en on 1 Oct 2014.
- Yilmaz, S., Beris, Y., & Serrano-Berthet, R. (2008). Local Government Discretion and Accountability: A Diagnostic Framework for Local Governance. Washington, DC: The World Bank.Google Scholar
- Zahid, S. J. A., & Rahman, M. M. (1994). Framework on Management of Local Level Planning in Bangladesh. In A. Salehuddin & S. J. A. Anwar (Eds.), Strategies and Issues of Local Level Planning in Bangladesh. Comilla: BARD.Google Scholar