The capacities of local government institutions (LGIs) in Bangladesh, their accountability and transparency have increased to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, after the successful implementation of the five-year program “Efficient and Accountable Local Governance (EALG)”. “The project and the good practices should be replicated,” said Tazul Islam, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD).
He said this during an event titled “Local Governance Stakeholder Conference: Progress, Learning and Way Forward”, Thursday, July 28, jointly organized by the Local Government Division (LGD), MoLGRD&C and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC), Dhaka.
Speaking as the main guest, Tazul Islam, said, “Local government institutions must be accountable to the people by providing better services to the community and local officials must earn their dignity through their work for the people.
Addressing the conference as a special guest, Sudipto Mukerjee, UNDP Resident Representative in Bangladesh said, “The EALG project has been working with local government for five years to localize the SDGs and build the capacity of Union Parishads and Upazila Parishad and provide political support. to the government for building effective local government systems that leave no one behind”. He thanked Switzerland and Denmark for their support in the implementation of the project and underlined the importance of continued support to local government.
Nathalie Chuard, Ambassador, Embassy of Switzerland, in her remarks as a special guest, said: “In terms of strengthening local governance in Bangladesh, we are working with the government and development partners to ensure transparency , accountability, efficiency and inclusiveness so that no one is left behind.”
She further added, “One of the key lessons we have learned from EALG is that coordinated development planning and monitoring by local government is essential to ensure efficient and optimal use of scarce resources and also to avoid duplication of activities”.
Earlier, Mozammel Haque, Program Analyst, UNDP Bangladesh gave the keynote speech on the EALG project and its main achievements. Among others, Mohammed Mezbah Uddin Chowdhury, Secretary, Local Government Division, Shariful Hoque, EALG Project Coordinator, Deputy Director of Nine District Local Government; President and Vice President of Upazila Parishads and President of Union Parishads; Upazila Nirbahi officers also spoke.
With the support of the Embassy of Switzerland and Denmark, the Effective and Accountable Local Governance (EALG) project of the Division of Local Government and UNDP has been implemented in 251 UP and 18 UZP under 09 districts. The project has played an important role in identifying and addressing local social issues by organizing public hearings in Union Parishads and Upazila Parishads. He not only helped local government institutions to know the public’s opinion of his services, but also to find immediate solutions or plans.