BIGD Special Publication Series
No.02 March, 2016

Social Accountability Mechanisms: A Study on the Union Parishads in Bangladesh

Contributors: Tofail Ahmed, Md. Harun Or Rashid, Kazi Niaz Ahmmed, Farhana Razzaque

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The study has been undertaken to analyze the state of social accountability in the Union Parishad in Bangladesh. The primary objective of the study is to explore the nature and extent of avenues to the citizens to be engaged with the UP activities in different regions as well as UPs under the coverage of special projects and UPs not having coverage of any special project. The study particularly looked at the implementation of the legal-administrative framework particularly the UP Act 2009 (Ward Shava, Plan and Budget Sessions, Standing Committees, UDCC, etc) and the innovations of different projects like SHARIQUE, UPGP and HYSAWA. Besides, the study also adopted strategies to find out the informal traditional practices of responsiveness and accountability developed over the years because of the demands and expectations of the citizens and the community. The UP Chairs and Members passionately respond to those demands. The study reviewed the existing models about governance and development that are rooted in developed countries and looked at the structures, relationships, interests and incentives system through the lens of social accountability specially the community responsiveness. Authors believe (as also literature suggests i.e. IDS 2010) that the Informal institutions and personalized relationships with electorates contribute substantially in ensuring a functional local governance along with reasonable society and culture specific social accountability mechanism developed at the grassroots.