Digitizing Implementation Monitoring and Public Procurement Project (DIMAPPP)

Context

About a third of government budget and 70% of the developmental budget in Bangladesh is spent on public procurement. So, efficient, effective, and economical public procurement is instrumental in building a just and prosperous Bangladesh.

Considering the importance of this issue, the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) has initiated public procurement reform about two decades ago with support from the World Bank. The first set of reforms came through phase I and II of the Public Procurement Reform Project (PPRP), which aimed to streamline public procurement rules and regulations. The Central Technical Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU) was established under the Implementation Monitoring & Evaluation Division (IMED) of the Ministry of Planning (MoP) in 2002 to carry out and oversee the reforms. Digitizing Implementation Monitoring and Public Procurement Project (DIMAPPP) is the latest government project, which aims to improve public procurement performance and enhance capacity for implementation monitoring of development program/projects.

BIGD has been working with CPTU, the agency in charge of managing the projects, since 2009 to develop and test a model of participatory governance—in the form of citizen monitoring in public work projects for improving public procurement performance. The participatory governance model had been conceptualised and piloted through the PPRP phases, and BIGD is now scaling-up and evaluating the model in the Citizen Engagement Sub-Component (Component 3) of DIMAPPP across 48 Upazilas in Bangladesh.

DIMAPPP: Citizen Engagement Sub-component (Component 3)

DIMAPPP aims to promote transparency, accountability, and efficiency in public procurement by enabling multi-stakeholder’ engagement. BIGD acts as Consultant under the Citizen Engagement Sub-component (Component 3).

BIGD is leading the scaling up of citizen monitoring of public procurement at the local level using a sustainable, low-cost, and politically-feasible strategy of citizen engagement. Based on the lessons learned from the four pilots implemented under the PPRP-II, BIGD is using a site-specific citizen engagement (SSCE) approach to monitor implementation of procurement contracts in the government’s development projects.

In the first year, the project has been implemented in 12 Upazilas and in next years will be scaled up and will include another 32 Upazilas. The Community Empowerment Program (CEP-BRAC) is assisting BIGD at field level for the implementation of the project.

The project will be rolled out in phases in the three years of implementation. The detail of the phase-in strategy is given in the table below:

Year Implementation Status Cumulative
1st Inception & pilot: 16 upazilas 16
2nd Continuing previous 16 + 32 new upazilas 48
3rd Continuing the previous 48 upazilas 48

Models of Citizen Engagement

BIGD is trying out two models to citizen engagement in the project area. In most Upazilas, a specific citizenry group termed as the ‘Citizen Monitor’ is responsible for overseeing the project implementation and reporting to the procuring entity through the non-government organisation (NGO) attached to the group; in rest of the 48 Upazilas, implementation monitoring is left to the local citizens. The first model is termed as Site-specific Organised Citizen Engagement (SOCE) and the latter is called Site-specific General Citizen Engagement (SGCE). The reason for using two models in different Upazilas simultaneously is to compare the impact of the two and find out which one is more effective and efficient.

Site-specific Organised Citizen Engagement (SOCE)

In this model, a site-specific group is formed, who is in charge of monitoring the contract implementation and reporting back to the procuring entity. The implementing NGO is responsible for selecting group members for each project site, based on the criteria set by BIGD.

The group members are chosen based on their willingness to participate as well as their proximity to the project site. Each group has nine members and does not include locally elected representatives or short-term residents. The group composition ensures representation women as well as young people. A group is given an orientation on construction monitoring, a crucial step before a group starts operating. The group remains active during the implementation period of each construction project and is dissolved once a particular project is completed.

Site-specific General Citizen Engagement (SGCE)

To test if citizens voluntarily participate in public work monitoring in absence of a group, this model is open to all citizens living close to the project site to oversee the implementation of public work and to report back to the procuring agency.

How the Construction Projects are Selected

A diverse set of construction projects including construction and maintenance of roads, school building, health complex, Upazila complex, embankments, and sluice gates are eligible for citizen monitoring under the project. Depending on the availability, BIGD tries to promote agency-level diversification as well. It primarily includes the construction projects of the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) but plans to include Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) contracts as well. BIGD also plans to explore whether the model works in an urban setting; so, city corporations/municipalities will be another agency to look at.

Implementation Arrangement

BIGD implements the field activities in collaboration with BRAC Community Engagement Program (CEP). In this arrangement, CEP implementing the field activities on behalf of BIGD. The primary actors in the field are the citizens living close to the site, the procuring entity, and the field officials. The citizens are in charge of monitoring the implementation of public procurement work that takes place in their area. The procuring agency is in charge of disseminating necessary information to the project site and also listening to any grievances reported by citizens. The field officers are working as a mediator among these two groups.

In order to disseminate information on the contracts, a public meeting is arranged in the intervention sites in the beginning of the work. Prior to the meetings loudspeaker announcement is made in site areas to inform the community people about time, location, and purpose of the meeting.

A representative from the procuring entity during the site meeting briefs the citizens on the project and introduce the contractor to them. The citizens are encouraged to monitor projects in their area and inform the office of the procuring entities or the NGO officers about anomalies in the implementation.

A signboard will be placed in a convenient location near the implementation site from where it is clearly visible.

In addition to the abovementioned arrangement, the NGO will brief the citizen group members regarding the basic monitoring practices in the places where the organised citizen engagement will be implemented.

Report

Citizen Engagement in Monitoring Public Procurement – Findings From an Impact Assessment Study

Date: 2023

Author(s): Sulaiman, Munshi; Aziz, Syeda Salina; Mozumder, Tanvir Ahmed

Topic(s): Digitization

Policy Brief

Digitizing Implementation Monitoring and Public Procurement Project (DIMAPPP) Research Brief: Issue 4

Publisher: BIGD

Date: 2022

Author(s): Ahamed, Raihan; Khan, Insiya

Topic(s): Governance and Politics

Journal Article

Trust and Citizen Participation in Community-based Monitoring System: An Experimental Evidence from Bangladesh

Publisher: Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics

Date: 2022

Author(s): Rabbani, Mehnaz; Rahman, Semab; Tasneem, Dina

Topic(s): Governance and Politics

Multimedia

Citizen Engagement in Public Procurement: Documentary

Publisher: BIGD, Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU)

Date: 2022

Author(s): BIGD & CPTU

Topic(s): Governance and Politics

Multimedia

Citizen Engagement in Public Procurement: Site-Specific Community Mobilization

Publisher: BIGD, Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU)

Date: 2022

Author(s): BIGD & CPTU

Topic(s): Governance and Politics

Policy Brief

Digitizing Implementation Monitoring and Public Procurement Project (DIMAPPP) Research Brief: Issue 3

Publisher: BIGD

Date: 2021

Author(s): Hoque, Rafsanul; Khan, Insiya

Topic(s): Governance and Politics

Policy Brief

Digitizing Implementation Monitoring and Public Procurement Project (DIMAPPP) Research Brief: Issue 1

Publisher: BIGD

Date: 2019

Author(s): Razzaque, Farhana; Mahmud, Erina; Hoque, Mahan Ul; Mohammad, Zia

Topic(s): Governance and Politics

Policy Brief

Empowering Citizens to Play a Role in Public Procurement

Publisher: BIGD

Date: 2019

Author(s): Razzaque, Farhana; Mahmud, Erina; Hoque, Mahan Ul; Mohammad, Zia

Topic(s): Governance and Politics

BIGD Reviews

Public Procurement Watch: Engaging Citizens in Public Procurement Pays Off

Publisher: BIGD

Date: 2019

Author(s): Haque, Mahan ul 

Topic(s): Governance and Politics

BIGD Reviews

Citizen Engagement Forum Held at Rangpur

Publisher: BIGD

Date: 2019

Author(s): BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), Brac University

Topic(s): Governance and Politics

23 June 2020
Syeda Salina Aziz

Looking at his betel leaf stained teeth and shabby appearance, no one would take the person seriously. Rather, one would take a furtive glance and wonder why this person is sitting in the front row among many well-dressed government officials....

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20 June 2020
Erina Mahmud

Photo credit: WorldFish, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 An endorsement from the local leadership goes a long way in implementing a development intervention. Presenting local elected representatives’ names on promotional materials like event banner is one form of such endorsement....

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17 June 2020
Insiya Khan

Civil society member Hasina Begum Nila rises from her chair and seizes the opportunity to pose a question, as soon as the floor is opened for doing so. She confidently asks the panel if the Citizen Engagement in Public Procurement...

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28 May 2020
Erina Mahmud, Farhana Razzaque, and Mahan Ul Hoque

Outcomes of development interventions tend to be determined, to a significant extent, by stakeholders’ perceptions towards it. More so, if the intervention is designed to elicit citizens’ voluntary participation. Digitizing Implementation Monitoring and Public Procurement Project (DIMAPPP) is one such...

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17 February 2020
Erina Mahmud

Every year, Bangladesh spends around $24 billion - half of its annual budget - on the acquisition of goods, services, and works by the government and state enterprises. Of this, the implementation of development programs accounts for $18 billion. Public...

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Citizen Engagement in Public Procurement: A Qualitative Assessment

Status: Completed

Researcher(s): Mirza M. Hassan, PhD, Syeda Salina Aziz

Topic(s): Governance and Politics

Social Accountability in Public Procurement: How Citizen Engagement Can Make a Difference

Status: Completed

Researcher(s): Mirza M. Hassan, PhD, Syeda Salina Aziz

Topic(s): Governance and Politics

11

Jul '19

Divisional Workshop: Citizen Engagement in Public Procurement

11:30 am Begum Rokeya Hall, RDRS, Rangpur

Under the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED), BIGD and the Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU) administered a project titled “Digitizing Implementation Monitoring and Public Procurement Project...

Mirza M. Hassan, PhD

Senior Research Fellow

Syeda Salina Aziz

Fellow of Practice

Rafsanul Hoque

Senior Research Associate

Sumaiya Tasnim Rosama

Research Associate

Up