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

The Government of Bangladesh partnered with BIGD to set up a pilot of the Citizen Engagement (CE) model in 16 upazilas to monitor the construction of roads and schools across the country. Site-specific citizen groups called Nagorik Porjobekhok (Citizen Observers) were introduced to the local public procurement officer to build a relationship and common understanding. The intervention process involved construction project list collection, citizen group formation and orientation, announcement for site meeting, site meeting arrangement and signboard installation, and grievance management. To understand the perceptions of the citizens regarding the necessity of citizen monitoring and to understand what empowers and motivates citizens to participate effectively, BIGD undertook a one-month qualitative investigation in Sylhet where the Citizen Engagement (CE) model is piloted.  The research aimed to identify the factors influencing the engagement of citizens, the grievances the model overcame, and the challenges in the current design. Researchers conducted the study in two upazilas−Kamalganj and Baniachong. 28 in-depth interviews of citizens from monitoring groups, gov’t engineers and contractors were conducted, along with 6 focus group discussions. Citizens felt that the CE platform improved transparency in project implementation and they wanted this platform to continue. On the other hand, engineers felt that citizens lack the technical knowledge needed to monitor procurement projects, which led to ill-informed complaints and delays. Field officers felt building a relationship with upazila engineers was not always easy.

Authors: Razzaque, Farhana; Mahmud, Erina; Hoque, Mahan Ul; Mohammad, Zia
Research Brief
Year: 2019