State of Governance 2018—State of Social Accountability and Deliberative Democracy in Bangladesh: Current Dynamics and Future Pathways

The State of Governance 2018 report of BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD) deals with both formal (institutional) and informal (societal) dimensions of Social Accountability (SA) and deliberative democratic practices in Bangladesh. The report explores the dynamics of SA within the interfaces between state/public authority and civil society/citizens/community. A central focus of the report has been to critically explore the prevailing nature of accountability between the two and thus, it empirically documents and develops analytic narratives of the social accountability initiatives in Bangladesh in recent decades. The SoG report raised and addressed the following overarching questions: Have the SA institutions enhanced the capacity of ordinary citizens to provide inputs into decision-making and planning of local development projects as well as efficiently monitor the service delivery processes? Have these institutions opened up spaces for citizens to effectively voice their grievances and concerns regarding the governance of service delivery institutions? Can citizens now better articulate their felt needs and effectively deliberate or negotiate their demands with their representatives? Have the deliberative spaces managed to embed deliberative democracy at the local level? The research found and described the complex dynamics surrounding these areas of enquiry. It then concluded by stating that- any attempt to accomplish this task, through institutional interventions/reforms and robust citizen engagements, will need some degree of synergy among state entities, NGOs, and local communities. And that any future institutional reform or interventions in relation to SA institutions must consider this strategy for effectiveness.

Authors: Hassan, Mirza; Sultan, Maheen; Hasan, Bayazid; Mahmud, Erina; Razzaque, Farhana; Jahan, Miskat; Khondaker, Sahida Islam; Acharjee, Susmita
Type: Report
Year: 2019