Policy Reform on Local Governance (PROLOG II)


Decentralisation as a strategy for pro-poor political transformation places Local Governments on the driving seat for improved local public services. PROLOG II provides technical assistance to the Government of Bangladesh in the decentralization reform. It also involves citizens -including women and disadvantaged groups- in overseeing their municipalities for increased accountability. Ultimately citizens will gain from local public services responding to their needs.

Country/region Period Budget
Bangladesh
17.10.2016 - 16.10.2020
CHF 4'600'000
Background

In Bangladesh all local public administration institutions except the division and the district are run by an elected local council. These Local Governments lack sufficient resources, skills and clear functional assignments to plan and provide services in a satisfactory way. Reform steps such as increased financial transfers are taken by Government with the support of development partners and remain to be institutionalised into harmonized Local Governance systems and policies. Despite efforts, the participation and oversight of the civil society are not a regular practice.

Objectives

The Government of Bangladesh (GoB) improves local public service delivery through decentralization reforms.

Target groups
  • Citizen of rural and urban municipalities.
  • Policy makers in the Government of Bangladesh  (Local Governance Division, Finance Division, Planning Commission).
  • The Bangladesh Urban Forum and other civil society organisations engaged in governance and service delivery.
Medium-term outcomes
  1. The GoB has strengthened the legal, policy and institutional framework for coordinated functional and fiscal decentralization and recognised further decentralization reform needs, especially for urban areas.
  2. Local Government Institutions (LGIs),  especially municipalities, have improved their capacity in strategic planning and financing while central government enhanced its LGI monitoring system.
  3. Citizens (including women and disadvantaged people) in all Union Parishads and 20 municipalities benefit from increased LGIs accountability and transparency.
Results

Expected results:  

  1. Knowledge products on decentralization are produced and shared with GoB and stakeholders.
  2. Pilot urban LGIs prepared inclusive City Development Strategies.
  3. Selected LGIs demonstrate effective implementation of the Right-to-Information Act.
  4. Civil society and communities (including women and disadvantaged) conduct Third Party Monitoring in LGIs benefitting from the Municipal Governance and Services Project (MGSP) and the Local Governance Support Project (LGSP) II.


Results from previous phases:  

  1. PROLOG I influenced the preparation of the Local Governance laws of 2009 and 2011 (shaping the local governance system).
  2. The GoB increased the fiscal transfer volume to UPs by 30% and introduced a performance based grants system.
  3. All 4500 Union Parishads started using an operational manual prepared by PROLOG I which helps them being more compliant with the laws (coherent set of UP procedural guidelines and related core training programme).

Challenges experienced by SDC were i) insufficiencies in the steering mechanism that hampered adequate monitoring and guidance by SDC and ii) lack of a strategy to disseminate the learning generated for broader government ownership.


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
International Financial Institution (IFI)
  • World Bank - International Bank for Reconstruction and Development


Coordination with other projects and actors
  • Government- led LGSP II, MGSP;
  • SDC Governance portfolio i.e. Sharique, Horizontal Learning Program, Urban Governance projects; Local Governance Initiative and Network.
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   4'600'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   2'766'147
Project phases Phase 1 17.10.2016 - 16.10.2020   (Current phase)