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Decentralisation without decentralisation: Bangladesh’s failed attempt to transfer power from the central government to local governments

Pranab Panday

Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration, 2017, vol. 39, issue 3, 177-188

Abstract: This article addresses decentralising initiatives in Bangladesh with reference, first, to significant literature on decentralisation in the context of development and, thereafter, to a particular reform involving the introduction of the Upazila Parishad (UZP) as a potentially important tier of local government. While the reform heralded a possible expansion of local participation and the taking of responsive local action, the functioning of the UZP has not lived up to the promises and expectations. A lack of a proper transfer of power and responsibility to the elected representatives, the existence of centrally-controlled administration and planning, and the extensive interference of politicians and bureaucrats has limited considerably the capacity of the UZP to operate effectively. Only through a reduction of central control and a recasting of local action will it be able to achieve its significant goals and objectives as a vital form of local government and governance.

Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:taf:rapaxx:v:39:y:2017:i:3:p:177-188