Upazila Governance Project

deeming pro-people sturdy local government

65 UZP-level Women Development Forums formed

65 Women Development Forums (WDFs) at Upazila level were formed in seven districts till June 23. The selected seven districts where the Women Development Forums (WDFs) were formed are- Kishoreganj, Sirajganj, Brahmanbaria, Khulna, Barguna, Rangpur and Sunamganj.

The main aim of forming the forums is to enhance the capacity of the elected women representatives in Union Parishads (UPs), Upazila Parisahads (UZPs) and Municipalities. The forums will also play a significant role in learning and sharing of their knowledge and experience and act as a pressure group in solving their problems.

A total of 13 WDFs were formed in Kishoreganj district while 11 in Sunamganj, nine each in Sirajganj, Brahmanbaria and Khulna, eight in Rangpur and six in Barguna.

The respective Upazila Parishads formed the forums through holding workshops jointly facilitated by the Upazila Governance Project (UZGP) and Union Parishad Governance Project (UPGP) aimed at empowering women and ensuring their leadership and participation in local government institutions.

The elected women representatives of the Upazila Parishads, took part in the workshops and elected leaders for their forums.

The female Vice-chair of the Upazila Parishad was appointed as President of the 7 to 11 member-forum while women representatives were elected as Vice-President, Secretary, Treasure and executive members of the forums.

According to a decision taken at a UZGP Project Board meeting recently, a total of 191 WDFs (including the already formed 65) will be formed under 23 districts by July this year.

Meanwhile, a total of 23 district-level WDFs will also be formed soon. A national-level WDF conference will also be held this year.

June 23, 2013 Posted by | Meeting | Comments Off on 65 UZP-level Women Development Forums formed

UPGP and UZGP hold Report writing training

The report writing skills of the staff of two projects, Upazila Governance Project (UZGP) and Union Parishad Governance Project (UPGP), under Local Governance Cluster (LGC), has increased significantly after a two-day workshop titled “Report Writing Training” organized at Jamuna Resort, Tangail on 15-16 June.

The Upazila Governance Project (UZGP) and Union Parishad Governance Project (UPGP), in association with Local Governance Cluster, UNDP Bangladesh, organized the training for its central and field level staff aimed at increasing their knowledge in effective report writing.

“We now know very well how to write a report effectively, more meticulously. We now know well what the steps, procedures we should follow in writing a report, the building blocks, do`s and don`ts, the donors requirements and the styles of the reporting,” said Mr. Safiur Rahman, M & E Officer, UZGP, after attending the training.

Speaking at the inaugural session of the training, Mr. Akram-al-Hossain, Joint Secretary (Upazila), Local Government Division (LGD) and Focal Person, UZGP said, “I hope the training will help the staff to summarize the results the projects are achieving as the UN now seeks shorter, more concise concrete report on actual results using the indicators designed in the planning phase.”

Ms. Shaila Khan, Assistant Country Director and Head of Local Governance Cluster, UNDP Bangladesh, said, “We are giving utmost importance on effective report writing as an effective results-based report communicates and demonstrates the effectiveness of project interventions and makes the case to donors and stakeholders for continued support and resources. It`s also part of our accountability and transparency how we are using their money.”

Mr. Farhad Imambakiev, a Communications Expert and UNDP Consultant, conducted the training as resource person while Fernanda Trepodi, Programme Support officer, UNCDF and Mr. Sydur Rahman Molla, Programme Analyst, UNDP Bangladesh, co-facilitated the training.

Through the two-day training, the UZGP and UPGP project staff were oriented on principles of effective writing, types of reports and their main component, building blocks, do`s and don`ts, grammatical concepts, human-interest story, donors requirements based on EU guidelines to narrative reporting.

To encourage its staff for creative writing, the LGC also announced an award for its field level staff for writing the best “Human-Interest Story” on projects` interventions.

A total of 39 central and field level staff of the two projects took part in the training.

June 16, 2013 Posted by | Training | Comments Off on UPGP and UZGP hold Report writing training

UZGP holds Staff Coordination Meeting

The UNDP-supported Upazila Governance Project (UZGP) has decided to form Women Development Forums (WDFs) at all Upazilas of 23 districts aimed at empowering women and ensuring their participation in local government institutions.

The project will also hold seven policy dialogues at seven divisions by June while two national-level policy dialogues in Dhaka on local governance issues by July this year.

The decisions were taken at a Staff Coordination Meeting of the project held at National Institute of Local Government (NILG), Agargaon, Dhaka on 2 June 2013.

Presided over by Mr. Md. Shah Kamal, Additional Secretary (Admin), LGD and National Project Director (NPD), UZGP, all the staff of the project were present. Ms. Shaila Khan, Assistant Country Director and Head, Local Governance Cluster, UNDP Bangladesh, Mr. Sydur Rahman Molla, Programme Analyst, UNDP Bangladesh, Mr. Nazrul Islam, Programme Analyst, UNDP Bangladesh, and Mr. Jesmul Hasan, Programme Analyst, UNCDF, were also present.

Mr. Mozammel Hoque, Project Manager, UZGP, made a presentation on the progress of project activities till May 2013, future planned activities from June to December 2013 along with changes and proposed revised Annual Work Plan for 2013 while Mr. Zahir Uddin, Operations Manager, UZGP, reviewed the minutes of previous Staff Coordination meeting. Mr. Taufique Mohiuddin, Project Coordination Officer, UZGP also made a brief presentation on major activities at divisional, district and central level from June to December 2013.

The NPD has asked the project to prepare a by-law regarding registration process of Women Development Forums (WDFs).

June 2, 2013 Posted by | Meeting | Comments Off on UZGP holds Staff Coordination Meeting

23 more WDFs formed

23 more Women Development Forums (WDFs) were formed in six districts-Khulna, Brahmanbaria, Barguna, Rangpur, Kishoreganj and Sunamganj- last week aimed at empowering women and ensuring their participation in local government institutions.

By forming the 23 more WDFs, the total number of forums is now 55.

Of them, five WDFs were formed in Brahmanbaria, four each in Khulna, Barguna and Sunamganj and three each in Rangpur and Kishoreganj.

The respective Upazila Parishads formed the forums though holding workshops jointly facilitated by the Upazila Governance Project (UZGP) and Union Parishad Governance Project (UPGP) on 24-30 May.

The elected women representatives of the Upazila Parishads, taking part in the workshops, elected their leaders for the forums. The forums will play a significant role in learning and sharing of their knowledge and experience and act as a pressure group in solving their problems. A total of 65 WDFs will be formed in seven piloted districts of the projects by 5 June.

May 30, 2013 Posted by | Meeting | Comments Off on 23 more WDFs formed

A budget, of the people

UNDP_BD_BudgetByThePeople_25.05.13[1]By Ataul Gani Osmani

Sitting under a mango tree on a sunny Saturday morning, the wrinkled face of Haider Ali brimmed with pride as a local government official addressed the thousand-strong crowd. “Dear Citizens, now we are going to announce the budget of Devhata Upazila Parishad for FY 2013-2014 before we open the floor and hear your comments and views,” boomed the voice over the PA system. For Mr Ali, a freedom fighter in Bangladesh`s War of Independence in 1971, it was an overwhelming feeling to have his opinions, and those of his fellow residents, recognized in prioritizing development spending for his area. “It`s true that we have got a country through the War in 1971 but could not make it as we desired. Many of our dreams that we cherished at that time still remained elusive even after 42 years of the independence,” Mr Ali, who lives in his native Satkhira said. When Devhata Upazila (upazila is a tier of local governance that presides over a number of unions) announced its Budget for the coming fiscal year through an `Open Budget Discussion` on 25th May, Mr Ali was one of more than a thousand people who attended. “What I have been a part of today fills my heart with pride, that one of the remotest upazilas of the country has announced its budget through an open discussion with its residents,” Mr Ali said at the end of the session. Devhata Upazila was the first out of 483 UZPs of the country to announce and hold an open discussion on budget for fiscal year 2013-2014. “Until today, I hadn`t ever seen the budget for my upazila. Today the budget is being prepared after discussions that prioritise the demands and problems of the residents of this upazila,” said Mr Ali. “This is democracy,” he said. The total budget of Tk 90 lakhs (roughly US $112,000) was to place special emphasis on education, health and information and communications technology. Before announcing the budget, the Upazila Parishad, with support from the United Nations Development Programme, had held a series of pre-budget meetings and consultations with a cross-section of citizens, professionals, civil society members and local journalists to identify local problems, demands and priorities and incorporate those in the budget. UNDP`s Upazila Governance Project (UZGP) has been commissioned as part of the overall programme framework of UNDP and UNCDF support to the Government of Bangladesh local governance reforms. It is being supported by the European Union (EU), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented by the Local Government Division (LGD). Providing support and training to the UZP functionaries to enhance their skills and knowledge to prepare the plans and budget is one of areas of capacity building initiatives the UZGP is working on. Immediately after launching its journey last year, the UZGP provided a 3-day General (Refresher) training to 1438 Chairs, Vice-chairs and Upazila Nirbahi Officers (UNOs) of all 483 UZPs of the country to make the UZPs more effective and service-oriented for citizens. “The training given by the UZGP helps us in preparing the plans and budget. We now know how to prepare the budget more meticulously and in a more participatory manner,” said S M Golam Mustafa, Chairman of Devhata Upazila. “And this was possible for the knowledge and skills we got from the trainings provided by the UZGP,” he said. Shaila Khan, Assistant Country Director and Head, Local Governance Cluster at UNDP addressed the function as special guest. “This open budget discussion demonstrates how vibrant the Upazila Parishad is and we are really happy to see elected public representatives, citizens, government officials, members of the civil society, NGOs and media contribute towards making the budget more democratic, transparent and participatory,” she said. “It`s a great demonstration of a pluralistic society where decisions were taken through wider public opinion by consultations and we expect that this practice will be supported through legislation soon,” MS Khan said. A lively discussion for and against the budget allocations of the UZP for FY 2013-2014 was also held soon after announcing the budget. “There is no allocation for addressing the water stagnation, salinity and floods that is hampering the agri-production of the Upazila badly,” Chand Mian, a farmer of the Upazila said. “The roads and hat-bazaars (markets) should be repaired and renovated so that we can take our products to hat-bazaars and sell it,” he added. Priyanka Rani, acting Chairman of Parulia Union of the Upazila demanded a larger allocation for abandoned, widowed and destitute women and disabled people of the upazila. Some of the citizens also demanded more allocation for freedom fighters and in strengthening the standing committees. “We could not prepare the budget from 2009 to 2011 as UZP functionaries had no knowledge or training how to prepare it. Now, after getting the training provided by the UNDP, the UZPs are much more capable and confident in preparing the budget,” said Akram-al-Hossain, Joint Secretary (Upazila), and Focal Person, UZGP.

May 25, 2013 Posted by | Meeting | Comments Off on A budget, of the people

18 more women development forums formed

As part of continuous efforts to empower women at the grass-root level and ensure their participation in local government institutions, the Upazila Governance Project (UZGP) and Union Parishad Governance Project (UPGP) last week formed 18 more Women Development Forums (WDFs) in six districts.

By forming 18 more WDFs, the total number of forums is now 32.

Of the new 18 WDFs, five were formed in Sunamganj, four each in Rangpur and Khulna, three in Kishoreganj and one each in Barguna and Brahmanbaria.

The respective Upazila Parishads formed the forums by holding workshops jointly facilitated by the Upazila Governance Project (UZGP) and Union Parishad Governance Project (UPGP) between 16-22 May. The elected women representatives of the Upazila Parishads, took part in the workshops and elected their leaders to the forums.

The main aim of forming the forums is to enhance the capacity of the elected women representatives in Union Parishads (UPs), Upazila Parisahads (UZPs) and Municipalities.

The female Vice-chair of the Upazila Parishad will, by default, be elected as the President of 7 to 11 member-forum while women representatives will pick Vice-President, Secretary, Treasure and executive members for the forums.

A total of 65 WDFs will be formed in seven piloted Districts of the projects by 5 June.

May 22, 2013 Posted by | Meeting | Comments Off on 18 more women development forums formed

UZGP holds project board meeting

The UNDP-supported Upazila Governance Project (UZGP) is going to hold three Specialized Trainings on “Planning and Budgeting; Leadership and Management; and Financial Management and Public Procurement Rules (PPR)” to all 65 Upazila Parishads (UZPs) under seven piloted districts of the project.

The decision was taken at the 2nd Project Board (PB) meeting of UZGP at National Institute of Local Governance (NILG), Agargoan, Dhaka on Sunday, 19 May. Chaired by Mr. Md. Shah Kamal, Additional Secretary (Admin), LGD and National Project Director (NPD), UZGP, all the PB members were present.

Earlier, it was decided to hold the trainings for selected 14 UZPs, but the PB members, at the meeting, unanimously decided to expand the trainings for all 65 UZPs of seven selected districts of the project.

The seven pilot districts of the project are- Kishoreganj, Brahmanbaria, Sirajganj, Khulna, Barguna, Sunamganj and Rangpur.

The meeting also decided to train the designated UZP “Information Officer” of selected 14 UZPs, develop and install 65 information billboards at 65 UZPs under the districts and printing second edition of UZP Manual. The PB meeting also reviewed the project activities done till May 2013 and approved the future action plan till December 2013.

Mr. Mozammel Haque, Project Manager, UZGP, made a presentation highlighting the achievement of the project from October 2012 to May 2013, planned activities till December 2013, challenges and how to overcome those.

Among others, Mr. Akram-al-Hossain, Joint Secretary (Upazila) and Focal Person, UZGP, Ms. Shaila Khan, Assistant Country Director and Head, Local Governance Cluster, UNDP Bangladesh and Mr. Jesmul Hasan, Programme Analyst, UNCDF, were also present.

May 19, 2013 Posted by | Meeting, National | Comments Off on UZGP holds project board meeting

Nine more WDFs formed

Nine more Women Development Forums (WDFs) were formed in Kishoreganj, Sirajganj and Rangpur districts last week taking the move of empowering women and ensuring their participation in local government institutions further.

By forming nine more WDFs in three districts, the total number of forums is now 14. Of them, four each were set up in Kishoreganj and Sirajganj with the last one in Rangpur.

In Kishoreganj, four WDFs were formed at Kishoreganj Sadar, Hossainpur, Karimganj and Nikli Upazila while four others at Tarash, Raiganj, Belkuchi and Chouhali under Sirajganj district. The final one was formed at Rangpur Sadar Upazila under Rangpur district.

The respective Upazila Parishads formed the forums though holding workshops jointly facilitated by the Upazila Governance Project (UZGP) and Union Parishad Governance Project (UPGP) on 10-15 May.

The elected women representatives of the Upazila Parishads, taking part in the workshops, elected their leaders for the forums.

The main aim of forming the forums is to enhance the capacity of the elected women representatives in Union Parishads (UPs), Upazila Parisahads (UZPs) and Municipalities. The forums will act as a platform of elected women representatives of UPs, UZPs and Municipalities for advancing women related issues from grassroots levels to policy-making level for bringing positive change and creating a more conducive environment for women leaders.

It will also play a significant role in learning and sharing of their knowledge and experience and act as a pressure group in solving their problems.

The female Vice-chair of the Upazila Parishad will, by default, be elected as the President of 7 to 11 member-forums while women representatives will pick Vice-President, Secretary, Treasure and executive members for the forums.

A total of 65 WDFs will be formed in seven piloted Districts of the projects by 5 June.

May 15, 2013 Posted by | Workshop | Comments Off on Nine more WDFs formed

UZGP builds capacity

The capacity building initiative of Upazila Governance Parishad (UZGP) for Upazila Parishad (UZP) functionaries got another boost as three specialized trainings for public representatives and Upazila Parishad (UZP) functionaries kicked off recently.

The first two batches completed their training on 14 May while the third one started on 12 May. UZGP organized the trainings with special focus on planning and budgeting of the Upazila Parishads.

Two government training institutes—National Academy for Planning and Development (NAPD), Dhaka and Bangladesh Institute of Management (BIM)-are conducting the trainings.

The first training titled “Planning and Budgeting” is being held at NAPD in Dhaka while the second and third ones titled “Leadership, Teambuilding and Management” and “Financial Management and Public Procurement Rules” at BIM in Dhaka.

Speaking as special guest, Ms. Shaila Khan, Assistant Country Director and Head, Local Governance Cluster, UNDP Bangladesh, said, “The training will play a critical role in enhancing the capacity of the UZP functionaries in preparing plans and budget for the UZPs.”

Mr. Khandaker Rakibur Rahman, Additional Secretary and Director General, BIM, presided over the session. A total of 56 participants including UZP Chairs, Vice-chairs, UNOs, Primary Education Officers, LGED Engineers, Family Planning Officers, Agriculture Officers from seven selected Upazilas and project officials took part in the training.

May 14, 2013 Posted by | Workshop | Comments Off on UZGP builds capacity

Women development forums formed in Sirajganj

In a significant step forward in empowering women and ensuring their participation in local government institutions, the Upazila Governance Project (UZGP) and Union Parishad Governance Project (UPGP) last week jointly formed five Women Development Forums (WDFs) in Sirajganj.

The Women Development Forums (WDFs) were formed at Ullapara, Kazipur, Shahzadpur, Kamarkhand and Sadar Upazila Parishads of the district through five workshops held on 3 May and 4 May.

Respective Upazila Parishads, in association with the UZGP and UPGP, organized the workshops.

The main aim of forming the forums is to enhance the capacity of the elected women representatives in Union Parishads (UPs), Upazila Parisahads (UZPs) and Municipalities. The forums will act as a platform for elected women representatives of UPs, UZPs and Municipalities to advance women related issues from grassroot to policy-making level for bringing positive change and creating a more conducive environment for women leaders.

It will also play a significant role in learning and sharing of their knowledge and experience and act as a pressure group in solving their problems.

Addressing the workshops as chief guest, Mr. Aminul Islam, Deputy Commissioner (DC), Sirajganj district, hailed the initiative and hoped that the forum will play a critical role in raising and solving the issues related to women development in local levels.

Mr. Muhammad Munir Hossain, Additional Divisional Commissioner (ADC), Rajshahi and Director, Local Government (DLG) and Mr. Md. Mokhlesur Rahman Sarkar, Deputy Director, Local Government (DDLG), among others, were also present.

A total of 171 elected women representatives took part in the workshops and elected their leaders for WDFs.

The female Vice-chair of the Upazila Parishad will, by default, be elected as the President of 7 to 11 member-forum while women representatives will pick Vice-President, Secretary, Treasure and executive members for the forums.

A total of 65 WDFs will soon be formed in seven piloted Districts of the project.

May 4, 2013 Posted by | Workshop | Comments Off on Women development forums formed in Sirajganj