Democratic decentralisation and promotion of accountability in urban development in Bangladesh

Author:- Ashiq Ur Rahman & Zakir Hossain
Category:- Journal; Year:- 2021
Discipline:- Urban and Rural Planning Discipline
School:- Science, Engineering & Technology School


The success of decentralisation highly depends on improving local government accountability. Although a decentralisation process exists in Bangladesh, the issue of accountability is a major challenge for urban development planning in this country. This paper identifies whether there are impacts related to the arrangement of decentralisation in urban development planning and the promotion of accountability issues and practises in Bangladesh. Using a mixed-method research strategy, this study evaluates the performance of three municipal entities and how they ensure accountability in their urban development-planning activities. Findings show that local government organisations are more accountable than other entities that have been delegated to perform these activities and that have been devolved through decentralisation in Bangladesh. This study also identifies that pro-accountability arrangements cannot be expected to spontaneously take place as a result of the devolution of the decentralisation process, but they need to be intentionally structured. This paper concludes that where single form of decentralised organisation exists, there is no problem of upward accountability. However, where two different forms of decentralised organisations exist, the problem of upward and downward accountability prevails to a larger extent. Therefore, this study recommends active citizen participation and it also advocates for a better coordination mechanism in cases where a multi-layered organisational form of decentralisation in urban development exists in Bangladesh.

Read More