Local Government Support Project (LGSP II)
Bangladesh’s Local Government Support Project (LGSP-II) is a national decentralization plan that aims to strengthen local governance. LGSP II provides grants to Union Parishads (UPs) – the oldest and most local government system – so the community can determine which public projects serve them best. Thus, the main purpose of the project is to build the capacity of local governments to manage public services and resources while concurrently introducing changes in the local government practices, especially in fiscal transfer, transparency, community participation and accountability. However, significant gaps remained at the UP level in areas such as community engagement in budgetary processes and active disclosure of information. Likewise, there was low community demand for budget transparency and poor feedback mechanisms to measure citizen satisfaction with local governance and service delivery.
- Mobilize and capacitate UP representatives to engage communities in the open budgeting processes
- Strengthen capacities of communities to monitor budget transparency, efficiency, participation, inclusion and accountability at the local level
The project’s primary activity was third-party monitoring at the UP level. The majority of capacity building focused on forming and training citizen group committees charged with monitoring the performance of the local government. The implementing CSOs – Democracy Watch and Agragoti Sangtha – employed the same methodology but covered different geographic areas.
- 100% of UP committee and community members had knowledge of the LGSP-II scheme, compared to 80% (AG) and 58% (DW) at the beginning of the sub-project
- 100% of UPs properly disseminated information through notice boards, compared to 70% (AG) and 78% (DW) at the sub-project outset
- Information boards were displayed for 80% (AG) and 78% (DW) of the UP “Notice and Information” boards
- The tax collection improved from 77% to 83% (AG) and from 35% to 43% (DW) compliance level.
The primary sub-project activity attributed to the better performance of the UPs was capacity building among community groups about the program, its intended activities and impact.