Mid-term Evaluation of Efficient and Accountable Local Governance (EALG) project

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Evaluation Plan:
2017-2021, Bangladesh
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
05/2021
Completion Date:
05/2021
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
80,000

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Title Mid-term Evaluation of Efficient and Accountable Local Governance (EALG) project
Atlas Project Number: 00105480
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2021, Bangladesh
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 05/2021
Planned End Date: 05/2021
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Governance
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.2.1 Capacities at national and sub-national levels strengthened to promote inclusive local economic development and deliver basic services including HIV and related services
SDG Goal
  • Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  • Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  • Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
SDG Target
  • 13.3 Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning
  • 16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels
  • 5.5 Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life
  • 8.5 By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value
Evaluation Budget(US $): 80,000
Source of Funding: Project budget
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 74,757
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Dr. Ferdous Arfina Osman Team Leader & Local Government Expert arfinaosman@yahoo.com
Mr. Abdus Salam Miah Data Scientist miahsalam66@gmail.com
Dr. Ferdous Arfina Osman Team Leader & Local Government Expert arfinaosman@yahoo.com
Mr. Abdus Salam Miah Data Scientist miahsalam66@gmail.com
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: BANGLADESH
Lessons
1.

Satisfaction of the Citizens: Citizens are satisfied with UP, UZP level service due to the improved capacity of the functionaries by EALG intervention. Especially in case of public engagement strategies and transparency to the citizen such as annual report publication, five-year plan, regularizing Open Budget Meeting, Ward Shava, Public Hearing, enhanced women participation and arranging platforms for citizens in open forums worked as catalyst for the satisfaction. Moreover, UP and UZP functionaries are aware of providing better services to the citizen that also worked as catalyst for citizen satisfaction. Earlier these UPs, UZPs had a lack of operational capacity to practice at such a pace. The increased participation is turning into effective participation gradually due to this intervention. However, refreshment allowance plays a significant role here. To sustain this after the project time span, a budgetary provision for the allowance might work as feasible catalyst. If the project can facilitate policy level dialogue with the LGD in this regard and illustrate the fruitfulness, the practice will be sustainable further.


2.

Instant solutions in Public Hearing: As mentioned earlier, public hearing is an important project intervention that casted attention at the field level due to its instant problem solution nature. The mid-term evaluation found two types of instant solution that was conducted from the Public Hearing. One is in the Rangpur where cobblers can now use the local hotels for eating and another one in Patuakhali where safety net allowance receivers do not need to travel far to receive safety net allowance. The lesson here is public hearing might be an effective tool to resolve any macro issue without consuming much time. It will proliferate the effectiveness of the services and trust of the LGIs among the citizen significantly.


3.

Necessity of Arranging Ward Shava: With its facilitation, EALG emphasized the necessity of arranging Ward Shava in treatment areas by providing training, refreshment allowance per meeting which increases the frequency of Ward Shava arrangement compared to control areas. Ward Shava has been activated and people are aware of this. Interestingly, women, marginal people placed their opinion in the Ward Shava. Effective participation works in three steps modalities. In the first step, women and marginal people from every sphere of society only joined in the meetings. Soon in the second steps, they feel free and after the ice breaking, start to demand their own needs. In the third step people actually understand the value of the Ward Shava and Open Budget and can provide opinion as collective format.


4.

Increased PBG: The EALG project helped the UPs to improve their performance to get higher performance based grant. It strengthened the UPs financially that ultimately impact on gaining autonomy of the institutions.


5.

Improved Accountability and Concrete Planning: As the UZPs and UPs have published the five year plan, functionaries as well as the citizens are aware of the future activities within the Union Parishad. It not only increases the accountability and transparency of the UZPs and UPs but also help the functionaries to work with proper guideline.


6.

Publishing an Annual Report: UP, UZP functionaries and staff did not have a clear idea about publishing an annual report which is focused and prioritized by EALG intervention. EALG made them understand that publishing the report is imperative to be accountable and transparent. Therefore, with the technical and financial support as well as continuous monitoring, it is possible to regularize the annual report. Before the project intervention, the functionaries were less likely aware of publishing the report. Now they have the knowledge and guideline to continue it in future. However, regarding financial provision they might face problem, and LGD monitoring in this regard can resolve it.


7.

COVID-19 related Supports: During the pandemic, EALG provided COVID-19 related supports to the LGIs, which significantly contributed to the local service provision for UPs. For this, no additional budget was allocated and it was not even pre-planned.  All that was required was adjustment of few expenditures of the project budget i.e., revising foreign training and training modality. Thus, a subtle budgetary adjustment and more importantly, a sincere urge for doing something can widen and also intensify project impact to a significant extent. This can be a good lesson for future projects.


8.

Governance: Effective coordination among public representatives and government officials in combatting COVID-19 and other public service delivery helps to accelerate Local Government Institutions (LGI) performance and intensify efforts for COVID-19 response. As COVID-19 was a sudden shock, the functionaries had lack of knowledge and preparation regarding this. EALG project helped the functionaries to fight against COVID-19. The project also engendered awareness among the govt. officials and LGI functionaries to improve their coordination. The district facilitator played a significant role in this regard. Both the LGI functionaries and govt. officials welcomed the coordination however, they faced challenges regarding their busy schedule to maintain coordination.


9.

Remote Implementation and Monitoring: COVID-19 has opened new windows on use of digital platforms. Stakeholders who were previously afraid of using technology are getting used to digitalized tools, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Zoom, etc. which saves time, ensures better monitoring, remote implementation, and reduces exposure to the COVID-19 risks. The project facilitated UP and UZP functionaries to open and activate FB account.  Moreover, the project conducted several online meeting and thus the LGI functionaries got used to it. Unambiguously, they are using the online platform for other reasons as well, however, the EALG project also has contribution in this regard. UNDP is planning to facilitate IT support to the relevant local government institutions to continue the remote implementation and monitoring.


10.

Collaborating with the CBOs and CSOs: CBO, CSO provide financial aid, sanitation to the poor people, and occasionally repaired mud roads. Collaborating with the CBOs and CSOs is beneficial for the community people and it also helps the LGIs. Civil society provide very good platform for volunteer activities. People of the locality positively consider their activities as well. In the climate vulnerable areas, CBO/CSO can collaborate with the LGIs for preparedness of any disaster. Moreover, they can also aware the community people regarding various issues. LGIs can collaborate with them for citizen engagement as well. The LGIs has very good scope to collaborate activities with the CBO/CSOs. It will burgeon the human resources during the time of need.


11.

WDF and Orange Campaign: By WDF and orange campaign, women have more rooms to express their opinion and implement schemes under women's leadership compared to the control areas and partial intervention areas. These gender-based initiatives are functioning through the contribution of EALG and need to incorporate follow-up and monitoring.


12.

Women's Leadership: Women Development Forum has achieved its place in the UZP to take part in the debate of development initiatives and to implement schemes under women's leadership. WDF was formed earlier however, inactive. The EALG project re-activated the WDF and provided awareness training. Freedom of opinion is conspicuous as they are more likely participating in the debates regarding UZP planning. The regression analysis suggested that if the Vice Chairman of the UZP has higher education, the likelihood of the women leading scheme increase. Thus, the level of education of the UZP Vice-Chairman plays a vital role in this regard. However, this is beyond the control by any exogenous factors as it is democratic right to take part in elections even though not having institutional education. Yet, to increase women leadership, monitoring by the DDLG can play significant role and improve the performance of LGIs.


13.

Training of the Standing Committee Members: Earlier the standing committee members were not given training on the thirteen issues which are the basis of introducing these committees. The initiative of EALG to provide training to the standing committee members has enhanced the capacity of functions and activities of the standing committees’ operationalization systematically. After selecting the members of the standing committee, it is important to provide them with training so that they become aware of their roles and responsibilities.


14.

Collection of Tax: UP functionaries have apathy to collect holding tax due mainly to a fear of losing political support. People also do not have proper awareness regarding the fact that paying the holding tax will go to the develop fund of the UP budget and expenditure ultimately strengthen their Union Parishad. One of the UP Chairmen of Sunamganj in the non-project area indulges holding tax evasion by the community people to gain popularity. While another Chairman within the project area in Chandpur achieved the trust of the people by demonstrating that tax collected from citizens is rightly disbursed which is visual in that locality with several improvements, accountability and transparency. The UP Chairman of Chandpur collected more holding taxes than that of previous years. It implies that improving accountability to citizens and transparency of budget expenditure engenders the tax compliance of general people. EALG associated workshops help to raise the confidence of involvement convinced the UP Chairman to collect tax from their territory by assuring that it has no relation to the vote bank as long as transparency and accountability are ensured to the citizen.


15.

Coordination in Different Levels: Maintaining coordination in different levels has been improved, such as UP and UZP level line agency officials are showing more interest to work with the UP and UZP elected bodies as a result of the periodical meeting and training workshops arrangement of EALG. After the project span, as the functionaries received training, the practice is likely to be sustained. Continuous monitoring from the respected DDLG, EALG head office, UNDP and DF proved to be beneficial in this regard. Moreover, if the LGIs can improve system to reduce knowledge loss, the practice might last even longer.


16.

Obstruction towards Coordination: In the case of coordination with the government departments, there is a hierarchy problem. Upazila Parishad elected representatives and government officials sometimes undermine each other's opinions on different issues. Moreover, collaboration with the line ministries faces challenges regarding the availability of all the departments at the same time. The secretary of the UPs also reported that the of line departments' higher officials sometimes undermine their suggestions as well. This might be a challenge for the effective coordination between the UZPs and the line departments regarding planning and budgeting. However, the scenario was not like this everywhere.

To minimize the policy gap, EALG has communicated with different stakeholders and tried to understand its reason. The political economy and infrastructural readiness are needed to minimize the policy gap in the current LGI context of Bangladesh. As there is no such mechanism right now, so the intention to resolve the delegation of authority may not work properly. At present, relevant line departments follow the direction from the respective ministries and many of those are technical activities. The line department officers get the budget directly from their respective ministries and implement and monitor the activities mostly by their own way.

On the other hand, the proposed committee is led by the UZP Vice-Chairmen and the respective officers are the member of that committee. As all the line department officials are independent in nature, these delegations of authority might hinder the required scheme's implementation. With this prediction of losing authority, the line department has less interest in executing authority delegation. This could be minimized by working in a coordinated manner.


Findings
1.

Achievement of the Project
Overall, the mid-term evaluation of this project indicating a successful journey towards achieving the goals set by the project’s theory of change. In a number of cases and indicators, the study has seen significant improvement throughout the project lifeline compared to the baseline. For example, the project intervention contributed to the increased number of participations in Ward Shava, Open Budget Meeting, Pubic Hearing from marginalized and local women (around 90% of the treatment UPs achieved it), providing technical and financial support to publish annual report and five-year plan in UPs (45 UPs) and UZPs (16 UZPs), improved participation of the female functionaries of the UZPs into decision making process and scheme implementation (95% of the treatment UZPs are managing schemes under women leadership), strengthened WDF (87.5% of the treatment UZP trained and activated women functionaries in WDF), provided COVID-19 related support (increasing awareness and providing mask, PPE, hand-wash etc. for the LGI functionaries), activating Facebook/twitter account (around 75% of the treatment UZPs have active facebook), improved expenditure against budget, improved coordination with the line ministries (87.5% treatment UZPs prepared budget in participatory manner with line ministries), creating enabling environment factors regarding upward, horizontal as well as downward accountability, localization of SDG (92% treatment UZPs), timely publishing of the budget (79.2% treatment UZPs), operational standing committee and climate resilient plan adaptation in five-year plan. Especially, the project has addressed the participation of female from the citizen in different public engagement activities as well as improved the capacity and participation of female functionaries of UZPs and UPs in case of involving in decision making part. Moreover, LGD has approved (i) ToR for 17 UZP committees, (ii) Annual Reporting Guideline of UZP, (iii) Annual Reporting Guideline of UP, (iv) an Operational Guideline of WDF, (v) revised Upazila Revenue Fund Utilization Guideline, and (vi) Issued two official letter for updating UP and UZP’s website. These results were possible to achieve due to effective advocacy conducted by the project.
 All the interventions ultimately added valuation to the LGIs at the local level fulfilling the objectives of the project. The EALG project strengthened the LGIs by enabling them to achieve improved accountability, transparency and efficiency. Moreover, gaining financial autonomy by getting improved PBG is another component that the project helped the LGIs to achieve.


2.

Non-Achievement of the Project
On the contrary, due to COVID-19, some of the targets related to policy level has not been achieved yet although some of them are underway. For example, a study on local resource mobilization has been completed targeting tax reform of UPs by the EALG project.  On the contrary, tools for UZP service delivery oversight of at least three transferred department has not yet been piloted and disseminated, circular for UZP core staffs has not been issued and introduced, public financial management manual has not been prepared, discussion with GoB regarding the division of roles and responsibilities among LGI tiers is yet to be conducted. Dialogues with government policy-maker regarding legal reform for improved female participation, inter-ministerial coordination committees to address priority challenges for effective local governance for effective local service provisions have not yet been conducted as well. Not all the components are feasible to achieve therefore, the study recommended to revise the result framework.  The study team also sorted out the low hanging fruits for the project given in the recommendation section.


Recommendations
1

Considering UP as the Core Intervention Area rather than UZP:

The project made its interventions in three sub groups: i) sub group 1 targeted UPs and UZPs for intervention, sub group 2 targeted UZPs and sub group 3 targeted Ups for intervention. Out of these, sub groups one and three that focused on the UPs for project interventions, produced better results in almost all aspects of the project compared to that of the sub group 2. Project interventions at the UP level were found to ensure greater participation of citizens in LGI activities than the interventions at the UZPs. Community people were found to be less connected to UZPs and they hardly seek services from there. It is the UP which is considered as the most popular place for the local people to receive their required services. Despite having interventions at the Upazila Parishad, community people of the sub group 2 reported less satisfaction about and access to services provided by both Upazila and Union Parishad. The project, thus, may consider making interventions at the Union Parishads in the remaining period of the project or in the next phase, if extended. Alternately, the project may undertake initiatives for intensifying coordination between the UZPs and UPs in order for benefiting the community from the project interventions undertaken at the Upazila level.

2

Capacity Building through Extending the Duration of Training:

In order to capacitate the LGI functionaries, although the EALG offers various kinds of training, the study found that the duration of the most of the training sessions is shorter than required for ensuring effective learning. It is recommended that the duration of the training sessions should be reviewed further in order to make it suitable for effective learning.

3

Internal Resource Mobilization through Collection of Tax:

Holding tax collection as a means of resource mobilization is very important for the LGIs to perform its assigned functions with autonomy and attain self-sufficiency. The mid-term evaluation found apathy among the tax payers as well as the tax collectors to collect holding taxes. EALG can increase awareness through training and workshops among the UP and UZP functionaries to emphasize tax collection. Importance of increased tax collection for the sake of improving the quality of local level services should adequately be explained to the LGI functionaries in training/orientations arranged by the EALG. Similarly, initiatives should also be undertaken to make the citizen aware in this regard.

4

COVID-19 Support can be continued if the pandemic exists:

The project has significant achievements regarding COVID-19 support. Awareness activities related to COVID-19 can be continued as people of treatment areas were found to be more aware of pandemic than that of control areas. Moreover, the program can focus on vaccination, more awareness activities on using mask, soap and social distancing so that people can be well informed about COVID19 and the health guidelines required to follow to contain it.

5

Coordination between Government Officials and Public Representatives:

At the Upazila level, in some cases misunderstandings and mistrusts between public representatives and government officials are found to be prevalent, which seriously affects coordination between these two key service providers. In order to improve service delivery at the Upazila level it is essential to improve coordination between the UZP functionaries and the line department officials at the Upazila level. Regular arrangement of six monthly review meeting, periodic coordination meeting has supported to minimize the gap, Ward Shava, Open Budget should be continued to keep the momentum.

6

Emphasis on Increasing Citizens’ Awareness about UP Activities:

EALG project focuses on improved participation of the citizen in UP and UZP activities through Ward Shava, Open Budget Meeting and Public Hearing. But the project does not have any component dealing exclusively with increasing citizens’ awareness about local government activities. This can be achieved by introducing some interventions for increasing citizen awareness.

7

Live Streaming the Public Engagement Programmes:

Facebook/twitter pages for the UPs and UZPs operated by the project can be utilized further to live streaming of the ongoing Ward Shava, Open Budget Meeting and Public Hearing meeting from each of the areas. This will have multiple effects on local level governance: i) might help increase awareness of the local people about the activities of the LGIs; ii) increased number of people may feel encouraged to attend the Ward Shavas/Open Budget meetings; and iii) will facilitate making local governance more transparent and accountable.

8

Continuing support for publishing the Annual Report and Five Year Plan:

The EALG project provided financial and technical support to the Union and Upazila Parishads to publish their annual reports and five-year plan books. This intervention has produced encouraging results in terms of ensuring transparency and accountability of Union and Upazila Parishads as well as in disseminating key information about the LGIs to the wider audience. UNDP pursued LGD to amend the ‘Revenue Fund Utilization Guideline’ of UZP. As a result, LGD updated the guideline and allocated BDT 100,000 for preparing and publishing annual report and other publications of UZP which ensure the sustainability of publishing annual reports. On this backdrop the current evaluation strongly recommends to continue this practice in future.

9

Revision of the Result Framework:

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, some of the policy level tasks did not go according to the plan. As per the current design, the project has around one and a half years left to cease to exist. Considering the time required for executing the policy level interventions, some of the project targets/objectives can be revised from the result framework and key priorities can be set up. For example, the project has a target for integrated planning by the LGIs, but given the current structure and government process, integrated planning will be difficult since it will need a major reform of the local government system and this will be a time consuming process. Given this, the project can support the LGIs for a coordinated planning process for efficient use of resources and maximizing benefits for the citizen.

10

Monitoring of the EALG Project needs to be strengthened:

Continuous financial and physical activities monitoring of UP and UZP from the EALG project has been found to be beneficial to achieving the project objectives. Simultaneous monitoring from the EALG Dhaka office, District Facilitators, Office of the Deputy Director of Local Government can be a powerful mechanism for ensuring effective monitoring of project activities. Monitoring by the LGD would sustain even after the project end. Introducing MIS/M&E system might help in this regard. EALG facilitated online monitoring support to LGD and expecting its’ launching by 2021. The online monitoring system will sustain the monitoring mechanism beyond the project intervention.

1. Recommendation:

Considering UP as the Core Intervention Area rather than UZP:

The project made its interventions in three sub groups: i) sub group 1 targeted UPs and UZPs for intervention, sub group 2 targeted UZPs and sub group 3 targeted Ups for intervention. Out of these, sub groups one and three that focused on the UPs for project interventions, produced better results in almost all aspects of the project compared to that of the sub group 2. Project interventions at the UP level were found to ensure greater participation of citizens in LGI activities than the interventions at the UZPs. Community people were found to be less connected to UZPs and they hardly seek services from there. It is the UP which is considered as the most popular place for the local people to receive their required services. Despite having interventions at the Upazila Parishad, community people of the sub group 2 reported less satisfaction about and access to services provided by both Upazila and Union Parishad. The project, thus, may consider making interventions at the Union Parishads in the remaining period of the project or in the next phase, if extended. Alternately, the project may undertake initiatives for intensifying coordination between the UZPs and UPs in order for benefiting the community from the project interventions undertaken at the Upazila level.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/06/27]

Partially Agreed

Union Parishad (UP) is a service delivery organization, while Upazila (UZP) is primarily a coordinating body, providing services by the 17 transferred line departments. UNDP will focus on SDG localization, engaging multi-tiers of Local Government Institutions (LGIs) and other actors, including CSOs and the private sectors, if the next phase of EALG or a new project for local governance is designed. However, EALG will continue to work with UPs and improve service delivery and accountability of line departments until the end of the project.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Delivering more activities with UPs once the lockdown is withdrawn.
[Added: 2021/06/27]
EALG 2021/12 Initiated EALG will revise AWP 2021 to implement the action.
2. Recommendation:

Capacity Building through Extending the Duration of Training:

In order to capacitate the LGI functionaries, although the EALG offers various kinds of training, the study found that the duration of the most of the training sessions is shorter than required for ensuring effective learning. It is recommended that the duration of the training sessions should be reviewed further in order to make it suitable for effective learning.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/06/27]

Partially Agreed

The training duration will be assessed and revisited by EALG accordingly. EALG will offer a supporting role to the National Institute of Local Governance  (NILG) in reviewing the designed courses. However, increased training time will require additional resources that might be a challenge for EALG. For this reason, the project will address this recommendation if it finds solutions to address constraint budget issues. At the least, UNDP will consider this recommendation in designing the next phase of EALG or a similar type of project.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Revisit the training duration and take a decision accordingly.
[Added: 2021/06/27]
EALG 2021/09 Not Initiated It will be initiated once the lockdown is lifted.
3. Recommendation:

Internal Resource Mobilization through Collection of Tax:

Holding tax collection as a means of resource mobilization is very important for the LGIs to perform its assigned functions with autonomy and attain self-sufficiency. The mid-term evaluation found apathy among the tax payers as well as the tax collectors to collect holding taxes. EALG can increase awareness through training and workshops among the UP and UZP functionaries to emphasize tax collection. Importance of increased tax collection for the sake of improving the quality of local level services should adequately be explained to the LGI functionaries in training/orientations arranged by the EALG. Similarly, initiatives should also be undertaken to make the citizen aware in this regard.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/06/27]

Agreed

EALG has already piloted raising awareness of the community people in the UPs about tax, conducting an assessment on holding tax, and collecting holding tax engaging UP functionaries and local youth. If the piloting is successful, UNDP will replicate this approach in other UPs if EALG is scaled up or a new project is designed. If not, EALG will document the learning and share the document with the Horizontal Learning Programme (HLP), Local Governance Support Project (LGSP), and Local Government Division (LGD) with a replication request. EALG has researched resource mobilization for LGIs in Bangladesh and advocated with LGD to integrate these recommendations into the revised tax schedule.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Advocate with LGD on the revision of the UP Model Tax Schedule.
[Added: 2021/06/27]
EALG 2021/12 Initiated The piloting was initiated, and the advocacy is going on.
Document and disseminate learning from the piloting.
[Added: 2021/06/27]
EALG 2022/03 Not Initiated The piloting is yet to be completed.
4. Recommendation:

COVID-19 Support can be continued if the pandemic exists:

The project has significant achievements regarding COVID-19 support. Awareness activities related to COVID-19 can be continued as people of treatment areas were found to be more aware of pandemic than that of control areas. Moreover, the program can focus on vaccination, more awareness activities on using mask, soap and social distancing so that people can be well informed about COVID19 and the health guidelines required to follow to contain it.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/06/27]

Agreed
EALG will integrate awareness of vaccination in its following COVID-19 awareness-raising messages through multiple channels. It is expected that the awareness-raising event will be imparted in June-July 2021. Moreover, the awareness-raising messages will also emphasize using masks, soaps and maintaining social distancing apart from the distribution of masks and soaps for project stakeholders, including poor citizens living in project working areas.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Revise the awareness-raising messages to be broadcasted by loud miking.
[Added: 2021/06/27] [Last Updated: 2021/07/27]
EALG 2021/07 Completed The awareness-raising message has been revised incorporating the information as planned in the management response and it is broadcasted using loud miking. History
5. Recommendation:

Coordination between Government Officials and Public Representatives:

At the Upazila level, in some cases misunderstandings and mistrusts between public representatives and government officials are found to be prevalent, which seriously affects coordination between these two key service providers. In order to improve service delivery at the Upazila level it is essential to improve coordination between the UZP functionaries and the line department officials at the Upazila level. Regular arrangement of six monthly review meeting, periodic coordination meeting has supported to minimize the gap, Ward Shava, Open Budget should be continued to keep the momentum.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/06/27]

Agreed

The existing interventions, such as six-monthly review meetings and periodic coordination meetings, have supported minimizing the gap. Ward Shava and Open Budget will also be continued up to the project period. The project has also assisted LGD in circulating 17 UZP committee ToRs, which will improve coordination among the service providers, and planned to orient the relevant stakeholders making committees more functional and improving coordination. The project will also consider monitoring and follow-up of the committee functions following the TOR.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Facilitate training on newly approved ToRs for the UZP committee members.
[Added: 2021/06/27]
EALG 2022/03 Not Initiated Training will be initiated once the approved ToR is published for dissemination.
Monitor and follow-up the functions of the committee and coordination at the UZP level.
[Added: 2021/06/27]
EALG 2022/06 Not Initiated The process will be monitored by the DDLGs and DFs.
6. Recommendation:

Emphasis on Increasing Citizens’ Awareness about UP Activities:

EALG project focuses on improved participation of the citizen in UP and UZP activities through Ward Shava, Open Budget Meeting and Public Hearing. But the project does not have any component dealing exclusively with increasing citizens’ awareness about local government activities. This can be achieved by introducing some interventions for increasing citizen awareness.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/06/27]

Agreed

EALG will encourage improved citizen participation in UP and UZPs’ public functions through various awareness-raising activities, particularly disseminating this information by Information Education Communication (IEC)/ Behaviour Change Communication (BCC) materials. EALG will also share some of the information related to UP and UZP mandates through these materials.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Design and disseminate IEC/BCC materials.
[Added: 2021/06/27]
EALG 2021/09 Initiated The design process is under process and will be completed soon.
Keep the UP/UZP Facebook functional and use them to sensitize people through various awareness-raising messages.
[Added: 2021/06/27]
EALG 2022/03 Not Initiated Actions will be taken with proper implementation planning.
7. Recommendation:

Live Streaming the Public Engagement Programmes:

Facebook/twitter pages for the UPs and UZPs operated by the project can be utilized further to live streaming of the ongoing Ward Shava, Open Budget Meeting and Public Hearing meeting from each of the areas. This will have multiple effects on local level governance: i) might help increase awareness of the local people about the activities of the LGIs; ii) increased number of people may feel encouraged to attend the Ward Shavas/Open Budget meetings; and iii) will facilitate making local governance more transparent and accountable.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/06/27]

Agreed

EALG will advocate with LGD to introduce this innovative idea and issue a letter from LGD/DDLG to consider the Facebook live of Ward Shava, Open Budget Session, and the public hearing session. These initiatives will help the relevant UP secretaries and local youth improve skills to support Facebook live events where citizen engagement is visible.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Issue an internal circular to promote this idea in its working area.
[Added: 2021/06/27]
EALG 2021/09 Not Initiated Advocacy with LGD/DDLG is needed to issue the letter.
8. Recommendation:

Continuing support for publishing the Annual Report and Five Year Plan:

The EALG project provided financial and technical support to the Union and Upazila Parishads to publish their annual reports and five-year plan books. This intervention has produced encouraging results in terms of ensuring transparency and accountability of Union and Upazila Parishads as well as in disseminating key information about the LGIs to the wider audience. UNDP pursued LGD to amend the ‘Revenue Fund Utilization Guideline’ of UZP. As a result, LGD updated the guideline and allocated BDT 100,000 for preparing and publishing annual report and other publications of UZP which ensure the sustainability of publishing annual reports. On this backdrop the current evaluation strongly recommends to continue this practice in future.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/06/27]

Agreed

To continue the annual report of UP and UZP in 2021, EALG obtained approval on the UP annual reporting guideline and UZP annual reporting guideline by LGD. LGD has adopted these two guidelines for all UZP and UPs, which help the institution publish these reports confidently.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Disseminate these guidelines through multiple channels and monitor the status.
[Added: 2021/06/27]
EALG 2021/12 Not Initiated EALG has a plan to implement the idea of disseminating guidelines through multiple channels.
9. Recommendation:

Revision of the Result Framework:

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, some of the policy level tasks did not go according to the plan. As per the current design, the project has around one and a half years left to cease to exist. Considering the time required for executing the policy level interventions, some of the project targets/objectives can be revised from the result framework and key priorities can be set up. For example, the project has a target for integrated planning by the LGIs, but given the current structure and government process, integrated planning will be difficult since it will need a major reform of the local government system and this will be a time consuming process. Given this, the project can support the LGIs for a coordinated planning process for efficient use of resources and maximizing benefits for the citizen.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/06/27]

Partially Agreed

EALG will focus on the policy issues throughout the remaining period. Meanwhile, EALG has had a communication with SDC for necessary revisions in the results framework. The communication from SDC concluded that no further modification is needed as SDC treats non-achieving results as a point of learning, meaning why the result was not possible to be achieved. However, there may be a possibility that the RF revision issue comes in at a later stage. In addition, the project is advocating with LGD for an inter-ministerial coordination committee to facilitate better coordination at the UPZ level.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Strengthen six-monthly review meeting at the field level for better coordination.
[Added: 2021/06/27]
EALG 2021/12 Initiated Both UZP and UP functionaries will share their views and identify actions to be taken for better coordination.
10. Recommendation:

Monitoring of the EALG Project needs to be strengthened:

Continuous financial and physical activities monitoring of UP and UZP from the EALG project has been found to be beneficial to achieving the project objectives. Simultaneous monitoring from the EALG Dhaka office, District Facilitators, Office of the Deputy Director of Local Government can be a powerful mechanism for ensuring effective monitoring of project activities. Monitoring by the LGD would sustain even after the project end. Introducing MIS/M&E system might help in this regard. EALG facilitated online monitoring support to LGD and expecting its’ launching by 2021. The online monitoring system will sustain the monitoring mechanism beyond the project intervention.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/06/27]

Agreed

EALG has already updated its M&E plan and will introduce an online-based monitoring system using UNDP Share Point/Google Docs to obtain real-time data. Apart from this, EALG has already integrated a field monitoring plan corresponding to the project monitoring plan engaging PMU staff and the DFs. Moreover, EALG is ready to assist its UPs and UZPs in entering necessary data in the monitoring platform to be introduced by LGD in June 2021.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Provide support to the UPs and UZPs to enter updated data in the LGD Developed MIS/monitoring platform.
[Added: 2021/06/27]
EALG 2022/03 Not Initiated The system will be introduced among relevant LGIs. Ensuring data input is a critical challenge.

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