Output 1: Strengthened Upazila Parishads as functional, democratic and accountable institutions
This Output aims at capacity building of the UZP mainly to transform it into a fully functional institution and to promote democracy first from within, and then to empowering people, in particular the women representatives to participate in the policy debate of the UZP. The capacity building efforts will include making the UZP functionaries (elected and non-elected) understand their basic roles and functions. This will contribute to enhancing their skills to perform within the provisions of the existing legal framework and meeting the expectation of their male and female constituencies.
Capacity building will involve a wider set of institutional challenges than covered by the existing support to UZPs. The existing support will cover the areas related to Parishad members representative function and requirements, formulating and operationalising rules and regulations. It will also enhance the transparency, and downwards accountability; as well as strategic capacities relating to fair and equitable development; social inclusion and social cohesion etc. As the program develops, capacity building will focus on the broader development roles of councilors in terms of addressing shortfalls in UZP MDG targets and addressing poverty and vulnerability; combating gender-based violence; climate change and other issues identified by councilors themselves as important within their UZP. The capacity building will be delivered using a range of methods such as through formal training, peer-to-peer learning; practice based training, coaching and mentoring.
In promoting democracy, the output will support the development of local democracy at Upazila level contributing to the Parishads functioning as institutions of local representative democracy. This will help realizing the rights of people to participate in governance with a specific focus on women and marginalized groups. To this effect strong focus will be put in supporting the contribution of the elected Parishads to increase democratic space, particularly in relation to citizen-state engagement both at horizontal and downward accountability levels. The realization of the Right to Information Act and the Digital Bangladesh vision will be supported to enhance the interface between government and citizens. The mainstreaming of Gender aspects throughout this Output will be complemented by the support to ‘Women Development Forum’s that will provide an important voice platform for female representatives.
Input-wise Estimated Budget: This output aims to provide a broad range of support, building on existing practices which will support UZPs through several activities and Sub-activities. Estimated budget of this output would be Tk.4506.48 lakh (US$6.025 million).
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