2019-12-19 17:22:20 BdST
Call for best use of project funds
Speakers at a programme has called for the efficient use of funds and enhanced accountability to ensure quality implementation of development projects in order to attain sustainable development goals (SDGs).
They placed stress on greater coordination between local government bodies, development partners and grass-roots people for quality public service delivery to smoothly execute national policies to this effect.
The suggestions came at a conference styled 'Democratic Governance and Development: Role of Grass-roots Citizen's Organisations' in the capital on Wednesday.
The daylong programme was co-hosted by the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) and Oxfam in Bangladesh in association with Citizen's Platform for SDGs.
It was part of an ongoing European Union (EU)-funded 'Enhancing the participation of community-based organisations (CBOs) and civil society organizations (CSOs) in democratic governance in Bangladesh's project.
Debapriya Bhattacharya, a distinguished fellow of CPD, chaired the concluding session where Prof Rehman Sobhan, CPD chairman, and Saber Hossain Chowdhury, chairman of the standing committee on environment, forest and climate change ministry spoke.
Hafiz Ahmed Majumder, member of the standing committee on planning ministry, and Rensje Teerink, EU ambassador in Dhaka, also addressed the event.
At the conference, Mr. Sobhan underlined the need for appropriate and efficient use of funds in development projects which are linked to SDGs.
It needs to identify any shortage of funds, whether the allocated money is going to the right channel or it is being used appropriately, he said categorically.
The CPD chair said, "Engaging citizens in the development process can ensure accountability of the public service providers."
He suggested the evaluation of development projects after completion to assess the impact of the initiatives.
Parliamentarian Saber Chowdhury said partnership and teamwork among all parties-government bodies, development partners and general public-can help achieve SDGs because the government alone cannot do it.
He laid emphasis on government efforts to ensure transparency and accountability in the delivery of public services and implementation of national development policies at all levels.
To ensure quality public service delivery, Mr. Chowdhury, also the honorary president of Inter-Parliamentary Union, recommended conducting a public hearing on government agencies.
Dr. Bhattacharya, also a convener of Citizen's Platform for SDGs, said the pledge of SDGs is to leave nobody behind the development process.
To do so, he said, it is a must to include those voices of marginalized people in the process.
Dr. Bhattacharya said multiple communities across the country are lagging behind due to the critical challenges they face in ensuring their access to public services.
To this effect, the government needs to focus more on coordination between local authorities and improving public services for local communities.
The project aims to enhance the participation of vulnerable and marginalized communities and CSOs in democratic governance through improved knowledge, enhanced institutional and networking capacities to ensure accountability in service delivery.
It was initiated in 2018 and will continue until 2021.
The project is being implemented in 13 sub-districts located in hard-to-reach areas of the country to implement eight SDGs.
CPD executive director Dr. Fahmida Khatun and Oxfam country director Dr. Dipankar Datta also spoke.
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