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Decentralisation without decentralisation: Bangladesh’s failed attempt to transfer power from the central government to local governments


  • Pranab Panday


This article addresses decentralising initiatives in Bangladesh with reference, first, to significant literature on decentralisation in the context of development and, thereafter, to a particular reform involving the introduction of the Upazila Parishad (UZP) as a potentially important tier of local government. While the reform heralded a possible expansion of local participation and the taking of responsive local action, the functioning of the UZP has not lived up to the promises and expectations. A lack of a proper transfer of power and responsibility to the elected representatives, the existence of centrally-controlled administration and planning, and the extensive interference of politicians and bureaucrats has limited considerably the capacity of the UZP to operate effectively. Only through a reduction of central control and a recasting of local action will it be able to achieve its significant goals and objectives as a vital form of local government and governance.

Suggested Citation

  • Pranab Panday, 2017. "Decentralisation without decentralisation: Bangladesh’s failed attempt to transfer power from the central government to local governments," Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(3), pages 177-188, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rapaxx:v:39:y:2017:i:3:p:177-188
    DOI: 10.1080/23276665.2017.1363940

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