A Qualitative Narrative on the Practices of Transparency and Accountability at Local Government Institutions: The Case of a Union Parishad in Bangladesh


  • Nikhil Chandra Shil East West University
  • Anup Chowdhury East West University


Transparency, accountability, local government, Union Parishad, Bangladesh


This study presents the current practices of transparency and accountability of local government institutions in Bangladesh taking a union parishad as a case. The research approach follows the style of a qualitative narrative based on selective interviews, focus group discussion, observation and analysis of archival records and documents. Different secondary sources are also consulted to provide a thick description on the key themes of the study. Research triangulation is reached through analyzing interviews, archival records, and observations. The study found that local government institutions in Bangladesh still suffer from a very weak structure in providing basic services to the citizens, including lack of revenue, low level of human capital in the local government bodies. The study also found that participation in decision making and the budget preparation process is grossly absent, along with a weak monitoring mechanism which lacks accountability and transparency. Continuation of an inherited colonial structure fueled with political instability and a power-playing attitude are collectively responsible for weak local government structure. Though Bangladesh has witnessed significant reform initiatives in organizations responsible for public service delivery, local government institutions have not benefitted enough from these initiatives due to their remote positioning and servicing a large beneficiary population, most of whom are unaware about their public rights. However, the study highlights some visible changes whereby transparency and an accountability framework of local government units is improving. Digitalized technology has been widely used in public service delivery. The use of a database system, sharing information, awareness programs and inclusion of digital centers in local government agencies make the local government units more transparent


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How to Cite

Shil, N. C., & Anup Chowdhury. (2023). A Qualitative Narrative on the Practices of Transparency and Accountability at Local Government Institutions: The Case of a Union Parishad in Bangladesh . Local Administration Journal, 16(2), 151–176. Retrieved from https://so04.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/colakkujournals/article/view/265126