Experts on Wednesday urged the government to ensure involvement of local government bodies and communities in the implementation process of sustainable development goals for making the development sustainable and inclusive.
Localisation of SDGs is the best way to achieve most of the goals under the global agenda, they said at a dialogue titled ‘Let the grassroots speak: localising SDGs for inclusive development’.
They also said that the implementation of SDGs would be difficult without meaningful decentralisation of government with delegation of authority of executing development projects.
Centre for Policy Dialogue and OXFAM jointly organised the dialogue at the Lakeshore Hotel in Dhaka.
Planning Commission member (General Economics Division) Shamsul Alam said that realising the importance of localisation of the SDGs, GED placed a proposal before the Commission to frame a SDG localisation model to implement the goals in a coordinated way involving local government bodies and government agencies.
He said that the role of local government bodies was important but the problem was that those bodies were not strong enough in absence of authority to implement development projects.
Manusher Jonno Foundation executive director Shaheen Anam said that lack of coordination was the main problem for development process in the country.
Achieving the development goals will be difficult without meaningful decentralisation of government, she said, adding that the initiatives to decentralise the government got stuck at some points due to internal politics.
Development should be meaningful and participatory, she said.
Delegation of the European Union cooperation head Mario Ronconi emphasised localised sectoral action plan for implementing the SDGs.
Non-government organisation BROTEE general secretary Sharmeen Murshid said that there was a lack of political will to strengthen the local government system in the country.
OXFAM Bangladesh country director Dipankar Datta said that it was high time to recognise the role of local government bodies, local administrations and communities in SDG implementation process and ensure their participation in the process.
CPD executive director Fahmida Khatun moderated the programme.
She said that participation of grassroots people in preparation and implementation of the SDGs was important as success or failure of the agenda would affect those people most.
CPD senior research fellow Towfiqul Islam Khan presented a paper based on workshops with local authorities at char, haor and coastal areas in lagging-behind 13 districts.
Towfiq said that participants at the workshops put emphasis on decent employment and fair prices of agricultural production.
It is critical to have a permanent local government financing commission to overcome the limitation of resources, he said.
OXFAM senior programme office Mahfuza Mala presented a paper on its project titled ‘enhancing the participation of community-based organisations and civil society organisations in democratic governance in Bangladesh’.
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