Experts has stressed that strong and effective local government is required to implement the Strategic Development Goals (SDGs).
The strengthening of local government also depends on the direct involvement and support of the central government, they observed at a roundtable discussion in Dhaka on Thursday.
The discussion, titled ‘Community Trust, Local Government and SDG Achievement’, was jointly organised by the Brac Social Empowerment Programme and The Hunger Project.
The Hunger Project, Bangladesh Country Director Dr Badiul Alam Majumdar presented the keynote at the discussion.
Badiul mentioned that it is possible to create social trust very quickly at the local level and it can play a direct role in economic progress.
Likewise, social harmony can serve as a helpful force in achieving the SDGs, he added.
Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Distinguished Fellow Debapriya Bhattacharya said for strengthening the local government, the central government requires direct involvement and support.
Speaking as the chief guest, noted economist Prof Rehman Sobhan observed that strengthening the local government had been a political issue everywhere else in the world.
In West Bengal State of India, political party workers had tried to strengthen the local government under the leadership of Jyoti Basu and similar efforts were made tby the party workers in the Soviet Union, he noted.
Prof Rehman Sobhan, the chairperson of CPD, said it is the responsibility of the elected government to have a sustainable and strong local government, not of the external people.
Local government expert Dr Tofail Ahmed said the local government needs to be strong and effective to implement the SDGs through a proper action plan.
“If the capacity of the representatives of a union parishad can be increased and their views changed, they will conduct the council systematically,” he noted.