Local Governance Programme SHARIQUE

Strengthening Local Governance in Bangladesh

Goal and Vision

Sharique means “partnership” in Bangla. The Sharique Local Governance Programme contributes to the empowerment of local citizens to make and implement inclusive, gender sensitive and pro-poor collective choices about their lives and livelihoods through more democratic, transparent, inclusive and effective local government systems. The project rationale is that good local governance leads to equitable local development for all members of society as they are encouraged to participate in decision-making processes.
Sharique, which started in 2006 (phase I: 2006-09, phase II: 2009-13, phase III: 2013-16: phase IV: 2017-19), is a project of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).  Presently, Sharique is in its fourth and final phase of intervention.

Expected Outcomes of Sharique Phase IV

  • Outcome 1: Citizens participate more effectively in decision-making and more effectively hold Union Parishads to account in the selected districts.
  • Outcome 2: Union Parishads in the selected districts apply more effective, accountable and inclusive public management systems.
  • Outcome 3: National actors use and institutionalise tested Sharique capacity development tools for strengthening Union Parishad governance.

Main Activities

  • Capacity building support to Union Parishads in planning and budgeting, tax revenue generation, administrative and financial management, reaching the poor with services, communication and public information disclosure, female leadership.
  • Supporting communities to understand their roles and responsibilities, right to information, participation in Union Parishad planning processes, supervision of UP projects, and access to safety-net programmes.
  • Cross visit and horizontal learning programme for Union Parishad Chairmen.
  • Institutionalization of tested Sharique capacity development tools by NILG.

Partners

In this phase, two national NGOs will build the capacity of the citizens. For capacity building of Union Parishads, the project will work with the National Institute of Local Government (NILG) to develop and quality assure Union Parishad training modules.  Technical advice and support on core modules on public financial management and strategic planning will come from the Institute of Public Finance, and the National Academy of Planning and Development.  The Bangladesh Rural Development Board (BRDB) will deliver the NILG developed modules at Union Parishad level.

Working Areas

In Phase 4, Sharique aims to deliver capacity building support to all UPs and communities in Barisal and Gaibandha districts (167 UPs). In addition, horizontal learning programme will be implemented in the Sharique 4 old districts (Rajshahi, Chapainwabaganj, Khulna and Sunamganj district) and the 2 new districts (Barisal and Gaibandha).

Key achievements under Phases I-III include:

  • All 207 of Sharique’s partner UPs organize ward shava and open budget meetings;
  • In 2016, a total of 479,822 citizens participated in ward shava and 117,924 citizens in open budget meetings;
  • 95% of Sharique partner UPs conducted Union Development Coordination Committee meetings regularly;
  • 100% of Sharique partner UPs regularly conduct council meetings;
  • UPs have increased their own source revenues (from 2012/13): 19% increase in 2013/14; and 66% in 2014/15; and 45% in 2015/16 as a result of the stronger link between UPs and their citizens. 
  • Project knowledge documented, published and shared: with 25 publications, 17 studies and 4 video documentaries.
Chairman of Matikata Union Parishad (UP) in Rajshahi district standing in front of income and expenditure statement disclosure board of his UP.
image description Before starting working with SHARIQUE in 2007, there was little communication between the UP and citizens. Now through a shared vision we are trying to improve the services provided by the UP. We want to make it a model UP that others look up to. Citizens now trust their UP and we from the UP body are committed to serving our citizens in a transparent and accountable manner. Also, we are proactively disclosing necessary information to our citizens. image description Md. Nurul Islam Chairman, Matikata UP Rajshahi