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LESSONS:

Secondary Towns Infrastructure Development Project II

sector: Water and Other Urban Infrastructure and Services | country: Bangladesh

Direct involvement of the urban municipality (pourashava) chairpersons and their staff in implementing the project activities might have played an important role in ensuring greater ownership of the facilities built. This is also important for supervision of works during construction and maintenance of physical facilities (bus terminals, markets, public toilets, and drainage). The new ADB-assisted Urban Governance and Infrastructure Improvement Project (UGIIP) was formulated in line with this lesson learned. The performance-based UGIIP approach is expected to result in significant change in practice and attitudes of the urban municipalities.

Regular monitoring of urban municipality (pourashava) performance by the agencies concerned was important. Newly elected representatives of the urban municipalities were generally not sufficiently aware of the project facilities and their obligations towards repayment of the loans after project completion. Lack of adequate skilled staff and transfer of trained staff resulted in deteriorating situations. However, the government recognized the overall situation of the urban municipalities and agreed with development partners, including ADB, to bring in necessary adjustments in the urban municipality ordinance (Pourashava Ordinance of 1977). It established a senior committee to review the reform proposals, and a central urban municipality performance evaluation committee chaired by a joint secretary of the Local Government Division (LGD).

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