Challenges of Local Government Institutions in Bangladesh

1. Ideas and practices of local government:

Most people consider public representatives as local guardians who work with them, and with whom they can share all sorts of personal, social, religious and political thoughts and beliefs. With the increase in power and volume of activities of the government, the responsibility and duty of the local government has also been increased by several times. Around the world most challenges people face are local. So, the best way to solve them is through local initiatives and local leadership by awakening and mobilizing people. Authorities closest to the citizen or rather citizens themselves by getting directly involved can greatly contribute in solving public problems. This is how the local government takes its shape. Local government brings decision-making closer to the people. A strong local government system can ensure good governance through transparency, accountability, effective participation and equal opportunities for all. Most importantly, this system can ensure development at the grassroots level. Strong local government institutions strengthen democracy, ensure good governance, and at the same time quicken the pace of political and socioeconomic development of the country.

1.1. New view of local government:

Local government is based on community governance, and focused on citizen-centered local governance. It is the primary agent for the citizens and leader and gatekeeper for shared rule, is responsive and accountable to local voters. It is purchaser of local services, and facilitator of network mechanisms of local governance, coordinator of government providers and entities beyond government, mediator of conflicts, and developer of social capital. It is externally focused and competitive; ardent practitioner of alternative service delivery framework; open, quick, and flexible, innovative. It is risk taker within limits, autonomous in taxing, spending, regulatory, and administrative decisions. It has managerial flexibility and accountability for results. It is participatory; and works to strengthen citizen voice and exit options through direct democracy provisions, citizens’ charters, and performance budgeting. It is focused on earning trust, creating space for civic dialogue, serving the citizens, and improving social outcomes. It is fiscally prudent; works better and costs less, inclusive and participatory. It overcomes market and government failures. Local government is connected in a globalized and localized world

1.2. Citizen-centered local governance:

Reforming the institutions of local governance requires agreement on basic principles. Three basic principles are advanced to initiate such a discussion:

* Responsive governance: This principle aims for governments to do the right things-that is, to deliver services consistent with citizen preferences.

* Responsible governance: The government should also do it right-that is, manage its fiscal resources prudently. It should earn the trust of residents by working better and costing less and by managing fiscal and social risks for the community. It should strive to improve the quality and quantity of and access to public services. To do so, it needs to benchmark its performance with the best-performing local government.

* Accountable governance: A local government should be accountable to its electorate. It should adhere to appropriate safeguards to ensure that it serves the public …

What is a Monocultural Society?

Do you live in a mono-cultural or multi-cultural society?. Often we find it difficult to define. What is a mono- cultural society?

Most experts agree that the essential traits of a mono-cultural society are a common heritage, belief structure, language and usually a mono-racial identity. Since we live in a more globalized World, many of our societies are essentially multi-cultural. But still many of today’s societies still share the common traits of a mono-cultural society.

What are these common traits?

1. A common heritage

The historical heritage of the society could be based on a perception that the nations, food, language, attitudes, racial features and religious beliefs are an essential element to the nations identity.

2. A shared belief structure

The majority of the citizens of a country have a shared belief structure, based on the nation’s heritage. These beliefs form the national identity, and ‘psyche,’ which create to many a stronger bonded society, but to detractors a nation which loses out on the benefits of a multi-cultural ethnic society.

3. An inward looking ‘psyche’

To many, mono-cultural societies tend to look inwards, rather than outwards, and this can show in the nation’s culture. Television programs and news tends to be locally centered, and the cultures identity heavily promoted. A degree of ignorance of the outside World is often a product of looking inwards.

4. A suspicion of “foreigners”

The ‘psyche” of a mono-cultural society often can be suspicious towards “foreigners,” and unacceptable of their beliefs. This could lead to discouraging multi-cultural partnerships, to a ‘ghetto’ mentality of separating cultures through the areas they can live.

5. Common religious values

Whilst in some societies religion is seen as being less important, other cultures see it as part of their national or ethnic identity. A strong mono-cultural official religion often is a strong trait of a this type of society..

6. Tribalism

Citizens of strong multi-cultural societies tend to be more tribal when they live outside their own culture. Multi- cultural marriages are unacceptable, the neighbors, the food and even the workplace tends to be ‘tribal.” – the influence of the new society lessened by this strong cultural bond, between others who share it.

7. Purchasing Goods

Mono- cultural societies tend to support their own products, rather than purchase products from other nations. They tend to be proud of their industries, and economic achievements- encouraging buying nationally produced products over others. This is beneficial in a recession, but in an expanding economy can hinder the choice consumers have.

Mono-cultural societies tend to feel safer, as long as you are identified as “one of the group,” but also conservative when it comes to accepting change. Whilst threatened, these societies tend to bond together faster, but also can be guilty of the worse types of ethnic abuse.

Historic examples could be the Armenian holocaust by Turkey, or the past bloodshed in the Balkans, and Rwanda- Events that generally do not occur in more modern multi-ethnic societies, which accept the differences in ideas, …