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A tale of two Upazilas : local governance and social development in Bangladesh

Faguet, Jean-Paul ORCID: 0000-0002-7188-0098 and Ali, Zulfiqar (2007) A tale of two Upazilas : local governance and social development in Bangladesh. . London School of Economics and Political Science, London.

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Decentralization is commonly advocated as a means to improve primary services and hence accelerate social development. Although solid theoretical arguments support this position, the empirical evidence by and large does not. This paper examines whether local governance can improve public service delivery, and hence social development, empirically with detailed evidence on good and bad cases of public service effectiveness in Bangladesh. We examine the institutional underpinnings of service provision, digging down beneath the formal and informal “rules of the game” to analyze the beliefs, understandings and dispositions that drive social behavior. Such ideas and attitudes set the incentives faced by both producers and users of public services, and hence the degree of accountability that public servants face. We find that changes in attitudes, which led to improvements in social indicators, coincided with rising educational levels, and training and outreach by NGOs. But such changes affected all of Bangladesh in similar ways. Regional variation in social outcomes is explained by the presence in certain areas of a dense web of relationships that enmeshed such advances, and their protagonists, in local systems of authority and legitimacy, strengthening their actions and making local society more susceptible to change.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Additional Information: (c) 2007 London School of Economics and Political Science.
Divisions: STICERD
International Development
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
JEL classification: O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O10 - General
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2007
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2024 07:57

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