Municipal Association of Bangladesh-MAB
In Bangladesh, the need for administrative decentralization is necessary in order to achieve good governance. Municipality is an important tier of local government institutions which has impacts for the benefits of administrative decentralization. Roles and functions of Municipality are significant in order to make the benefits of urbanization available to its citizens. Therefore, the issue of strengthening and empowering Municipality is vital.
In the developing countries local government authorities have to play some extra roles in addition to their obligated functions. For example, they have to promote roles and functions of local governments among citizens. Central Government quite often delays in devolving legal authorities and rights to the local government institutions. There is hardly any initiative to ascertain check and balance between The Parliament and Local Government Institution in defining their rights and functions.
All the elected Mayors, Councilors and others officials realize the needs for establishing municipality as an active and efficient organization in order to improve the lives of its citizens. Keeping this aspiration in mind Municipal Association of Bangladesh (MAB) was formed on July 2003 by the representation of a significant numbers of Municipality Mayors.
Since its formation, MAB has been actively organizing its efforts by raising united voice for decentralization and democratization of the local government system of Bangladesh. MAB organized various seminars and workshops where the issues of decentralization and democratization were perceived as important agenda. The open discussions and brain storming sessions also posed multi-dimensional perspectives of the term “local governance”, in order to turn out from its traditional concept, originated at colonial centralized system to confer limited responsibility to local people. Since the modern concept of local governance need to be translated into the societal platform, the policy advocacy for democratization and decentralization in local government system is priority of the association.
MAB has implemented a number of activities as a united platform of the municipalities for the last couple of years. It has detected the constraints of municipality through consultative process and placed recommendations to the government in order to resolve them. Besides, MAB has taken some initiatives to do extremely well in the achievements of the municipal representatives.
Goal of MAB
- To raise united voice in favor of the whole Municipality of Bangladesh; &
- To initiate integration program approach in strengthening MAB platform.
- Objective of MAB
- To present the real life recommendations to the policy level of the government of Bangladesh, regarding the limitations of the legal framework of the local government management system;
- To provide need-based training and technical support to the municipal representatives;
- To take required initiatives to develop good impression of municipality activity at all levels;
- To play a role to establish an effective local government;
- To keep effective communication with local and foreign organizations & forums and seeking membership;
- To implement the projects of MAB and Municipalities through the joint effort and thus mobilized funding support from the national & international level agencies.
Rationale to establish of MAB
Following are the logical reasons to establish of MAB as organizational platform:
- MAB feel its importance that MAB as an effective united organization to represent the country’s Municipal related issues at national level;
- Though elected municipal local government management system is historical but as an institution not so strong to play an effective role;
- In the policy making process and taking decision regarding resource distribution, there is no way to express interest of the Municipality’s collectively;
- Though, the association of Municipal Mayors achieve success a few but already they proved the justification of organizing such a ‘Municipal Association’. Process of the implementation of programs of ‘Municipal Association of Bangladesh’ will be regular through their learning experience;
- To implement goal & objective of MAB to develop the organizational strategy at local / national / International level;
- Taking measure at local level to improve the quality of direction to strengthen Municipality, it means, manpower of the Municipality, Financial power and to ensure Participatory Democratic Municipal administration;
- For needful of legal rectification and regulatory framework, taking programs at Central government like lobby with the central government, submit demands and ensuring rights to decentralization of defined all activities for development of municipality and to ensure resource mobilization;
- Communicate with regional/international associations and networks at international level, exchange information, experience and use learning experience for positive changes of Municipal Association of Bangladesh (MAB); &
- Facilitate for brainstorming & exchange view and opinion to build a effective network of elected Municipal government of Bangladesh.
- MAB has taken the following working program strategy:
- Explore to improve the skill of management and administration of municipalities;
- Execute activities to raise and mobilize the resources of municipalities. For this, trying to raise resource locally, trying to achieve more funds from the central government, seeking possibilities and maintain communication to reach foreign investment or donation/ loan;
- Employ and train manpower in new issues like as, taking different effective measures including training for human resources development as if development of the quality of manpower of the municipalities, urban planning, preservation of environment, poverty alleviation, keeping the women and child rights;
- Publish informative directory regarding detail information of the municipalities of Bangladesh.
- Maintain communication and networking in needful different levels;
- Oversee and develop the constitution of Municipal Association of Bangladesh;
- Increase number of membership of Municipal Association of Bangladesh;
- Organize issue-based meeting, roundtable, dialogue, seminar, workshop press conference relate to mission and vision of MAB and participate such as program if applicable;
- Publish MAB newsletter Pourabarta on quarterly basis;
- Doing advocacy and lobby in different level about Local Government Issues;
- Participate & produce in TV talk show program, documentary in radio and television on Local Government Issues;
- Continuing online help desk especially on local government issues. Regular update MAB website;
Establish ‘Legal Support Cell’ under Municipal Association of Bangladesh which will provide legal support services;
- Taking total activities to improve the standard of development of municipalities. If need, collect fund from local or foreign organization and use that where applicable;
- Establish MAB secretariat in capital city of Dhaka, Bangladesh; &
- Organize exposure/study tour at local/national/international level for local government representatives, government officials, civil society representatives and representatives from media.
- Registration, Membership and Partnership
MAB has been registered under Society Act of the Joint Stock Companies no. S-9094 (20)/2009 and NGO Affairs Bureau (NGOAB) no. 2642 dated 23/05/2011.
The MAB as an local government association (LGA) is a member of United Cities and Local Governments Asia Pacific (UCLG ASPAC), International City Management Association-ICMA, CITYNET, ICLEI South Asia, and Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF). It has also strategic partnership with Bangladesh Urban Forum (BUF), member of World Urban Forum (WUF) and Governance Advocacy Forum (GAF) respectively.
MAB works in partnership with a number of government, national and international organizations such as Ministry of Local Government Rural Development and Cooperatives (LGRD&C), Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Housing and Public Works, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Environment and Forest, Ministry of Disaster Management & Relief, Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs (MOLJPA) of Government of Bangladesh; United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Comprehensive Disaster Management Program (CDMP), United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID), The Embassy of Royal Denmark, Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF), German International Cooperation (GIZ) and other state-owned development agencies in Bangladesh.