How Far Central Government Can Push Local Government to Reflect State Policy?: The Case of Social Forestry in Bangladesh
The Journal of Local Government, National Institute of Local Government (NILG), Vol. 34, No. 1, January-June 2005, (Published in June 2009)
21 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2012 Last revised: 15 Jul 2014
Date Written: June 16, 2009
The main role of local government institutions in any country is to implement state policies. In Bangladesh, local government was not successful as an implementation organization of Social Forestry (SF) policy of early 1980s though the central government and the donors were very much interested in its implementation. Forest management was in very poor condition in our country under the state control due to the inadequacy of the bureaucratic-custodian approach to the forest management. There was an uncompromising zeal of the forest department to regulate their territories from local people. Keeping this in mind, local government body mainly Union Parishad was included as an implementing organization in the policy to solve those problems. The main responsibility of this local body was to bring the farmers together and helped them to form groups. But lack of periodic assessment of performance of the farmers, the role of the local elites, the role of the bureaucrats and patron-client relationship of different actors, i.e. the Union Parishad members, bureaucrats, local elites and farmers have made the implementation of the policy an unsuccessful one. It indicates that the strong willingness of the central government does not always mean that a policy will be implemented properly.
Keywords: local government, Bangladesh, social forestry, central government, state policy
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