Transparency and accountability for ensuring food security in Bangladesh: A study on field institutions

Research Grant Reports
[Final Report CF # 3/07]

The study starts with an overview of the several SSN programs like VGD, VGF, and FFW under the rubric of program purpose, target group, program strategy, beneficiaries of the program, selection criteria, exclusion criteria, gender issue and administrative procedures followed for each of the individual program. The role of field administration in managing these programs has also been briefly reviewed.
The major findings of the study have been grouped under aspects of governance, program, political and socio-cultural. Under the governance aspect issues like lack of coordination in Upazila administration, irregular holding of the monthly meetings, lack of seriousness in project preparation and choice, inadequate monitoring of development projects, absence of well-designed job-specifications in Upazila administration, overburdening the UNO with plethora of responsibilities, lack of transparency in different SSN programs and lack of training have been explained. Under the program aspect, the issues like lack of a comprehensive policy, persistence of corruption, absence of any system of reward or recognition for the deserving, unholy alliance between officials and elected representatives, irregularity in preparation of list of VGD beneficiaries have been identified. Under the political aspect, issues like prevalence of political favoritism, lack of awareness, collective manipulations of the Chairpersons of the local government bodies in the process of project selection, and favoritism and manipulation in SSN programs have been dealt with. Finally, under the socio-cultural aspect, the issues which delved into are lack of awareness on the part of beneficiaries, doling of free food as possible inducement to laziness, the all pervading practice of bribe and limit of its tolerance in terms of labor cost and deprivation.   
In conclusion, it has been pointed out that management of food distribution is no less important than increasing food production and, in case of management of food under SSN program there is no excuse for less than a satisfactory way of discharging the responsibility with proper transparency and accountability.

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Date and language
Oct 2009
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Agris Subject Categories: 
Food Security
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