Experts gather in Bangladesh to discuss challenges in governance

A conference called by the ANSA at Dhaka will attempt to examine the multifaceted challenges to governance.

Ankita Sharma/OneWorld South Asia

Dhaka: Beginning Friday, policymakers, academics and representatives from government and multilateral bodies are converging for a three-day International Conference on “Governance and Public Service Transformation in South Asia” in Bangladesh.

Participants to the conference, being organised by the South Asia office of Associated Network for Social Accountability (ANSA–SAR), are set to look at possible solutions to address problems arising from lack of accountability in government and the dilution of transparency in public service mechanisms.

Naimur Rahman, director, ANSA–SAR, explains that these issues obfuscate the real achievements of governments while heightening the disparities in society. “Amid this glaring absence of accountability, the gap between the haves and the have-nots has significantly widened due to unchecked lacunae in policy-implementation in the invisible interiors of rural South Asia,” he said.

Experts at the Dhaka conference said that they take this as an opportunity to exchange views on the core issues revolving around transforming and reinvigorating public service institutions and governance mechanisms in South Asia through a series of interactive and informative deliberations. In doing so, they will also explore the complex interrelationships between government, business and civil society.

“Since the past many years, developing nations in South Asia have been stung and negatively affected by rampant graft and woeful dilution of transparency in public service mechanisms,” Rahman said, driving home the need for a forum for experts to discuss the problem and also look at a host of solutions.

The event will feature four essential subthemes. The session on ‘Multidimensional aspects of Citizenship, Democracy and Governance’ will witness speakers exchanging views on governance and public service management from the dual perspectives of government and public sector institutions at one end and public aspirations on the other.

Delegates assembled in Dhaka underscored the role of transparency in fuelling equitable development in another session on ‘Accountable Governance for Inclusive Development and Social Transformation’ while a third session on ‘Equity Architecture of Government – Business relations for Growth’ will dwell on the role of business on forging relationships with governments.

The conference also has a session on ‘Leadership and Capacity for Efficient Public Service Management’ that will highlight the various facets of capacity building and business models for inclusive growth.

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