Bangladesh—Promoting Governance, Accountability, Transparency, and Integrity (PROGATI)

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development

Duration: 2007-2012

Region: Asia and the Pacific

Country: Bangladesh

Solutions: Governance Fragile States

Corruption is a significant obstacle to governments as they seek greater economic growth and to expand public services. Faced with the lack of transparency and accountability, citizens, the private sector, and foreign investors lose trust in public institutions and the rule of law. Corruption is not an issue that can be addressed by working in one sector or with one set of stakeholders—solutions must be comprehensive and crosscutting. In Bangladesh, we worked with government and citizens, with media and watchdog organizations, and with public officials and elected representatives to foster partnerships and new incentives for anticorruption reform.

Sample Activities

  • Provide training for women entrepreneurs on how they can avoid corruption in their professional lives.
  • Support investigative journalism, through training, fellowships, and access to data, to support greater coverage of corruption issues.
  • Create linkages between government institutions, particularly the comptroller and auditor general and ministries, to promote stronger public financial management.
  • Establish mechanisms for parliamentary oversight of public expenditures.

Select Results

  • Established a sustainable, independent center for investigative journalism that provides training and access to information to journalists throughout the country. One of the center’s fellows won the 2010 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization award for best investigative journalism.
  • Created institutionalized mechanisms for regular communication and collaboration between the comptroller and auditor general and principal accounting officers of six government ministries.
  • Supported the establishment of a self-sufficient anticorruption hotline for women entrepreneurs that has provided guidance on avoiding bribes and additional fees to assist women in securing business licenses, tax documentation, and access to credit.
  • Established Budget Analysis and Monitoring Unit in the Bangladesh Parliament.
  • Supported civil society social audit of a government program to provide food and other development assistance to the ultra poor. The audit revealed systemic corruption and mismanagement. Civil society partners have used the results to successfully advocate for programmatic improvements at the local and national levels.
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