Effective district level administration
The prime minister's directives to deputy commissioners at the ongoing 3-day conference for DCs at the PMO struck the right note. It is indeed at the district level that good governance needs to be delivered, and when it comes to providing for the welfare of the common people the role of the DCs is more than crucial; it is indispensable.
Keeping this in mind, any efforts directed towards more efficient delivery of services at the district level are to be welcomed. The PM made clear that the government intends to stand alongside the DCs and give them whatever assistance they need in order to accomplish their aims. We applaud the government's stated commitment in this regard and trust that it will be fulfilled on the ground.
Specifically, the coordination that the PM spoke of between the DCs and superintendents of police and the upazila nirbahi officers is most definitely the key to better performance. The challenges that officials face from militancy to crime to development cannot be viewed in isolation from one another. The issues are inextricably linked, and, as a result, working to eradicate crime and militancy and to thereby create an environment conducive for development must be done in a coordinated manner.
The DC must have an overall vision of the challenges that he or she will face and attempt to put in place an all-inclusive plan to address these issues in a holistic fashion. A piecemeal solution will not be sufficient.
To this end, what is needed most of all is cooperation and coordination between the DCs, SPs and UNOs. Only then can any real headway be expected to be made on the vital issues of law and order, internal security, corruption, service delivery and development. Addressing them in a compartmentalised manner, as has been the norm, will ultimately deliver only partial benefits.
Lastly, it is important that the district administration be free to do their jobs without interference from politicians, and that the office be kept aloof from politicisation and partisanship. If the government is truly sincere about empowering the DCs and tackling these long-standing issues at the district level it will have to ensure that they can perform their duties without hassle from political players.