The developing countries of the world started various activities for economic development in the sixties. After five decades, different countries have reached different stages of development.
Five decades after Bangladesh’s independence, it has reached a satisfactory stage of development. Despite facing a huge challenge with a large population in a small area, Bangladesh has become a “model” for other developing countries, overcoming many ups and downs.
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The contribution of various policies, strategies and activities of the state behind this is indisputable. The role of farmers, workers, traders and especially the general public of the country was very important.
However, in a state system, it is not possible to manage and implement any activities without governmental, semi-governmental and private organizations, to call them development activities or other socio-economic activities.
Bangladesh is now at a crossroads of socio-economic development. Along with economic development, we need to make the right arrangements for social development, various aspects of people’s lives, such as health, communication and civil rights.
So far, the main strategy for growth has been to achieve rapid economic growth. This has led to the development of various sectors of the economy. But with that came income inequality and wealth inequality. This is one of our main challenges.
Lately, Covid-19 has faced huge challenges. As a result of the pandemic, the incomes of poor and marginalized people have fallen. A huge population has been left unemployed, which means that new poor people are being added to the group of the impoverished population.
Efforts to overcome this situation require integrated and integrated socio-economic development.
Satisfactory and sustainable solutions can be found through four key processes: Bringing our people, especially the poor and marginalized, into the mainstream of the economy. Ensuring the rights of poor and marginalized people for the benefits of development, especially development, so that they are not deprived unjustly. Ensuring public participation at various levels of administration and policy. Ensuring human-oriented public administration.
The main point in this article is the fourth procedure.
First, we need to understand the characteristics of human-oriented public administration. The four characteristics are: First, the participatory governance of the people. Second, it will be effective administration. Third, there must be honesty, dedication and a sense of discipline. Fourth, the manager must be altruistic and sensitive to people.
To have these four characteristics, the person involved in public administration must be well educated and trained and capable of performance. But through education and training, “hard skills” can only be acquired. The rest of the features must be acquired through what we call “soft skills”.
“Soft skills” and qualities are usually acquired by people through discussion, interaction, teamwork, and case studies and so on, which are continuous and usually much more informal. It can often draw on the advice, experience and work ethic of senior officials.
In the case of Bangladesh, we see that the importance and interest in “soft skills” in public administration, especially in the public sector, is relatively low. On the other hand, education and training, which are largely institutionalized, are dominant.
However, the above characteristics cannot be automatically instilled in people and society. It requires addressing three important issues: Institutional structure (system). The right process for everyone to participate. Active persons, ie management persons, employees of civil society organizations and persons engaged in business and commerce.
These three issues and the four characteristics mentioned above will make it a “people-oriented public administration”.
Bangladesh needs to move forward in terms of its role and the various aspects of public administration discussed above.
One of the characteristics of this century is that no state can function as an isolated island. The impact of global trade, business and technology has been felt in all countries. Added to this is the call for social development and alleviation of poverty, the necessary institutional reform and market economy, as well as the need for free flow of information and the introduction of new technologies.
The current pandemic has brought stagnation to all sectors of the state, including economic, social and administrative. Everyone is busy and anxious trying to prevent a pandemic by combining life and livelihood.
Three more aspects require effective and human-centered management. These are: Going from a low middle income country to a high middle income country. To be considered as a developing country and later as a developed country. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SBA) by 2030.
The state administration is very important to take Bangladesh from the current situation to a more advanced stage and to build a just and social state overcoming all uncertainties and weaknesses.
Seven specific steps are needed to make public administration publicly oriented.
They are: (A) Decentralization of administration: division of responsibilities between different geographical levels and different organizations through decentralization, decentralization and delegation from the center. (B) Strengthening local authorities: Ensuring the effectiveness of local authorities in meeting the various needs of human life, including administration, economic activities, education, health, social development, civil protection according to various articles of the Constitution. (C) Accountability of public administration: Two specific aspects are needed – transparency and public listening to issues and policies. (D) Creating a relationship with interested citizens motivated by social consciousness. Above all, pay attention to the overall advice of the political representatives of those responsible for policy-making. However, it should be noted that all individuals in public administration must be completely free from the influence of political parties. (E) Increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of public administration: by increasing the work of qualified managers and increasing the quality of work, the public will have satisfactory public services. (F) Access to information on the activities of the public administration. The public must be informed regularly and accurately by reducing the secrecy of management. (G) The regulation must prevail. The use of bureaucratic discretion should be kept to a minimum. This will reduce corruption and opacity in the administration.
This article gives you a brief overview on key issues that may arise today. Dealing with them will make the public administration ready to push Bangladesh to create a truly welfare state in the near future.
The author is a former governor of the central bank.