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Research Proposal

By 2005 it is anticipated the urbanization will rise to 46.4 million and by 2015 to 64.9 million. In 1991 the urban population was 20.15% and it is anticipated it will reach 36.78% by 2015. According to the BBS the level of urban poverty in 1995 is about 43.6% and Center for Urban Studies (CUS) also estimated this rate will be 40% in 2010. Slums were predominantly present in the urban centers of Bangladesh. After 1971, numbers of slums have increased significantly due to available working opportunities, shelter, income in urban area and also river erosion, low productivity, unemployment, lack of social security triggering rural people towards urban areas especially in slum settlement.

Living condition in slums and low income areas is generally underprivileged but more obligatory and often lack of adequate amenities and services. However, municipalities are failing to provide adequate public services, particularly to these poor communities. To fill-up this gap and providing the basic services to the poor, private and non-profit sectors like NGOs have already been recognize as the important service providers and they are also collaborating with the local government institutes in order to improve the services for the urban poor.

These agencies have different mandates and works on different services with different poor communities. Their working approaches are also varied to others and their primary mandate is to delivering service but not ensuring the equity in the service delivery. As a result, overlapping in service delivery and resource wastage are frequent phenomenon and some people are enjoying many resources while more are hardly receiving the basic services. Recently, the District Level and Upazila level administrations are coordinating the NGOs activities which are more about the information on NGOs and their working issues. However, comprehensive coordination which can ensure the efficiency and equity in service delivery is still absent at municipality level in particular. In this regards, a functional coordination process which would be institutionalized and lead by municipal authority can improve the service delivery scenario as well the equity in service delivery towards the urban poor.

Who does the problem affect?
The urban poor and the service delivery agencies as well i.e., municipality, NGOs, GoB departments etc.

What are the boundaries of the problem? Which areas does the problem affect?
The problem affects the delivery equity of basic services specially the water and sanitation services to the urban poor. And lack of coordination also affects the municipal governance as well.

What is the problem?
Lack of coordination among the service delivery agencies at municipal level

What is the impact of the problem?
Worst living condition for the urban poor in absence of services

What will happen when it is fixed?
Efficient and equitable service delivery model will be established at municipal level which will lead the equitable service delivery to the urban poor.

What would happen if we didn’t solve the problem?
Overlapping and resources wastage in service delivery which leads inequalities among the urban poor

When - When does the problem occur? - When and how does it need to be fixed?
The problem occurs during the services delivery and realizing the equity of services which means planning and implementation level in particular. Broadly, the entire service delivery processes of different agencies become affected as their individual initiatives implemented individually and do not consider the whole municipal priority and planning due to the lack of coordination and ultimately lead overlapping, resource wastages and inequality in service delivery.

The entire planning and implementation of the service delivery approaches of the different agencies should be reviewed and focused to the common goal of municipality to delivery services to urban poor and ensuring equity as well.

Where - Where is the problem occurring? Only in certain locations, processes, products, etc.
The problem is occurring -

in service delivery approaches
municipal governance
urban poor and low income areas
delivery and equity of basic services specially the water and sanitation

Why - Why is it important that we fix the problem?
Fixing the problem is important to reduce the resource wastage and equity of basic service, maximising the service coverage and attaining the MDG target 7 on urban environment.

Research goal
the goal of the research is
to improve the basic services for the urban poor through a coordinated approach among the service delivery agencies including the public and private sectors agencies at municipal level

The research questions
1. Does lack of coordination among service delivery agencies instigates poor services for the urban poor?
2. Can Institutionalized coordination at municipal level improve basic service for the urban poor?

Research methodology
The study will cover a 180 purposive sample size including 100 urban poor.
The 80 respondents will be interviewed as Key Informant form the municipality, service delivery agency, urban research group, and national policy planning and academia. The urban poor will be communicated in 10 Focus Group.

The data collection process will obtain the information on standards and approaches of services delivered by different agencies, level of wastage and overlapping, level of equity of services among the urban poor, methods of reducing resources wastages, role of municipality in delivering basic services, outcome of coordination approach etc.

The processed information will be presented in graph and tabular form and the hypothesis will be tested using Chi Square and finally a coordination model/framework will be proposed.

Research Title or Problem Statement
Institutionalising coordination among service delivery agencies at municipal level to improve the basic services for the urban poor