Public service delivery - role of Union Digital Center (UDC) and impact on improving governance and development : a case study of Narayanganj District, Bangladesh
AuthorSaleheen, Saroar Ahmed
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This is the age of information and communication technology (ICT). ICT plays a vital role in everywhere in human life. In western country, development is mainly based on ICT. Without development of ICT infrastructure, it is not possible to develop in other sectors of a country. It has been seen in recent time, most of the countries in the world taking ICT as their main hub for making development. Their public service delivery is totally based on information and communication technology (ICT). As a result, general people are getting smooth and faster services from government and private sectors. Due to implementation of e-service delivery system in developed countries, rate of corruption is very low and on the other hand rate of growth is very high which inspired other developing countries like- Bangladesh to adopt ICT based e-service delivery system. The present government came to the power in 2008 National General election by declaring “Digital Bangladesh” in their election manifesto which inspired people to give their vote in favour of the party. After coming to the power, the present Awamileague government, formed Access 2 Information (A2I) and computer council with the financing from UNDP. Through the A2I, government already established 4509 Union Digital Centre (UDC) in 4509 Union parisad and 64 District e-service Centre in all districts. In addition to those, government also digitized all government and autonomous bodies and trained up manpower for eservice delivery to the people. For this study purpose, I have selected Narayanganj Sadar and Sonargaon Upazila as my study arena where I worked as Assistant Commissioner in DC office, Narayanganj. Data have been collected from 53 respondents (35 beneficiaries, 12 UDC entrepreneurs and 6 monitoring authority) who were very helpful and inter active. Union Digital Centre (UDC) is run by two entrepreneurs who are appointed by the monitoring authority Deputy Commissioner and trained up by A2I of Prime Minister’s Office. UDC is playing important role in providing e-services to the rural grass root people with minimum costs. It provides all sorts of government services like- TR / Kabikha information, passport form, birth registration certificate, printing facilities etc. Through the delivery of e-services to the general people, UDC minimizes gap between govt. and people. It also plays a significant role for establishing the framework of e-governance which ultimately will lead to good governance in Bangladesh. This study has attempted to assess the current status of e-service(s) and what would be the prospective of e-service(s) by minimizing gap. It has also endeavored to identify the barriers/challenges to adopt public e-service(s) in UDC. Due to time and resource constraints only selective areas of Narayanganj has been surveyed. The study is based on both literature review and questionnaire survey. Three types of questionnaire were prepared. One for supply side i.e. for officials of UDC, one for monitoring authority and another was for demand side i.e. customer of UDC. Questionnaire survey was conducted on total 53(fifty three) respondents. Of them, 12(twelve) were officials, 6 (six) were monitoring authority and the rest 35(thirty five) were customers of different unions in Narayanganj. The effectiveness of UDC about the e-service delivery largely depends upon the citizen’s satisfaction and infrastructure & logistic support. That is why, it is needed to improve the satisfaction level of rural people according to their desire. Moreover, it is also important to improve the infrastructure & logistic support for the purpose of smooth e-service delivery.