Making Dhaka Livable Sadiq Ahmed, Junaid Kamal Ahmed and Adeeb Mahmud ISBN 984 05 1781 3 2007 76p 215x136mm HB Tk.450.00 US$25.00
With a population of almost 12 million, Dhaka is the world’s 11th largest city and amongst the most densely populated. At the same time, it is consistently ranked as one of the least livable city in the world. Rapid migration, poor city management, low efficiency and massive corruption in service provision are exacerbating the problems. Urban traffic is reaching nightmare proportions, and water and air pollution from poor waste and traffic management poses serious health risks. The already acute slum population is growing further, contributing to serious human and law and order problems. Actions to ensure an adequate supply of basic services and to tackle corruption and wastage are needed immediately. This monograph suggests that the management problems of Dhaka cannot be addressed in a piece meal fashion. Deployment of additional resources and massive investment will be required to meet the large backlog of unmet demands. To make this investment effective, there is a need to fundamentally and systemically rethink the governance of Dhaka. The monograph offers some basic guiding principles that must underpin a reform program. It provides alternative approaches based on a review of good practice international experiences. The monograph concludes that in reforming Dhaka, policymakers will need to establish an elected, decentralized and accountable city government; that has well defined service delivery responsibilities; has considerable financial autonomy; and has well defined relationship with central government. Consistent with this broad foundation and given the primacy of Dhaka, regardless of the outcome of the forthcoming national elections, the challenge of Making Dhaka Livable has become a national priority.
Sadiq Ahmed is Director of the Poverty Reduction, Economic Management, Finance and Private Sector Unit of the South Asia Region of the World Bank. His recent books include Explaining South Asia’s Development Success (Washington D.C.: World Bank, 2006), India’s Long-Term Growth Experience: Lessons and Prospects (New Delhi: Sage, 2007), and Transforming Bangladesh into a Middle Income Economy (New Delhi: Macmillan, 2005).
Junaid Kamal Ahmad is Sector Manager in the Sustainable Development Unit of the South Asia Region of the World Bank. He has written and published in areas relating to service delivery, decentralization, urban governance and inter-governmental fiscal relations. He was a member of the team that wrote the "World Development Report 2004," "Making Services Work for Poor People."
Adeeb Mahmud is a Consultant with FSG Social Impact Advisors, Boston. He previously worked for the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Unit of the World Bank in Washington, D.C.