|Megacity Governance in South Asia: A Comparative Study
Kamal Siddiqui et al
ISBN 984 05 1717 1 2004 546pp 215x136mm HB Tk.750.00 US$33.00
This is a pioneering study comparing the governance arrangements in the five megacities (cities with population around 10 million) of South Asia, namely Dhaka in Bangladesh, Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi in India and Karachi in Pakistan within a common analytical framework.
The book is divided into seven chapters. The first and introductory chapter lays down the theoretical underpinnings and methodology of the study, besides identifying the major urbanization trends in South Asia. In each of the five city chapters, the trends in the quality and extent of city services and the major components of good governance, namely existing legal framework of municipal government, accountability, transparency, decentralization, efficiency, coordination, minimization of corruption, financial management, personnel practices, participation/empowerment, equity, etc are first discussed and delineated. An attempt is then made to explain these in terms of the city power structure, resistance from within the municipal government, the degree of social capital and the strength of mobilization among the intended beneficiaries (in particular, the poor and the women) of municipal services.
In the last and concluding chapter, the governance experiences of the five megacities are compared in order to see the similarities, differences and innovations, and at the same time to suggest ways and means to move forward from the existing situation. Much of the data for this study were generated through several rounds of surveys focusing on the key players associated with the governance of the megacities as decision makers, implementers, observers and beneficiaries (both actual and potential) of the civic services. Given the rapid pace of urbanization in South Asia, and the crucial role of these megacities in the development of their respective countries, the benefits of such a study can hardly be exaggerated. The findings and recommendations of the study will, hopefully, be useful both to academics and those involved in urban governance.
Principal Author: Kamal Siddiqui was educated in the Universities of Dhaka, Leeds and London. A career civil servant, he is a leading authority on poverty analysis, urban local governance and South Asian studies, and has spent many years as a researcher, trainer and teacher, including stints at Cornell and Southern Universities in the USA, the Institute of Social Sciences (ISS) in Delhi, India and the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS). At present, he is Principal Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office in Bangladesh.
Co-authors: Archana Ghosh: Head of Urban Studies, Eastern Regional Office, Institute of Social Sciences (ISS), Kolkata, India. Sharit K. Bhowmik: Professor of Sociology, University of Mumbai, India. Madhulika Mitra: Research Associate, Eastern Regional Office, Institute of Social Sciences (ISS), Kolkata, India. Shuchi Kapuria: MPhil student at Delhi University, New Delhi, India. Jamshed Ahmed: Director, National Institute of Local Government (NILG), Dhaka, Bangladesh. Nilay Ranjan: PhD student at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, India. Shahid A. Siddiqi: Former Commissioner of Karachi; at present Vice-Chancellor, Ziauddin Medical University, Karachi, Pakistan.