Active participation and effective leadership are two accepted substantial objects of a well-functioning local government, without those ingredients, governance of local government intuitions cannot be contented to its founding purpose. Bangladesh, an emerging South Asian economic tiger, has achieved some exemplary development within short time in many fields, is still struggling to establish a strong and vibrant local government. There are several barriers identified beyond this such as colonial legacy in the governance, extreme controlling by the central government, weak participatory mechanism, poor finance etc. With the study of union parishad, the lowest tier of rural local government, this paper aims to illustrate the actual pattern of elected representative’s participation and the nature of leadership in the local government institution in Bangladesh. This is an exploratory study where multiple data collection tools are applied for collecting data from 77 elected members of 11 UPs of Kishoreganj Sadar Upazila. Major findings revealed that a significant amount of elected member does not have minimum knowledge about the laws and they do not have the proper understanding on management before entering their role. Moreover, patriarchy attitude is found as obstruction in the case of women’s active participation as body member. Finally, this paper provided some policy suggestions how this problems can be resolved.
Key words: Participation, leadership, strengthening local government, union parishad,
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