Union Information and Service Center
Local Government Division

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
In many developing countries, government is conceived as an inaccessible, often hostile, entity beyond the grasp of its common citizens. In Bangladesh, circuitous bureaucratic processes, resistance to change by civil service and over-centralization frustrates citizens in their attempts to avail of public services and information. Citizens have to encounter face-to-face interactions with government officials, a process that is intimidating for the less literate and opportune for rent-seeking. For decades this has resulted in excluding millions from accessing public services. There have been numerous interventions that sought to reduce the gap between the state and its citizens (through the non-governmental community information centers (CIC) and the Right to Information Act 2009), alongside a plethora of non-government organizations (NGOs) working on improving the access-side issues in information dissemination. These efforts, however, have fallen short of expectations. The CICs are concentrated in urban or peri-urban areas which means underserved communities in rural Bangladesh, comprising of socially marginalized groups such as the less-literate, disabled, the elderly, women and ethnic minorities, have to travel to the district administrator’s office at least 35 km away or 15 km to the sub-district office to access these services. Citizens in rural areas incurred both high opportunity and transaction costs in availing of public services such as delivery of land records, birth registration certificates, etc. In addition, they suffered from a system filled with market intermediaries, predominantly men who held a special access to public provisions. This resulted in a high degree of inequitable participation in market opportunities and in decision-making processes. To illustrate, getting a hold of one’s land record was a cumbersome and lethargic process which resulted in the poor spending long hours at the district administrator’s office. Another example is the low-skilled workers seeking overseas employment, the major contributor to Bangladesh’s overseas remittances annual inflow of USD 10 billion, who paid up to ten times the official fee for their paperwork because of financial exploitation by unscrupulous recruitment agents. Another final example demonstrating inequitable participation is the inability of poor sugarcane farmers in availing of the ‘purjee’ (paper-order) from state-owned sugar mills in time. These farmers relied on market intermediaries in getting the right information on right time regarding public enterprises procurement of sugarcanes. Participation in decision-making process is not a regular phenomenon for millions residing in rural and remote areas. Despite laws aimed at empowering citizens to demand their rights, the latter have not been able to translate it on the ground as a result of legitimate, i.e., government recognized mechanisms connecting them with the higher public administrative offices. The outcome perpetuated an unpredictable service delivery system which consumed significant time, ate up the earnings of the rural poor and increased their dependence on middlemen in order to reduce their number of visits to public offices at the district headquarter and sub-district.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
Union Information and Service Centers (UISCs) are micro-enterprises established at the lowest tier of local government i.e. Union Parishads, as one-stop information and service delivery outlets. Numbering over 4,500 across all rural areas of the country, these government-owned outlets are committed toward transforming public service delivery processes in order to accommodate needs of the underserved communities including the poor, ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and very importantly, women. UISCs are run by two entrepreneurs from the locality, one of whom must be a woman. With the UNDP-funded Access to Information (A2I) program’s support, many ministries of the government redesigned their services to make them ‘e-deliverable’ through these micro-enterprises. The underlying objective was to take public services to the citizens’ doorsteps thereby reducing time, costs and visits on the part of beneficiaries. The strategy focused on making UISCs ubiquitous across Bangladesh which could reduce the exclusion of the rural citizenry in availing of public services by combating two key hurdles of access and accountability. Innovation of service delivery served as the entry point whilst modern information and communication technology (ICTs) was deployed as an enabler to ignite major decentralization in public service delivery. This ICT induced service simplification process aimed at addressing both the supply-side and demand-side challenges associated with accessing public information and services, in a way, which would enable citizens to enhance their participation in market opportunities and decision-making processes. All Union Parishads are required by law to establish an UISC; the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and head of the UNDP jointly inaugurated these micro-enterprises in November 2010. A UISC Blog was also put in place in order to give a voice to unheard, underserved citizens in decision-making process. UISCs are taking public provisions closer to citizens’ doorsteps. Services are being offered by both government agencies – land records, birth registration, telemedicine, life insurance, overseas job application – as well as private sector organizations – mobile banking, English language learning, telephone operators, etc. A citizen neither has to travel long distances nor depend on market intermediaries to avail of public information and services, of which they are entitled. UISCs, hosted today by the Local Government Division (LGD), are connected to all 64 district administrator’s office. The UISC Blog is further connecting citizens with higher public administrative authority and making it more responsive to the citizenry’s needs for information and services.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
UISCs are creative because it showcases a new idea of how government-owned micro-enterprises, at its lowest tier, can connect the bottom millions with mainstream market activities and in decision-making process. It builds on a new concept of ‘services at citizens’ doorsteps’ which helped to embed the momentum for its take-off within the ambit of the public administrative system. The innovative aspect lies in the new way it has dealt with an old problem pertaining to an unpredictable delivery system of public information and services. UISCs business model is based on entrepreneurs taking responsibility for the operational costs of the centers where they earn revenue from a growing service portfolio (e.g. services delivery through internet, email access, digital photos, printing, mobile recharges, money transfers, ICT literary training, etc). One of the other innovative aspects is the partnership arrangements where service providers undertake the responsibility of arranging training programs, in order to equip the UISCs’ entrepreneurs in delivering the respective service. For example, telemedicine service provided through the UISCs requires the entrepreneurs to be familiar with some specific equipment. UISC Blog is another innovative aspect which is gradually constructing a demand-driven paradigm shift towards more responsive service delivery by the government.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The government-owned micro-enterprises were prototyped in two Union Parishads of the country in 2007. This prototype was expanded to 30 Union Parishads in 2008 to inform the strategy of local variation with regard to demand for popular public services. A formal partnership between LGD and UNDP’s A2I program was struck in 2008; this partnership was also geared towards building confidence of government stakeholders in adopting ICTs in their day-to-day works. Encouraged by its prototype success, UISCs were launched in 100 Union Parishads in 2009, and subsequently, in all 4,500+ Union Parishads of the country by late 2010. Each UISC, which is essentially a micro-enterprise, is being run by two young local entrepreneurs – a woman and a man – under the supervision of a local advisory board headed by the Union Parishad Chairman. These entrepreneurs received computer literacy training in order to meet the demand for information and services through indigenous use of ICTs. The combination of people with experience working in government, NGOs and private sector was one of the most vital strengths that led to the UISCs establishment. It is important to note that this was an extremely difficult exercise which aspired to create a ‘mind meld’ of people with sometimes conflicting belief systems, divergent understanding about urgencies and priorities, and possibly most important of all, radically diverse sense of incentives and career aspirations. However, everyone was unified around a simple strategy aimed at taking services to ‘citizens’ doorsteps.’ Most of the time, bold decisions were made in the interest of capitalizing on the momentum; for example, the target year for expanding UISCs country-wide was 2012, and yet it was completed by 2010, largely owing to its political (top-down) and demand-driven (bottom-up) attributes. This success can be explained by two factors. First, the series of meetings organized at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the political nerve center of the government, and discussions led by the Cabinet Division, its bureaucratic nerve center, helped to add additional urgency to UISCs’ activities. The key elements of the action plan related to reviewing existing structures serving underserved communities. Second, a needs assessment exercise was done in order to depict scope for enabling government departments in transforming some of their services into e-services. For example, e-Purjee system, prototyped in one sugar mill, delivers purchase orders to over 200,000 sugarcane farmers from all 15 sugar mills of the government. Sugarcane farmers, after receiving text from the sugar mill, have the option of collecting a paper copy from their nearest UISC, thereby saving them time, costs and visits in getting a purchase order. The strategy blended in a mix of activities including government, non-state organizations such as telecom operators and sugarcane farmers, in implementing UISCs across Bangladesh’s rural areas. In both cases, UNDP’s A2I program played a pivotal role by bringing in the concerned stakeholders under one umbrella and showcasing the potential of small service delivery improvements through ICTs, which could be delivered through UISCs; in other words, right at the rural citizens’ doorsteps. Gradually, by 2011, LGD became the main driver coordinating, monitoring and leading UISCs’ activities.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
A network of partners, comprising of both government and non-state actors, were involved in the design, implementation and in the nationwide scaling up of UISCs. Through formal MoUs and other partnership arrangements, they are also playing an active role in ensuring the sustainability of these one-stop information and service outlets. The initial design drew lessons from existing structures of CICs. The difference of UISCs with the latter lies in its legal design –UISCs are de jure to be made available in every Union Parishad. LGD consulted with NGOs, such as Grameen Bank and others in formulating a design for the UISCs implementation. This analysis revealed the urgency for involving government stakeholders so that public information could hold intrinsic value for its users. The LGD drew on these lessons in the implementation of UISCs through gradual scaling up and e-transformation of public services that could be delivered through these centers. UISCs in Bangladesh are operating under the public-private-partnership (PPP) modality. Private sector is considered a key partner in each of the initiatives undertaken by UISCs. For instance, mobile banking opportunities offered by private commercial banks through branchless mode of operation, has enabled many UISCs to remain financially solvent. These private banks design training programs for UISCs’ entrepreneurs so that they are equipped to provide the service with adequate skills and knowledge. This has proven to be an innovative approach that helps micro-enterprises draw investment from business communities and public agencies. A wide range of services are being offered by both government organizations – land records, birth registration, telemedicine, life insurance, overseas job application – as well as private sector companies – mobile banking, English learning, telephone services, etc. This depth and breadth of the PPP around UISCs is unprecedented.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The prototype phase in 2007 which established two UISCs was funded by the “Democratic Governance Thematic Trust Fund” to the tune of USD 100,000. A team of five with background in social mobilization at the grassroots level ran the then initiative. Partnership was established with a UNDP-funded initiative named “Learning and Innovation” component of the larger government and World Bank funded “Local Governance Strengthening Program” (LGSP) which focused on introducing participatory budget in Union Councils. This partnership facilitated a dialogue with the LGD of the government to expand the prototype to thirty Union Councils in 2008 to understand regional variation that would be important for country-wide upsaling. The expanded prototype with a budget of about USD 487,000 was funded by multiple sources: 9% from the UISC entrepreneurs, 14% from the Union Councils’ own budget, 4% from LGSP, and 72% from the UNDP-funded A2I program. Much of the funding from A2I was used to generate locally relevant livelihood content in the vernacular with regards to agriculture, non-farm activities, health, education, disaster management and other areas. This aspect was vital to make these centers attractive and relevant to the target citizens. Some of the funding was used for generating local awareness amongst citizens. Funds from the other sources were used for capacity development of UISCs’ entrepreneurs, Union Council officials, and local volunteers. The expanded prototype in thirty locations in 2008 provided deeper understanding to develop a model for nationwide scaling up in 2009 and 2010. The big push for nationwide replication came in 2010 with nearly USD 40 million in setup costs for 4,500+ centers, capacity development of over 9,000 entrepreneurs and local and national level awareness development campaigns in the media. This large fund was pooled from government and World Bank funded LGSP, local tax revenue of Union Councils, discretionary funds at the disposal of government administrators, who were responsible for monitoring the quality of service delivery. In a few hundred locations, entrepreneurs made small to medium sized investment to supplement funding from other sources in order to ensure that they had the right infrastructure beyond what the government had provided. Since the nationwide launching in 2010, the primary funding to run these centers came from the earnings of the entrepreneurs, who regularly pay for internet costs, maintenance and upkeep of all technology equipment and local publicity. Various public agencies and private organizations introducing new services pay for the capacity development of entrepreneurs. The hosting of these centers was an in-kind support provided by the Union Councils since no rent is charged. Recently, a government trust fund paid for solar panels in order to support these centers during frequent power outages. The LGD and UNDP-funded A2I program at the PMO collaborate to support the UISCs with new partnerships at the national level, national publicity and policy reform necessary to sustain these centers. This support is instrumental in catalyzing many innovations in different government agencies towards decentralization of their services through UISCs.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
The principal approach to making UISCs successful depended on a collaborative framework set up since its conception in 2007. This allowed for cost sharing in original establishment and continual aggregation of new services from public agencies and private organizations. The five major outputs attributable to UISCs’ success are the following: (I) Infrastructure development for decentralized service delivery: The 4,500+ centers allowed a decentralized infrastructure for taking vital government and private sector services closer to citizens’ doorsteps. The 35 km hike to a district office to access a service was reduced to 2-3 km from a rural, underprivileged citizen’s home. Internet connectivity infrastructure has been expanded by private sector telecom operators to cover all UISCs. (II) Citizens’ awareness and demand creation: In view of UISCs novelty as a mechanism for connecting the bottom millions with government offices, it became imperative to carry out country-wide and local-level awareness campaigns. These programs were designed to augment awareness about UISCs and create demand for decentralized public service delivery. An evidence to demonstrate the campaign’s success as a demand creating vehicle is that in 2013, there are 53 services being delivered through UISCs whilst the figure stood at 20 in 2010. (III) Skills development: Capacity development initiatives targeted at raising ICT skills level of government service providers both at national and local levels. In operating UISCs, entrepreneurs require some basic ICT skills. LGD, in partnership with A2I, offered ICT training to nearly 9,000 + entrepreneurs, half of whom were women, in order to enable them to provide e-service. (IV) Service delivery innovation: Onset of UISCs triggered a scope for all service providers, both public and private, to link their services with these one-stop information and service delivery centers. Many services were transformed into e-services which could be provided right at the citizens’ doorsteps (e.g. e-purjee, online utility payments, etc). The PPP modality allowed mobilizing comparative advantages of concerned stakeholders which helped to simplify service delivery process by opening up access from UISCs, both for submitting and receiving public services, e.g. land registration, mobile banking, life insurance, etc. (V) Locally meaningful service delivery: Based on the needs assessment done at the local level, a national level e-content repository in the vernacular, www.infoskosh.gov.bd, was launched. This information portal houses livelihood contents in the areas of agriculture, health, employment, education, migration, etc which is tailored contents to meet the needs of particular farmers, workers, students, etc.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
In no more than 400 words describe how you monitored and evaluated the implementation of the strategy. (I) An UISC Activity Management System (UAMS) is in place which helps to monitor performance of the UISCs on a daily basis. The entrepreneurs report on their every day earnings and the number of services being rendered through their respective micro-enterprises to the citizens. The UAMS helps to identify inactive UISCs and at the same time address factors undermining their sustainability. (II) UISCs are connected with the district headquarter and, as a result, the Cabinet Division, secretariat for the entire Cabinet, is also able to monitor and evaluate the success of UISCs implementation. The Cabinet Division generates a monthly assessment report of the UISCs. Data is collected through the district and sub-district offices. (III) UISC Blog, a built-in monitoring and evaluation system, is working as a checking system on the entrepreneurs’ activities and their works in respective localities. This virtual platform is being applied to carry out plot surveys on specific issues of UISCs’ concern. In addition, anecdotal evidences are being collected through this Blog which is playing a significant role in statistical interpretations. In particular, the UISC Blog is helping to better understand the urgency and scope for service delivery transformation at the lowest government tier. (IV) In October 2013, almost coinciding with third year anniversary of the UISCs, the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) independently carried out a census on the 4,500+ UISCs to evaluate their performance in taking public services to citizens’ doorsteps. Over the last couple of years, the number of services being provided through the government backed micro-enterprises has witnessed an exponential growth and it became impeding to carry out a census in order to develop a strategic plan, identify future directions and possible interventions for the sustainability of UISCs. The report is going to be made publicly available by January 2014. The findings will allow exploration of more services connecting citizens with the entire government machinery.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
Implementation of UISCs overcame three broad challenges: Bureaucratic resistance: The prevailing archaic public service delivery model poses fundamental challenges to promoting access for socially disadvantaged groups. Resistance towards change, from bureaucracy to vested interest groups, is not an uncommon phenomenon. Generally, innovation for a civil servant in a developing country like Bangladesh would imply a fairly major penalty, let alone any commensurate reward. UISCs initiative was able to overcome this resistance due to the risk space created for public service innovators which played a catalytic role in triggering a change in their values, attitudes and skills. Capacity of service providers: One of the key gaps identified during UISCs formulation process pertained to the capacity of public officials, in conceiving the usage of ICTs for improving service delivery. The ministry-level meetings helped to provide a thinking and risk-taking space for public service innovators and thereby allowed them to experiment with service delivery innovations. It is important to conduct regular capacity building exercises, incorporating relevant agendas for discussion, in order to boost the confidence and capacity of service providers and more pertinently, for sustaining the change momentum. Weak broadband infrastructure: Like many developing countries, internet in Bangladesh has witnessed phenomenal growth. Although facing many constraints in expanding internet access and use, development of the internet and information technology are receiving high government priorities because of their demonstrated impact in connecting citizens with the government. Highest level of political buy-in is of paramount importance in overcoming bureaucratic hurdles and organizational resistance to change. Work on UISCs took-off from the apex political authority, i.e., the PMO and received strong support from the Cabinet Division. Nurturing this symbiotic relationship proved critically important to garner political momentum required for enabling policy reforms for widespread replication, coupled with developing capacity thousands of service provider personnel.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
The 4,500+ UISCs have significantly brought down costs associated with the traditional face-to-face service delivery model. A typical UISC is about 3 km from a typical rural citizen’s home, whereas a sub-district headquarter is about 15 km and a district headquarter is 35 km away. In addition, the costs incurred for accessing, for instance, a land record is estimated to range between BDT 1,000-1,100 or USD 15 dollars, depending on the reliance on a middleman. As a result of UISCs, cost of accessing land records has come down to just over a dollar or BDT 80. Understandably, it is much more convenient and cost effective to travel to a nearby UISC where key services are gradually being made available, than travelling all the way to a distant district headquarter office. It is reported by the government’s bureau of statistics that approximately half a million citizens, encompassing the elderly, physically challenged, women and ethnic minorities, are availing of public information and service on a monthly basis. In a year, nearly 6 million citizens residing in rural and remote areas are availing of telemedicine services, educational, employment and livelihood related information through the UISCs, which is enabling them to make informed decisions in their daily lives. For example, rural unbanked citizens can become owners of bank accounts as a result of mobile banking facilities which are being provided through 3,700 UISCs. Today, a farmer in a remote location can easily learn about appropriate fertilizer and pesticide and receive prompt feedback from the relevant public sector expert; a victim of domestic abuse can access information on legal recourse; a villager can apply for land records, birth certificates and other services without having to deal with intermediaries; and, a migrant worker can now equitably participate in government-to-government migration opportunities without relying on market intermediaries. Bangladesh is a pioneer in this latter regard. With more than USD 10 billion of inward remittance a year, Bangladesh is the top remittance recipient among the group of least developed countries (LDCs). The lion’s share comes from earnings of the unskilled group of workers. In late 2012, Bangladesh and Malaysia entered a bilateral agreement where the latter sought plantation workers from Bangladesh which brought the UISCs in limelight due to their ubiquity. The government of Bangladesh embarked upon an online registration process engaging all UISCs thereby democratizing the opportunity to participate in pre-migration process. All seven divisions of the country completed the registration process for a staggering 1.4 million overseas workers by January 2013, which also witnessed citizens’ demand for reopening of closed UISCs in almost 500 Union Parishads. Furthermore, online registration process for female workers seeking employment in Hong Kong and Bahrain was completed in the May 2013 through the government-owned micro-enterprises working at the lowest government tier. Finally, the role of UISC Blog in giving a voice to underserved and unheard communities is to be highlighted. Social networking phenomenon is being harnessed in a careful and contained way by the government of Bangladesh with the objective of interconnecting grassroots with public service providers. UISC Blog has helped to accelerate the pace of official communication in Bangladesh and at the same time, demonstrated its potential as a mechanism for redressing grievances. At present, multiple stakeholders of the UISCs e.g. all entrepreneurs, LGD focal points, Cabinet Division focal points and A2I support staffs, are regularly contributing to the UISC Blog. The value of being heard and hearing others within the shortest possible time broke down traditional barriers to such vertical communication, and has made it one of the most popular virtual platforms for raising and discussing issues relevant to decentralization of public service delivery. For example, when one of the UISC entrepreneurs raised the issue of a disabled girl not receiving her entitled disability allowance, it drew the attention of a government officer who instructed that the matter be investigated and addressed promptly. Another female UISC entrepreneur helped to prevent a child marriage when she refused to provide a false birth certificate despite the mother’s insistence. These are only a couple of examples which sheds light into how a social media platform is helping to correct some of the social injustices in a resource-constrained country like Bangladesh.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
A network of partners, comprising of both government and non-state actors, are involved in sustaining UISCs activities throughout Bangladesh. Through formal MoUs and other partnership arrangements, they have also today taken an active interest in ensuring the sustainability of these government-owned micro-enterprises. Starting from mobile banking, SIM selling, top-up, internet and other value added services (VAS), many public and private agencies are working with UISCs in carrying out economic and population censuses, disseminating ICT training to those working in remote and rural areas and also opportunities for getting a soil test alongside fertilizer recommendation. As a result of UISCs location at the lowest government tier, many international and national organizations are being able to connect with the rural citizenry. This is aiding the entrepreneurs with more earnings sources. Practical Action Bangladesh is providing agriculture, fisheries and livestock services, whilst UNESCO and British Council are offering non-formal education and English learning opportunities. The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) and a private organization, Ayesha Memorial Hospital, are offering telemedicine services through these UISCs. UISCs are hosted by the LGD and 1% of the government’s ADP is directed towards protecting its operational sustainability. Monitoring and supervision of UISCs, e.g. appointment of new entrepreneurs, has been institutionalized by local government bodies and central government agencies. Everyday expenses such as salary of the two micro-entrepreneurs, internet bills, computer maintenance, publicity costs, are borne by the entrepreneurs who generate funds by selling information and services to underserved citizens. It is reported that on a monthly basis, UISCs provide services to about half a million of citizens and earn approximately BDT 45 million, or USD 0.6 million. In view of its high success rate in bringing government closer to its citizens, access centers similar to the UISCs have come up in all 319 municipalities (Pourashava Information and Service Centers – PISCs) and 407 wards of 11 City Corporations (City Information and Service Centers – CISCs) of the country. Furthermore, Afghanistan, Maldives and a few other developing countries are seeking the advice of the LGD in setting up government-owned, one-stop information and service delivery centers in making their governments more responsive to the citizenry’s needs. Finally, it is to be highlighted that the UISC Blog is a trendsetter in breaking down barriers to vertical communication within government. Inspired by the success of UISC Blog, other institutional blogs have emerged in 2013 within government offices in the Directorate of General Health Services, Department of Social Services, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), Department of Women Affairs and the Department of Mass Communication. Though initiated from a particular need, blogs have been progressive in terms of executing their set mandates for accelerated and responsive communication with regard to the delivery of information and services.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
Governments around the world are increasingly chanting the ICT mantra in making their service delivery processes transparent and responsive to their principals. Here, it is imperative to avoid a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach and instead, focus on indigenous factors influencing local development discourse. In Bangladesh, the present government’s Digital Bangladesh agenda prompted exploration of innovations in public service delivery processes across the public sector. This umbrella initiative helped to nurture and experiment with innovative ideas within the government machinery. It also added further impetus to UISCs works and ensured that these micro-enterprises do not turn out to be state-dependent but rather work as self-independent enterprises. This pushed the UISCs to explore for most popular services regularly being sought by citizens, irrespective of their private or public nature, which could be delivered right to the rural citizens’ doorsteps where it could draw the support of LGD, Cabinet Division and the UNDP’s A2I program. UISCs are today paving a gateway for the traditionally excluded and underserved communities to participate in market opportunities and to be heard in decision-making processes. The UISC Blog connects all the stakeholders starting from UISC entrepreneurs, district/sub-district officers to the divisional commissioners, secretaries and ministers. This Blog has revealed its potential for accelerating communication within the government machinery. The voice of those working at the bottom of the pyramid often gets echoed through the UISC entrepreneurs’ posts where they express public concerns and needs directly from field-level experiences. There have been up-and-coming examples of swift response from distant officers that resulted in rapid solutions. The government-owned but self-independent micro-enterprises have become a hub for a wide range of information and service packages in the fields of agriculture, education, healthcare, employment and social services. Despite facing resource constraints and low literacy rates, UISCs have demonstrated tremendous potential for leveraging ICTs to deliver easily accessible services to marginalized groups of the society. These government-owned micro-enterprises are working towards consolidation of e-culture in rural Bangladesh governing the relations between the government and its citizenry. It is, nevertheless, acknowledged that more research and analysis are required to further understand the operational, financial and regulatory structures of a UISC, if such entities are to assume a greater role, perhaps a cooperative entity, in paving a gateway of market access and an opportunity to be heard in decision-making process.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Local Government Division
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Abu Tahir Mohammad Zaber
Title:   Deputy Secretary  
Telephone/ Fax:   +88-02-9514190
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   zaber1967@gmail.com  
Address:   Bangladesh Secretariat, Building No.6, Room No. 1602
Postal Code:  
City:   Dhaka

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