02 Institutional Setting
This chapter presents the organisations that gave direction and shape to the Blue Gold Program. It presents the development partners that own the program, the implementation agencies and key implementation partners, as well as other public and private sector agencies that played an important role in program implementation.
Executive Authorities[edit | edit source]
The Administrative Arrangement and the Contribution Arrangement - which formed the legal basis for establishing the Blue Gold Program – were signed on 20th February 2013 and 4th December 2013 respectively, between the Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands, represented by the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Dhaka on the one hand; and the Economic Relations Division of the Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, on the other.
The original agreements covered a period of six years (i.e. up to 19th February 2019) but this was extended to 31st December 2020 through an amendment signed on 29th December 2016, and to 31st December 2021 through an amendment signed on 21st October 2020. The agreements stipulate inter alia that Bangladesh’s Ministry of Water Resources and the Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands were ‘Executive Authorities’.
Ministry of Water Resources[edit | edit source]
The Ministry of Water Resources is mandated to develop and manage all water resources of the country. It formulates policies, plans, strategies, guidelines, instructions, acts, rules and regulations relating to the development and management of water resources; and it governs a number of professional organisations within the water sector.
According to the National Water Policy, 1999 the Ministry is responsible for the formulation of a framework for institutional reforms to guide all water sector related activities. Inter alia, the Ministry prepared the Guidelines for Participatory Water Management (GPWM) which is followed by stakeholders at all levels, and which was – as discussed later – a highly important strategic document for BGP.
MoWR’s policy role also includes:
- Macro-planning exercises. The Water Resources Planning Organization (WARPO) of the Ministry has prepared the National Water Policy, the Coastal Zone Policy, National Water Resources Database (NWRD), National Water Management Plan (NWMP) and Integrated Coastal Resources Database (ICRD). Recently, WARPO led the preparation of the 2013 Water Act, its underlying Water Rules (2018) and the subsequent guidelines for integrated water resources management (2019) for District, Upazila and Union levels.
- Knowledge development and coordination.
- The River Research Institute (RRI) undertakes physical and mathematical modelling of the river system and supports the Joint Rivers Commission to act as the secretariat for the Ministry with respect to shared management of transboundary rivers.
- The Institute of Water Modelling (IWM) provides public services in the field of physical and mathematical water modelling, whereas
- The Center for Environmental and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS) provides services in the field of integrated environmental analysis using geographical information systems, remote sensing, and other forms of ICT-based information management.
- International cooperation, liaison with international organisations, processing matters relating to treaties and agreements with other countries and world bodies in the field of water development and management.
In addition to its role in policy development, strategic planning and coordination, MoWR is also described as a development ministry. It prepares, implements and monitors water sector development projects that are funded by GoB solely or jointly with international partners; processes the approval of such projects by the Planning Commission as well as the release of necessary funds through the Annual Development Plan; and oversees the administration of such projects.
MoWR-implemented development projects relate to flood control and drainage (FCD); flood control, drainage and irrigation (FCDI); riverbank erosion control; delta development and land reclamation; and provide irrigation, drainage, flood protection, bank erosion protection, land reclamation facilities by constructing barrages, regulators, sluices, canals, cross-dams, embankments and sea-dykes along the banks of the rivers and the coast. The Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) is the principal implementing agency of the Ministry for such projects; with the Bangladesh Haor and Wetland Development Board (BHWDB) playing a similar role for the development of haors and wetlands.
The Blue Gold Program was governed by the policy framework of the Ministry, and specifically by its Guidelines for Participatory Water Management (GPWM). It applied these guidelines through a development investment to selected polder areas in the South-West of Bangladesh, through the Bangladesh Water Development Board.
The Blue Gold Program, however, transcended disciplinary boundaries and complemented the investment in better water management conditions with support to agricultural development.
Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands[edit | edit source]
The Netherlands established a diplomatic mission in Bangladesh shortly after the country’s independence. The Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands (EKN) had an initial strong focus on supporting the development of the new nation, but over the years assumed a growing focus on stimulating a sustainable trade relationship between both countries.
The Netherlands’ development cooperation with Bangladesh aims to improve living conditions of the poor, particularly in three areas: water, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), and food security. Another priority is labour conditions in the Ready-Made Garments (RMG) sector. Activities align with national policy and development plans. EKN pursues partnerships, and complements technical assistance with investment funds from international financial institutions (IFI).
The overall aim of the EKN water program is to contribute to a healthy living environment for and the wellbeing of the population, as well as economic growth. Particular focus is on the poor and vulnerable, who are likely to be affected by more extreme rainfall, higher sea water levels, increasing industrial pollution and further urbanisation.
At the time of formulating the Blue Gold Program, the EKN focused its support to south-west Bangladesh, reflecting inter alia the need to address the high regional incidence of poverty and the after-effects of recent cyclones. After 2014 – prompted by climate change – the focus of the EKN water program shifted to water sector resilience and governance. A flagship investment was made in the development of the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 (BDP), while BGP’s focus on decentralised governance of local water systems remained well-aligned to the overall program objectives and focus.
EKN's strategy for supporting food security builds on its synergy with improved water resource management and infrastructure for agricultural production; but it adds important focus on fisheries and aquaculture development, livestock development and nutrition. Moreover, the strategy seeks to help small producers develop profitable linkages with input and output markets, trough active involvement of the private sector, facilitation of market access and value chain development.
The synergy between the water and agriculture program of EKN, the focus of the former on resilience and governance and the focus of the latter on a broad definition of agriculture with attention to market integration is strongly reflected in the design of BGP; and it followed logically that EKN welcomed both MoWR and MoA as development partners for BGP.
Ministry of Agriculture[edit | edit source]
The Administrative Arrangement for BGP indicated that a proportion of the funds made available for the Project were to be administered by the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), which comes under the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA). Although MoA is not identified in the Administrative arrangement as an Executive Authority, it has played an influential role in policy-level decisions concerning BGP alongside the two Executive Authorities, MoWR and EKN.
The Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) comprises seven wings with responsibilities of policy formulation, planning, monitoring and administration as shown below. Sixteen agencies operate under this ministry which are responsible for implementation of the different projects and plans of MOA. MoA's mandate includes:
- Develop policies, plans, regulations, and acts for sustainable agricultural development and for self-sufficiency in food
- Provide support in developing new agricultural technologies to boost agricultural production and coordinate with local and international trade agencies for marketing
- Monitor implementation of agricultural policies, plans, projects, programs and regulations
- Monitor distribution of agricultural inputs and subsidies and marketing of the agricultural products in local and international markets
- Update the capacity of professionals and other stakeholder with respect to recent global agricultural developments
- Provide administrative and policy support to MoA agencies for planning and implementation of development programs/projects and coordinate with donors and development partners for funding and technical assistance.
The Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) is the main agency of the Ministry for implementing projects aimed at optimising agricultural production. DAE is strictly concerned with field crops, as services in the fields of livestock and fisheries resort under the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock.
Implementing Agencies[edit | edit source]
The Administrative Agreement for the Blue Gold Program set out the arrangements for project implementation, through the Bangladesh Water Development Board and the Department of Agricultural Extension. Resources were also allocated via the technical assistance contract to the Department of Fisheries (DoF) and the Department of Livestock Services (DLS), both of which come under the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, and initially to the Department of Cooperatives (DoC), under the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives.
Bangladesh Water Development Board[edit | edit source]
The Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) started operations in 1959 as the water wing of the erstwhile East Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (EPWAPDA) and was established as BWDB in 1972 after independence, when the former EPWAPDA was split into two organisations: BWDB dealing with water and PDB dealing with power.). BWDB has a long history with the implementation of major water resources projects. It is responsible for preparing and implementing development projects related to flood control, drainage and irrigation, including riverbank protection, coastal development and land reclamation. The National Water Policy specifies that this mandate is for development projects benefitting 1,000 ha or more.
BWDB is an autonomous organisation mandated to undertake activities for the whole of Bangladesh or any part thereof for development and efficient management of water resources. It exercises the right of the government to control the flow of water in all rivers, channels and underground aquifers. To this end, it develops standards and guidelines for the operation and maintenance of all water management structures; it signs contracts for procurement of works, goods and services in connection with project implementation; it can – with prior government approval – levy and collect service charges for operation and maintenance and cost recovery of FCDI projects; and execute water related projects on behalf of any public agency with full technical, administrative and financial control of the project.
BWDB was responsible as lead executing agency for the overall implementation of the Blue Gold Program from planning to approval of completed works and for establishing arrangements for operation and maintenance. A Program Coordinating Director (PCD) was appointed by BWDB as its representative for the daily operations of the Blue Gold Program. The Director DP-III was appointed as PCD. For the execution of the activities related to the water resources infrastructure in the polders, Blue Gold worked with the Zonal Offices of the Chief Engineers in the Southern and South-Western Zones, and the associated O&M Circles and Divisional offices. Within BWDB Headquarters in Dhaka (initially in Motijheel, and from April 2020 in Pani Bhaban, Green Road), Blue Gold also worked with the Chief Engineer (Civil) Design, the Office of Chief Water Management (OCWM), Chief Staff Development and Training, Chief Engineer Mechanical Equipment (ME) and the Chief Engineer O&M. BWDB management was responsible for ensuring effective cooperation between DP-III and the BWDB offices mentioned.
The Chief Engineer for the South-Western Zone is based in Khulna. He is supported by two Superintending Engineers: Khulna O&M Circle (with 5 BGP Polders) and Jessore O&M Circle (with 7 BGP polders). Two Executive Engineers, who report to the Superintending Engineer for Khulna O&M Circle, are responsible for the following Divisions (and Blue Gold polders): Satkhira O&M Division-2 (P2) and Khulna O&M Division-2 (P22, P30, P31-part and P34/2-part). One Executive Engineer, who reports to the Superintending Engineer for Jessore O&M Circle, is responsible for Khulna O&M Division-1 (P25, P26, P27/1, P27/2, P28/1, P28/2 and P29).
The Chief Engineer for the Southern Zone is based in Barisal. He is supported by a Superintending Engineer for Patuakhali Water Development (WD) Circle based in Patuakhali, who is responsible for 10 BGP polders. A Superintending Engineer for Barisal Circle also reports to the Chief Engineer of Southern Zone, but there are no BGP polders in his jurisdiction. Three Executive Engineers, who report to the Superintending Engineer for Patuakhali WD Circle, are responsible for the following Divisions (and Blue Gold polders): Barguna O&M (P43/1A and P43/2F); Patuakhali O&M (P43/2A, P43/2B, P43/2D, P43/2E, P 55/2A and P 55/2C); and Patuakhali WD, Kalalapara (P47/3 and P47/4).These jurisdictions are summarised in the table (Table 2.1), while Figure 2.1 provides a map, which overlays the Blue Gold polders on the boundaries of the six BWDB divisions, three circles and two zones that are responsible for implementing Blue Gold.
|Polder / District||BWDB Zone||BWDB Circle||BWDB Division||Gross Area (ha)||Embankment
|P2||SW||Khulna O&M||Satkhira O&M-2||12,600||64|
|P22||SW||Khulna O&M||Khulna O&M-2||1,630||20.0|
|P26||SW||Jessore O&M||Khulna O&M-1||2,696||29.0|
|P29||SW||Jessore O&M||Khulna O&M-1||8,218||49.0|
|P30||SW||Khulna O&M||Khulna O&M-2||6,396||40.0|
|P31-Part||SW||Khulna O&M||Khulna O&M-2||4,848||26.7|
|P25||SW||Jashore O&M||Khulna O&M-1||17,400||61.0|
|P27/1||SW||Jashore O&M||Khulna O&M-1||3,765||30.0|
|P27/2||SW||Jashore O&M||Khulna O&M-1||495||15.3|
|P28/1||SW||Jashore O&M||Khulna O&M-1||5,600||32.2|
|P28/2||SW||Jashore O&M||Khulna O&M-1||2,590||30.0|
|P34/2 part||SW||Khulna O&M||Khulna O&M-2||4,900 (5,633)||52.0|
|P43/1A||S||Patuakhali WD||Barguna O&M||2,675||27.1|
|P43/2A||S||Patuakhali WD||Patuakhali O&M||5,182||39.0|
|P43/2B||S||Patuakhali WD||Patuakhali O&M||5,460||39.8|
|P43/2D||S||Patuakhali WD||Patuakhali O&M||6,500||42.4|
|P43/2E||S||Patuakhali WD||Patuakhali O&M||1,650||20.0|
|P43/2F||S||Patuakhali WD||Barguna O&M||4,453||33.0|
|P55/2A||S||Patuakhali WD||Patuakhali O&M||7,166||45.0|
|P55/2C||S||Patuakhali WD||Patuakhali O&M||6,275 (7,120)||47.5|
|P47/3||S||Patuakhali WD||Patuakhali WD, Kalapara||2,025||19.7|
|P47/4||S||Patuakhali WD||Patuakhali WD, Kalapara||6,600||59.0|
|TOTAL||2 Zones||3 Circles||6 Divisions||119,124||821.7|
The administrative boundaries for the BWDB differ from the boundaries adhered to by regional and local governments (Division, District, Upazila, Union) and the BWDB is not decentralised at any of the regional or local levels of administration.
Although not explicit in the BGP Program Document, the BWDB Office of the Chief Water Management (OCWM) played a role in BGP with respect to community participation. OCWM is responsible for the following: preparing and periodically updating of the Participatory Water Management Rules that apply to BWDB; supervising community mobilisation in BWDB projects that include establishment of participatory water management; directing the process of establishment of Water Management Organisations; and – from 2014 onwards – for registering WMOs. OCWM is, however, severely constrained in human and financial resources and was unable to mobilise polder-level staff for organisational development through its own resources. In BGP, polder-level staff are mobilised through the TA team.
Department of Agricultural Extension[edit | edit source]
The present Agriculture Extension Department (DAE) was formed in 1982. From 1990 onwards it adopted the concept of group-based extension services. The 1996 New Agriculture Extension Policy (NAEP) further consolidated the Agriculture Extension Service. DAE’s mission is to provide efficient and effective needs-based extension services to all categories of farmers, to enable them to optimise their use of resources, in order to promote sustainable agricultural and socio-economic development.
DAE is decentralised up to Union-level. Through this decentralised structure, DAE provides crop-based extension services, along with services with respect to inputs and plant protection, through Farmer Field Schools (FFSs). The usual point of contact between farmers and DAE is at field level, through Sub-Assistant Agricultural Officers (SAAOs). Although farmers also come into contact with DAE through mass media, the success of extension services is largely dependent on the quality of the personal contact between SAAOs and farmers.
Within BGP, DAE implemented intensified crop-based extension in the thirteen Upazilas which cover the 22 BGP polders, or parts thereof (see Table 2.2 below). DAE was the primary government counterpart agency responsible for supervising the food security activities of BGP. A senior officer was designated as a dedicated national project director based in DAE's head office in Khamar Bari, Dhaka.
Implementation Partners[edit | edit source]
The Program Document identified the Departments of Cooperatives (DoC), Fisheries (DoF) and Livestock Services (DLS) also as implementing agencies. Since no separate DPP was established for the three departments, financial assistance was provided through EKN's Technical Assistance (TA) funds.
The Department of Cooperatives (DoC) comes under the administrative control of the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives (MoLGRDC) and is responsible for the registration of, support to and auditing of cooperatives. DoC is established at the District and Upazila levels. Through assistance from LGED’s ADB-supported Small-Scale Participatory Water Resources Management Project, DoC established a Water Cell to monitor the performance of Water Management Cooperative Associations. The design of Blue Gold anticipated that DoC’s assistance would be continued throughout the life of BGP. However, the 2014 Participatory Water Management Rules (PWMR) introduced registration of WMOs directly under BWDB and DoC’s intended role has since become obsolete. The key role of auditing of the WMOs, which would be outsourced through DoC, had been transferred to the BWDB Audit Department. Given the change introduced by the new rules, the memorandum of understanding proposed to be signed between BWDB and DoC, therefore became superfluous.
The Department of Fisheries (DoF) and the Department of Livestock Services (DLS) both come under the administrative control of the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock. Both DoF and DLS supported BGP through their officers at District and Upazila level. They have been involved in the activity planning in the polders and as advisors to the TA-consultant on the creation of farmer field schools (FFSs) for fish and livestock. The involvement of DoF and DLS was governed by memoranda of understanding (MoU) between respectivelt DoF and DLS and the BWDB; with resources reserved in the TA budget. The MoUs designate focal points to coordinate fisheries and livestock activities in Blue Gold.
Other public sector organisations[edit | edit source]
Water management by its very nature transcends disciplinary boundaries as well as the borderlines between departments and agencies. In the course of BGP implementation relations were established with Local Government Institutions and with additional technical departments.
Local Government Institutions[edit | edit source]
The support of the Union Parishad and the Upazila Parishad proved to be essential for the successful implementation of BGP.
The Union is the lowest level of Government and is governed by a board (Parishad) comprised of elected male and female members representing the nine wards that comprise a Union, headed by an elected chairperson. The UP chairperson is mandated through the Participatory Water Management Rules to advise the Water Management Organisations. At the same time, the WMOs – being community-based organisations – are an important partner for the coordination mechanisms established within each Union: Ward sobha (public meeting), standing committees and Union Development Coordination Committee (UDDC). WMOs are also a natural stakeholder in the Union’s mandated activities in the field of disaster preparedness and emergency response.
Unions can play an important role towards water management by encouraging WMO formation; by assisting in planning works on embankments, khals and sluices; and by enhancing synergy between water sector development efforts in their areas. A number of departments, including DAE, are decentralised to the Union level and have staff posted in each Union.
The Upazila (‘sub-District’) is the next tier of local government. It is governed by a board (parishad) comprised of the Union chairpersons, headed by an elected Upazila chairperson and assisted by a government-assigned Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO or Upazila Executive Officer). The chair and the UNO have a co-signing responsibility. DoF and DLS have staff at the Upazila. The BWDB is not represented at Upazila (or Union) level.
While most issues in project implementation are, as far as local government is concerned, primarily addressed by the Unions, the Upazila is an important entity in those cases where the issue has to be addressed by higher authorities.
For most organisations other than BWDB, locations are described in terms of mouza, village, Union, and Upazilas rather than by polder number. The maps below provide overlays of the Blue Gold polders on maps of Upazilas and Unions. Table 2.2 summarises the polder locations in administrative terms.
|P29||Khulna||Khulna||Dumuria, Batiaghata||Dumuria (Dumuria, Sahas, Bhandar Para, Sarappur);
|P30||Khulna||Khulna||Batiaghata||Batiaghata, Gangarampur, Surkhali|
|P34/2||Khulna||Khulna||Batiaghata||Amirpur, Bhanderkote, Baliadanga|
|P25||Khulna||Khulna||Dumuria, Fultala, Dighlia||Dumuria (Kharnia, Rudaghara, Dhamalia, Raghunathpur, Rangpur)
Fultala (Jamira, Damodar, Atra Gilatola)
Dighalia (Jugipul, Arongghata)
|P27/1||Khulna||Khulna||Dumuria||Raghunathpur, Dumuria, Gutudia|
|P27/2||Khulna||Khulna||Dumuria||Gutudia, Dumuria, Kharnia|
|P28/1||Khulna||Khulna||Dumuria, Batiaghata||Dumuria (Gutudia),
|P2 and P2-Ext||Khulna||Satkhira||Satkhira Sadar, Assasuni||Satkhira Sadar (Balli, Jhaudanga, Labsa, Brahmarajpur, Dhulihar, Fingri)
Assasuni (Kulla, Budhhata)
|P43/2A||Barisal||Patuakhali||Patuakhali Sadar||Chhota Bighai, Bara Bighai|
|P43/2D||Barisal||Patuakhali||Patuakhali Sadar||Marichbunia, Madarbunia, Kalikapur, Jainkati, Auliapur|
|P55/2A||Barisal||Patuakhali||Patuakhali Sadar, Bauphal, Dashmina, Galachipa||Patuakhali Sadar (Kamalapur), Bauphal (Adabaria, Noawmala); Dashmina (Alipur);
Galachipa (Bakulbaria, Kalagachia, Chiknikandi)
|P55/2C||Barisal||Patuakhali||Dashmina, Galachipa||Dashmina (Alipur)
Galachipa (Bakulbaria, Kalagachia, Chiknikandi)
|P47/4||Barisal||Patuakhali||Kalapara||Mithaganj, Baliatali, Khaprabanga, Dhulasar|
|43/2B||Barisal||Patuakhali & Barguna||Galachipa, Patuakhali Sadar, Amtali||Galachipa (Amkhola)
Patuakhali Sadar (Auliapur)
|22 polders||2 divisions||4 Districts||13 Upazilas||56 Unions|
Technical Departments[edit | edit source]
In the course of project implementation coordination took place with a wider group of technical departments; while in some cases these also played a supportive role for specific activities using their own resources. Among the key technical departments were the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) and the Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC).
Private Sector[edit | edit source]
Given BGP's emphasis on commercialisation of agriculture, the Provate Sector is considered part and parcel of the institutional setting of BGP. The scope of the private sector involvement in creating forward and backward market linkages for farmers in the BGP project area was largely determined by the characteristics of the coastal region. The coastal region can be termed as a frontier area where market channels of the large private sector organisations are either non-existent or weak and where the commerce that exists is largely driven by local retailers. The market for agricultural inputs (seed, pesticide, fertiliser, etc.) is limited, irregular, non-repetitive and discrete, whereas a multitude of small buyers comprise the output market. Given this background, BGP interacted largely with local small and medium – and sometimes even micro – enterprises. The BGP interventions for commercial agriculture engaged the following partners:
- Small producer groups, which were usually formed for a specific crop; they work together on the purchase of inputs and, less frequently, on the joint sale of produce. Resource farmers – trained by the Project – help producer groups organise collective actions such as input supply or bulk sale of products.
- Local input retailers were trained to enhance their business management capacities and to be well informed by and linked with national private companies to enhance supply of quality inputs. This category includes local collectors (farias or arothdars) who were linked to producer groups; women buying and selling vegetables and eggs; female collectors of eggs to enable selling of produce; and a rice mill who could sustain itself thanks to the enhanced production by HYVs.
- National lead enterprises in agricultural input supply (LalTeer, Metal, AR Malik, ACI, Syngenta etc.) were informed through their top management of the market potential and situation in the project area, thereby paving the path for regional support and cooperation from private sector organizations to establish demonstration plots of improved and suitable product and technology at producer group level involving Resource Farmers (farmer leaders) and WMGs.
- There was a limited potential for sourcing local production to international enterprises, but a varietal shift in mung bean enabled the supply of high-quality produce to a Japanese importer (Euglena), while Natural Agro could export black sesame after supporting farmers in the project area in their cultivation.
Reference[edit | edit source]
- Amendment 2 to the Administrative Arrangement signed on 29th December 2016
- Amendment 3 to the Administrative Arrangement signed on 21st October 2020
- Administrative Agreement, signed on 20th February 2013
- "Brief-History - পানি সম্পদ মন্ত্রণালয়-গণপ্রজাতন্ত্রী বাংলাদেশ সরকার". Text based on the brief history of MWRI.
- "Development cooperation: the Netherlands and Bangladesh". The section is based inter alia on Kingdom of Netherlands website.
- "কৃষি মন্ত্রণালয়". The section reflects information found on the Ministry’s website.
- "The Bangladesh Water Development Board Act". Act No. XXVI of 2000. Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.
- Government of Bangladesh; Government of Netherlands; Blue Gold (August 2012). Program for Integrated Sustainable Economic Development by improving the Water and Productive Sectors in selected Polders (PDF) (Report). Program Document.
- "Based on DAE's website information". কৃষি সম্প্রসারণ অধিদপ্তর-গণপ্রজাতন্ত্রী বাংলাদেশ সরকার.
See also[edit | edit source]
|Blue Gold Wiki|