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Govt to formulate 19 working groups on PRSP
Shakhawat Hossain

The government will formulate 19 working groups drawing representatives from public and private sectors and development partners to monitor the anti-poverty strategy implementation process.
The formulation of the working groups is likely to be approved at a meeting of the National Steering Committee chaired by principal secretary Kamal Uddin Siddique today (Thursday).
The principal task of the working groups, according to sources, is to monitor the indicators as identified in the National Strategy for Accelerated Poverty Reduction (NSAPR).
Among the proposed working groups, Macro-economic Stability and Pro-poor growth, including external sector, will be led by finance division, Financial Sector by the Bangladesh Bank and Domestic Resources Mobililsation, including Local-Level Resources, by the Internal Resources Division and Local Government Rural Development and Cooperatives.
Secretary of the Prime Minister's Office will lead the working group on Governance issues.
The others committees are: Private Sector Development including SME, Agriculture and Land use, Rural Development and Rural Non-farm Activities, Safety Net programme, Food Security and Disaster Management. Micro Credit, Eater Resources Management, Power and Energy, Communication and Tourism, Information and Communication Technology and Technology Policy, Education including primary and mass education, vocational and technical education, Health including Population and Planning and Nutrition, Safe drinking water and Sanitation, Women's Children's Advancement and Rights, and Environment and Forest.
Development partners will be represented in the working groups by the respective sub-groups of the Local Consultative Group (LGC) according to the composition and plan for action for monitoring and evaluation of Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) and attainment of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The plan that has been prepared by the National Steering Committee for preparation of Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) also said each working group will prepare its own plan of action, particularly, in light of the terms of reference of the work.
The plan of action by the working group will contain, among others, the detailed scope of work, the frequency of an attempted task and the responsibilities of various stakeholders.
Each working group, in consultation with the National Poverty Focal Point (NPFP), will set up a pre-determined time-slot to report back to the Steering Committee, it added.
The Steering Committee will review the progress of work of the working groups and provide guidelines for improving the assigned task.
Bangladesh adopted the PRSP last October as suggested by the donor countries and agencies, which will run their future credit programme under the strategy paper.
The PRSP, which was drafted in December 2004 and formally released on January 13, 2005, has committed to halve the poverty by 2015.
The poverty reduction strategy (PRS) implementation forum 2005 held in the capital last November to devise roadmaps for implementing the PRSP.
During the three-day meeting, both Bangladesh and development partners agreed to form the committee and also work out a joint implementation plan by the end of the current year.
The plan is part of an 11-point agenda which the government and the donor community worked out during the Forum.