Bureacracy and administrative complexity

Md Rezaul Karim By Md Rezaul Karim, 21st Oct 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

This article is about the administrative bureaucracy that hindrances the Community Development in Bangladesh

Complexity in Governing


Now development as a dynamic concept is not progressing in a desired direction. The gap between aspiration and achievement is yawning. Popular expectation has turned into mass frustration. The situation surmises precondition for governance at the community level with capable and dynamic bureaucracy.

No body perhaps dispute the fact that bureaucracy that nourishes traditional orientations with rigid frame of mind as the legacies of the colonial past has little chance to play dynamic role in fulfilling the expectation of the modern community. Community development introduced in the country pretty long back has become a hoax with institutional stereotypes contra-indicated in fast changing societies. Bureaucratic model of public management in service delivery and sectoral governance is quite unable to rise to the occasion.
Our insights about the problems of bureaucracy have references in the concepts and theories of bureaucracy and development administration. Many authors have outlined the problems of government in modern state of course admitting that bureaucratic expertise is central to the management of development.

Community development is no exception. Nevertheless the myth of community development as the accumulation of cumbrous bureaucratic rituals projects the negative side of conventional practice all to the disillusionment of the mass. Bureaucratic contingent of the administration of community development as such runs counter to the concept of community participation in decision-making. Community affairs need to be addressed through community stakeholders with proactive role of civil society.

Mostly members of mid-level bureaucracy belonging to administrative cadre take policy lead in field administration with little concerns about participatory development at the community level. So it is hard to qualify local bureaucracy with unequivocal commitment to human capital development and capacity building. Reported shortfalls in bureaucratic leadership are obvious. Lack of linkage with beneficiaries is a critical factor impeding local participation and community organization.

Given the nature of the state civil servants dominate policy field. This is due largely to their strong and developed organizational network and strength. The phenomenon of bureaucratization based on legal framework leads to efficiency in community services in general. Nevertheless hypothetical efficiency turns into cherish bureaucracy as an idealized sector, Merton, Gouldneer, Selzrick and many other endeavored to elicit an understanding of what might be labeled as the dysfunction of bureaucracy. Peter Blau eluted to the pervasiveness bureaucratic influence in modern state.

Centralization is a synonym for bureaucratization. Dysfunction of local bureaucracy in community development is obviously one of the consequences of centralization of public administration. Community participation is largely impeded by the very orientation of local officials to central command extending far to local government and field administration. The whole process of development at the community level is, as such, reduced to non-participation, as local government is appendam to centralized bureaucracy.

Community development approach is highly elicited with cadre officials holding sway all the way. This is a clear domination syndrome emanating from colonial and quasi-colonial legacies. The local government structure for community development continues to serve ‘center power axis’. The overall scenario of implementation hints much about bureaucratic tangles and corruption.

Much of the blame for mis-governance has been put of bureaucratic foot dragging for which many a project/sub-project subject under community development funded by donors is being implemented in a manner that breeds much frustration and pessimism. A large number of projects/sub-projects are caught in tangles in the bureaucratic red tap (white tap also) and lethargic process of disposition. The ordinary masses happen to be on-lookers experiencing long tradition of bureaucratic elitism. Ever since the advent of colonial bureaucracy the public servants have been enjoying the modems of special privilege. Prestige and influence accompanied cadre service. Even in independent Bangladesh there has been great power in directing a division of a ministerial secretariat or one of its attached departments, subordinate offices or autonomous bodies. Positions in field administration in the countryside are no less significant. Rather it rumples much of the resources that are being pumped into the community through project aid. The people of participation is limited functionally only to officials and community stakeholder as the main actors, in running ‘expensive government programmes’.

It is a plain truth that power is the exclusive preserve top-brass centralized bureaucracy, which is highly politicized. In Bangladesh politicization of bureaucracy has been rampant. It is soaked with corruption to a scandalous proportion. Bangladesh stands topped in public sector when it comes to corruption. A review by the business funded lobby group Transparency International (TI) related its annual ranking of corruption. Resources generated, mobilized, managed and controlled by high-ups in administration have deeply institutionalized corruption in the civil service.

By now we are more than confirmed that fuzzy governance has taken heavy toll. Mass discontent is simmering into a violent outburst. The state of mass agitation against corruption and inefficient management of community affairs in recent years is sporadic. The situation, as such, exploits the myth of community development reducing it to force.

Tags

Admin, Administration Skills, Administrative, Administrative Assistants, Administrative Law, Administrative Paralysis From Computerization, Administrative Professionals, Administrative Professionals Day, Administrator Account, Administrators, Bangladesh

Meet the author

author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
I am a teacher engaged with the Southern University Bangladesh. I Like to use my spare time by writing and reading. I take it as a fun and source of inspiration in pursuing knowledge.

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Comments

author avatar David Reinstein,LCSW
21st Oct 2012 (#)

The title, in and of itself, is redundant :-}

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
22nd Oct 2012 (#)

Thanks for your comments.

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author avatar Judy Ellen
21st Oct 2012 (#)

Wow! What a fantastic article from an obviously very educated and talented man!! You could write for a newspaper or magazine and actually get some real money!

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
22nd Oct 2012 (#)

Thank you for your complements. I appreciate your remarks.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
22nd Oct 2012 (#)

Bureaucracy is becoming an enemy of development instead of being an enabler. It is more like the emperor who says - off with his head without even taking a look. They just say no first before evaluating the projects. This is common to all underdeveloped and developing countries. Thanks Karim for the share - siva

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
31st Oct 2012 (#)

Thank you Siva ji and I am back from the holiday break...

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author avatar M G Singh
24th Oct 2012 (#)

Well written my friend. Applcable to all third world nations

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
31st Oct 2012 (#)

Thank you Madan for your comments.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
26th Oct 2012 (#)

such a wise piece this Md...thank you..

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
31st Oct 2012 (#)

Thank you to read you again cnwriter.

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