‘My Constituency’ app launched to help MPs in tracking SDGs

A web and mobile based application
titled ‘My Constituency’ has been launched today for the members of
parliament (MPs) to measure the progress of Sustainable Development
Goals (SDGs) in their respective constituencies.

Bangladesh Parliament and the United Nations Development Programme
(UNDP), Bangladesh, virtually launched the country’s first data
platform for the MPs today, said a press release.

Jatiya Sangsad Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury inaugurated the
app virtually as the chief guest while State Minister for ICT Division
Zunaid Ahmed Palak and team leader for Inclusive Political Processes
Governance and Peacebuilding under the Bureau of Policy and Programme
Support of UNDP Charles Chauvel also spoke in the function.

JS Deputy Speaker Fazle Rabbi Miah conducted the question and answer
session while Resident Representative of UNDP Bangladesh Sudipto
Mukerjee delivered welcome address in the function. a2i Policy Adviser
Anir Chowdhury presented a brief discussion on the data platform in
the function.

According to the press release, the data platform will support the
MPs to track the development progress of their respective constituency
and identify the areas for inclusive development planning to improve
the lives of underserved people. The platform also envisions
strengthening interaction with the citizens.

The UNDP is currently supporting over 60 parliaments around the
world and it has had a long and productive partnership with the
Parliament of Bangladesh since 1997 through a series of projects,
which included the initiation of an international network of
parliamentarians for climate justice, policy advisory support to the
Speaker’s office as well as ICT support for MPs’ offices and
secretariat staff.

Upon renewal of the UNDP’s MoU with the Parliament in 2019, the
organisation set out to strengthen the capacities of MPs and the
Parliament Secretariat, support MPs with better access to
evidence-based data and organisational development.

The data platform was a priority activity, supported by Aspire to
Innovate (a2i) Programme of the ICT Division and the Cabinet Division,
supported by UNDP Bangladesh.

Addressing the virtual function, JS Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin
Chaudhury said, “Parliamentarians are the voices of the people and
their involvement (in realising the SDGs) is necessary for betterment
of the people. We must remember that the clock is ticking — there is
only a decade left to reach the SDGs”.

Meanwhile, there is a global change due to the pandemic, which makes
it difficult to keep the economy on track while also ensuring that we
stay on the right path for the SDGs, she said, adding, this app was
born out of the question – “how can we best use the parliamentary
strengthening and cooperation that UNDP provides? This app is driven
by the needs of MPs and their feedback has been incorporated into it”.

Senior Secretary of the Parliament Secretariat Dr Zafar Ahmed Khan,
Principal Coordinator of SDG Affairs at the PMO Zuena Aziz, Secretary
(Coordination and Reforms) of Cabinet Division Md Kamal Hossain,
Director General of BBS Mohammad Tajul Islam, Trustee of CRI Radwan
Mujib Siddiq and Policy Specialist of UNDP Mozammel Haque were present
at the event, among others.