The functions of a zilla parishad are construction and maintenance of roads and bridges, building hospitals and dispensaries, establish schools and educational institutions, facilitate health facilities and sanitation, installing tube wells for safe drinking water etc. The zilla parishads maintain some rest houses known as Zilla Parishad Banglow. Zilla parishds also coordinate and monitor the activities of the Union parishads.
Although there are 64 districts in Bangladesh, there exist 61 Zilla Parishads. Because there are no such parishads in the three hill districts (Rangamati, Khagrachori, Bandarban).