Governance framework for community-driven development launched in north-west Pakistan

on .

The provincial Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa last week presented its recently approved policy for community-driven local development to international donors in Islamabad, with a focus on expanding the involvement of the wider public in the improvement of basic services and infrastructure.

Seeking to expand the involvement of the wider public in improving basic services and infrastructure, the provincial Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa presented to the international donors last week in Islamabad its recently approved policy for community-driven local development.

.As part of the new Local Governance Act, this policy sets out a fiscal and regulatory framework, encouraging district authorities to work directly with local communities.

It provides an enabling environment for community-based organizations to access public funds for implementation of local initiatives, such as improvement of schools, health facilities, water and sanitation, flood protection, minor road infrastructure and irrigation channels.An important feature is the adoption of a strict oversight mechanism through independent verification by third party auditors.

The presentation was lead by Sahibzada Saeed Ahmed, Secretary of Finance for the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Ambassador of the European Union, Mr Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, welcomed the new policy as “a major breakthrough” in the Government's willingness to actively lead on cooperation with civil society and improve public services through the expansion of public-private partnership arrangements.

The European Union will support implementation of this new policy in six districts of the Malakand division in north-west Pakistan. Other donors, such as UKAid/DFID have initiated similar types of interventions. The Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa intends to gradually expand the approach across the entire province.

“This governance framework is an important step that should be followed by the local government elections, which would complete the democratic transition process in Pakistan,” Ambassador Wigemark said.

Other donors present at the event included UK, Germany and the World Bank.

Courtesty:EU Delegations to Pakistan - Web Page