On 12 January 2016, the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa formally launched the communication strategy for the Community-Driven Local Development (CDLD) Programme aimed at citizen engagement in the development schemes of the government. Senior Minister for Local Government, Rural Development and Elections, Inayatullah Khan, on that occasion said, “strategic communication management for CDLD is one of our main priorities with citizens participation as the focus of strategy implementation. Development of the communication material, launching of the CDLD website and activities for citizens engagement are some of the significant measures which are already underway”.
Entitled as “Empowering Communities from the Ground Up through Collective Action”, the communication strategy of the CDLD is stretched across a three-year time period to cover the broad spectrum of media communication and public awareness fields to “enlighten, educate and engage target communities” at the grassroots level.
The CDLD Programme was rolled out in 2014 by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government with the euros 64 million financial assistance of the European Union to pilot the provincial government’s CDLD policy in the selected districts of Malakand Division, including Chitral, Lower Dir, Malakand, Shangla, Swat and Upper Dir.
In addition to the strategy document, public outreach and community awareness material already enveloped as part of the CDLD communication strategy were shared during the launching ceremony. The senior minister also launched the official website of the CDLD Programme, “www.cdldta.pk”.
“Our government is focused on bridging the gap between the state and citizens. Today’s launching of communication strategy lays down a strong foundation for the implementation of the strategic communication action plan,” the minister said.
The minister said that the CDLD Programme was approved in the then Awami National Party-Pakistan People’s’ Party-led provincial government and the present Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led provincial government initiated it. However, he said that at that time there were no local governments in the province and today there is one in each district of the province. He said the role of the local government representatives was also important in these projects.
“I have given the task to additional secretary of the Local Government Department to conduct meetings with the stakeholders for inclusion of the chairmen and members of village councils and neighborhood councils in these schemes,” the minister said.
He also raised his concern over reaching of the funds to those Community Based Organisations who are experts only in papers works and getting huge funds but did not work on the ground. He said that the CDLD Programme projects should be need-based and cover the neglected areas from development schemes.
Team Leader of the CDLD Programme, Brian Fawcett, briefed the participants about the overall CDLD policy framework and the implementation progress.
The participants were informed that the strategy has been formulated in a stepwise methodology to integrate the five key components of strategic communication, including, setting the communication framework, analysing the communication stakeholders, formulating the core communication messages, specifying the communication tools and outlining the three-year communication action plan.
The website will strengthen the public relations of the CDLD Policy implementation Unit through open and easy sharing of news updates, progress reports, case studies, audiovisual material, etc.
In addition to giving out information about the ongoing measures and community projects under the CDLD Programme, he said the website also enables the users to download key policy documents such as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Community-Driven Local Development Policy, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Local Government Act, Strategic Development Partnership Framework and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Right to Information Act.
The three-year communication action plan elaborates main activities with their sub-activities, stretched across measurable timelines and designated responsibilities.
The communication action plan is therefore a practical guide to foster turning communication ideas into communication actions for successful CDLD Policy implementation through collective action.
He also praised the provincial government to provide funding Rs500 million for the Programme in the fiscal year 2014-15 and Rs800 million in fiscal year 2015-16, supplemented by European Union financing of Rs987 million in 2014-15, and Rs1.2 billion in 2015-16.
Published in:The News, January 12th, 2016