Support for good governance in Pakistan – administrative reform

Project description

Title: Support for good governance in Pakistan – administrative reform component
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Pakistan
Lead executing agency: Economic Affairs Division (EAD)
Overall term: 2010 to 2020


The most evident sign of Pakistan’s fragile statehood is the government’s weakness in providing key services. According to the Post Crisis Needs Assessment (PCNA) of 2010, citizens are losing confidence in the ability of public institutions to discharge these core tasks. One reason for this is the low capacity of provincial and local administrations to manage and implement reforms. A presidential decree, the Local Government Ordinance 2001, assigned new tasks to local tiers of government and increased the scope for their political participation. This reform undermined the power of the provinces to shape the local government system, although the local authorities never fully achieved self-government.

The Local Government Ordinance expired in 2009, and in all the provinces the powers and tasks of local authorities are now being legally redefined. The delayed introduction of a new local government law is causing uncertainty in the public administration. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which has suffered most from flooding and militancy, the citizens are particularly badly affected by the current transition period.


Capacities and procedures have been put in place for raising the efficiency of the administration and elected councils in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. This will also help with the implementation of the future local government act and provincial development policies, especially the Malakand Strategy and the PCNA. The local government system ensures greater coverage and quality of public services in a change that particularly benefits women and marginalised groups.


The programme supports the Local Government and Rural Development Department, the Provincial Relief, Rehabilitation and Settlement Authority, and the Provincial Disaster Management Authority in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It provides advice on adapting the legal and policy framework in preparation for the local government act.

The responsibilities of provincial and local public actors are being refined, and capacities and procedures put in place to enable the public administrations to perform these functions (standards, financing, reporting and supervision). The programme is also working to clarify the relationship between local administrations and the elected bodies, and it is helping to develop standards and mechanisms for the recruitment and placement of local civil servants, and for their career development. The training system for local government functionaries, especially the provincial Local Governance School, is being strengthened, for example, with curricula development, management and financing, and exchanges with other training institutions in the country.

With capacity development activities, the programme enables the district disaster management units and the newly created local authorities (Tehsils) to provide suitable services. Among other things, this involves support for local revenue collection and help for stakeholders to share and replicate their good practices. The programme also supports efforts to communicate achievements to the citizens.