Support to Local Governance

Project description 

Title: Support to Local Governance (LoGo) Programme
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Pakistan
Lead executing agency: Economic Affairs Division, Ministry of Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs
Overall term: 2017 to 2019

Context

In 2010, the 18th amendment to Pakistan’s constitution transferred regulatory powers from the federal to the provincial level. By 2013, new local government legislation was introduced in all four provinces and elections were held. The newly elected representatives required support to build their understanding of local government affairs. Existing rules and regulations also needed to be updated to reflect the new distribution of responsibilities between the provincial and local levels and between elected representatives and public officials.

Following the devolution of power, provincial tax authorities have been given the additional responsibility of collecting sales tax on services, which is a challenge due to the lack of trust between the citizens and the state. To build up trust and state-citizen relations, all stakeholders need to improve their interactions. Recent legal reforms, such as the Right to Information Act, provide an opportunity by giving citizens and the media new tools for accessing information and securing accountability from public institutions.

Objective

Newly established local government systems and dialogue-based service delivery in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Punjab meet citizens’ needs efficiently.

Approach

Support to Local Governance Programme (LoGo) advises its Pakistani partners on improving local government service delivery in KP and Punjab. It aims at strengthening local governance, increasing subnational revenue and improving state-citizen dialogue. LoGo also provides dedicated support towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

LoGo is supporting the local government departments to fulfil their functions in line with the Local Government Acts. It is assisting them to revise existing rules and regulations and to review the consultative processes involved in formulating and implementing development plans and annual budgets. It also offers customised training programmes for provincial and local administrations, including elected councillors, especially women.

To enhance revenue generation, LoGo is assisting the tax authorities in both provinces to improve their administrative regulations and processes. It is also advising them on enhancing their organisational and institutional capacity.

LoGo also works towards improving the dialogue between citizens and the state through building organisational capacity of the KP and Punjab Information Commissions. It is piloting mechanisms to provide citizens with access to information, as well as creating platforms to enable dialogue between different stakeholders.

LoGo contributes towards achieving the SDGs in particular by supporting the provincial administrations of KP and Punjab and the private sector to facilitate exchange and find ways to increase private sector contributions towards achieving priority SDGs.

LoGo’s implementing partners include local government departments and revenue authorities as well as excise and taxation departments, the KP and Punjab Information Commissions and private sector entities.

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) co-finances the programme.

Results

The LoGo Programme supports its partner institutions in manifold ways:

  • 287 village development plans were developed in four districts of KP in consultation with over 16,000 community members.
  • 33 women councillors from KP and 67 elected councillors from Punjab were trained on the respective Local Government Acts.
  • Job Descriptions (JDs) for Public Information Officers (PIOs) from KP were developed and handed over to 2,400 PIOs. Additionally, 335 PIOs were trained on these JDs.
  • Excise, Taxation and Narcotics Control Department (ETNCD) KP has trained 87 officers on Accounting and Finance, Tax Laws and Litigation, IT Skills, Procurement and Internal Audit.
  • ETNCD Punjab has trained 440 newly recruited staff on basic rules and regulations, procedures and a compendium of taxation laws e.g. motor vehicle registration and taxation, professional tax, property tax and excise duty etc.