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Pakistan Today

Published Date: Feb 10, 2012


Speakers highlighted the importance of social accountability in ensuring good governance and effective public service delivery. They were speaking at the ‘National Consultation on the Formation of Practices on Social Accountability Tools in Pakistan’ organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) on Thursday.
The speakers called for the institutionalisation of the social accountability tools at the government level and urged the citizens to play active roles in the public sector accountability process. Civil society delegates from across the country participated in the proceedings. Center for Civic Education Executive Director Zafarullah Khan highlighted the gaps in the development programmes initiated in the country. He said the government’s development initiatives depended on input-based measures and ignored the results and outputs of previous projects.
He also criticised the government’s inability to run development projects. He called for establishing a local district government civil service cadre that may help in establishing enhanced accountability, empowerment and effective service delivery at local level. Gulbaz Ali Khan of SDPI cited political, fiscal, administrative and legal barriers in government-led accountability process and highlighted the need for citizen led accountability mechanisms in the country.
He said implementation of social accountability practices may enhance civic engagement with improved governance, increase in developmental effectiveness and informed policy decisions that can lead to poverty reduction, strengthening of the democracy and the empowerment of the people.
Marvi Sirmed of Strengthening Democracy through Parliamentary Development said Pakistan had no mechanisms for incorporating people’s expectations in the budget preparations. ‘Unlike Pakistan, countries like Brazil and Bangladesh, which practice participatory budget allocations, have witnessed vivid improvements in the education, health and other social sector programmes,” she added.