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The Express Tribune

Published Date: Dec 13, 2014

Way forward: ‘Strengthening institutions a must for better governance’

Speakers at a session on Friday highlighted the need for
strengthening institutions in order to improve governance in the

They were participating at a consultative dialogue on “Strengthening
Capacities and Building Effective Institutions” organised by the
Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), UNDP and the planning
ministry on Friday.

Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said the existing government structure
was not capable of meeting modern day demands, and only strong
institutions can help translate ideas into reality.

“We need to rebuild a system which is accountable, transparent and
responsible in service delivery,” the minister said. He maintained that
the social action programme (SAP) which was launched in 1993-94 could
not deliver due to political instability in the country.

SDPI Executive Director Abid Suleri explained that from technocratic
interventions to the use of participatory approaches, “we have now
realised that people-led localised solutions are best for development”.

Former education minister Dr Sania Nishtar said devolution in the
aftermath of the 18th Amendment has brought opportunities as well as
challenges for provinces in terms of service delivery.

Alif Ailaan Campaign Director Mosharraf Zaidi cited a recent survey
that found that out of 185 working days a year, teachers are engaged in
non-teaching assignments such as polio campaigns, elections, surveys. He
said there was re-centralisation of authority in prime minister and
chief minister’s posts after the 18th Amendment.

UNDP Country Director Marc-André Franche said that political
participation of citizens in Pakistan was still in its infancy and there
was a huge deficit of trust between the public and government.

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