Team Members: Dr Vaqar Ahmed, Babar Jamal, Naveeda Nazir
At the United Nations Millennium Summit, in September 2000, Pakistan among the other world leaders adopted the Millennium Declaration, including a vision for development and the eradication of poverty, the Millennium Development Goals. The MDG Framework will be completing its tenure in December 2015.
Pakistan performance on MDGs remained less satisfactory as compared to other countries in the Region. According to the National MDG 2013, Pakistan is off-track on 24 targets out of the total 33 indicators. Pakistan has been facing multifaceted issues related to political stability, security and natural disaster that have adversely hampered the development efforts.
Besides the constraints arising from the country security situation, issues related to governance and weak institutions have played a major role in the non-achievement of MDGs. Investment in statistical machineries to collect and make available timely data on the status of MDGs should have been given priority. The unavailability of data has been a major constraint in measuring progress towards MDGs and making informed decisions.
For the new set of the development agenda to replace MDGs after 2015, the UN launched global consultative process on post 2015 development agenda which will replace the MDGs Framework. Pakistan was selected one of the 100 countries for the national consultations, starting in December 2012. Inputs and feedback was gathered including representatives from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), farmers, laborers, employers and workers associations, religious, ethnic and sexual minorities, students, parliamentarians, academia, development partners including donors and national staff of UN agencies, disabled persons, government officials at the federal and provincial levels, media, private sector, internally displaced people, women organizations etc. The key area that come up as priority from Pakistan consultation included peace, Justice and human Security, Governance, Energy, environment and Disaster Mitigation, inclusive economic growth and social development and Gender Equality
The second round of Post 2015 consultations focuses on the ‘means of implementation’ (MoI) critical for the achievement of the post 2015 development agenda and takes into account:, ownership, participation, capacities, partnership , monitoring and accountability. Pakistan has been allotted the theme of “strengthening capacities and building institutions” required for the implementation of the post 2015 development agenda. The Dialogue on capacities and institutions underpins the importance of national-level actors, signaling that a transformative agenda requires transformed institutions.
Six themes of MoI have been identified: 1) Localising the post-2015 development agenda; 2) Helping to strengthen capacities and institutions; 3) Participatory monitoring, existing and new forms of accountability; 4) Partnerships with civil society and other actors: 5) Partnerships with the private sector; 6) Culture and development. Pakistan is one the eight countries chosen to undertake the national dialogue on Helping to strengthen capacities and institutions.
UNDP in partnership with the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), to conduct the consultative process composed of the following streams:
- Desk review was conducted to do the important ground work to review and analyze the effectiveness of the present institutional structures and mechanisms, with a view to distill the lessons learned, and inform the implementation of the Post 2015 development agenda in Pakistan.
- An online survey, targeting 1500 respondents, was conducted on the citizen’s feedback on public service delivery. The survey gave an opportunity to hear from the general public being the ultimate beneficiaries of the public services regarding their experience in dealing with and availing of services from the public sector institutions. The findings of this survey will inform interventions to strengthen capacities and build effective institutions for the provision of services for post 2015 development agenda.
- To ensure inclusion, community based focus group discussion with women group, youth group and IDPs among the vulnerable groups. The focused group discussion to gather inputs for improving capacities and institutional effectiveness
- A national consultation was held to gather feedback from diverse stakeholders including government representatives from national and sub-national level, experts, civil society members and policy makers on the issues hampering the ability of the national institutions in the public sector, identify priorities, gaps and recommendations for institutional and capacity development initiatives.
Following the key finding emerging from the national dialogue process:
Post 2015 development agenda will be different from the era when the MDGs were designed because of the context. SDGs are being formulated in an era when the world economy is recovering from the financial crises, there is less fiscal space from the donor available with a context of conflict and natural disasters. Need to realize and identify what capabilities are needed for data management as SDGs have more than 600 hundred indicators to monitor and report as compared to MDGs with only 48 indicators.
Strategic planning, monitoring and reporting are of extreme importance. The MDGs in Pakistan didn’t get adequate attention in terms of converting the MDG Framework into concrete plans and strategies especially at the sub-national level. Planning should be done by establishing short and medium term goals rather than only having end-point targets. Government of Pakistan has launched the Vision 2025 as long-term development strategy aligning its seven pillars with the proposed sustainable goals. The plan build on development of human and social capital through education and skill enhancement added with indigenous sustainable growth, institutional reforms, energy, water, food security and nutrition.
New role of Planning Commission in post 18 Amendment scenario as an institution of federation. Representation of all provinces in the national level committee for smooth approval and execution of social sector development plans.
Localization of SDGs to local context is also one of the priority areas of the post 2015 discussions. In Pakistan, such localization efforts should go beyond the national level. In the post 18th Constitutional Amendment situation, localization has become the most critical element of an effective implementation mechanism for SDGs. In the current devolved governance structure, Pakistan would need to develop coordination mechanisms through which national and provincial plans and actions could be synthesized and experience and best practices shared.
An organized plan of action is need to undertake the governance/ civil service reforms starting from the smaller but important initiatives. The Ministry of Planning Development and Reforms, is committed to reforms for the good governance and will be holding Pakistan Governance Forum inviting experts from different areas to relook and reexamine the governance agenda to transforming institution into high performance institutions.
National capacities on data and statistics needs to be strengthened. Survey tools and procedures to collect data on key variables should be aligned at federal, provincial and regional statistic departments.
Use of dashboard and KPIs for monitoring progress and results at national and sub-national level
Broad range of mechanisms is available to the citizens for social accountability in the country’s legal framework. There is a strong need to raise awareness among the citizens to exercise the right for creating demand for delivery of efficient public service as well as to hold the state accountable.
Fiscal decentralizations/ financial allocations
Transfer of expertise and knowledge from the progressing countries on how to build better and effective institutions