Projects to Improve Accountability

The Punjab government in collaboration with the World Bank and the Department for International Development, United Kingdom, is launching two different programs, Punjab Public Management Reform program and Sub National Governance program in Punjab Province, to enable the government to improve the quality of public service delivery in Punjab and respond more efficiently and accountability to the public service needs of local communities.

Planning and Development Board Punjab chairman Muhammad Irfan Elahi announced this while chairing a first Steering Committee meeting of the Sub-national Governance and Punjab Public Management Reform programs held here on Tuesday. Arif Anwar Baloch, Secretary, P&D, Saima Saeed, Program Director, PRMP, Shahid Tarar, Secretary, Excise & Taxation, Abdul Jabbar Shaheen, Secretary, School Education, Jawwad Rafique, Secretary, LG & CD, Rana Hasan Akhtar, Additional Secretary (B&P), School Education, Ahmed Ali Zafar, Additional Secretary (Planning), Agriculture, Claire Vallings, Senior Governance Advisor, DFID, Tom Owen Edmunds, DFID Punjab Representative, Gareth Rannamets Governance Advisor, DFID, Hamed Yaqoob Sheikh, Team Leader, SNG Punjab, Sumaira Sagheer, Communication Advisor, SNG, Usman Khan, Challenge Fund (CF) Manager, SNG, Sarfraz Ahmad, Deputy Program Director (Admin.) PRMP and other officials participated in the meeting.

The meeting approved the governance reform initiatives under the DFID grant funded Sub National Governance (SNG) Program and launching of the World Bank funded Punjab Public Management Reform Program (PPMRP). The participants, during the meeting, agreed to work towards improving the quality of public service delivery in the province, and lauded efforts towards establishing systems and processes that would enable provincial government to respond more efficiently and accountably to the public service needs of local communities. P&D chairman Irfan Elahi, addressing the meeting participants, said that Punjab Public Management Reform (PPMR) Program was geared towards improving transparency and resource management of targeted departments of the province by supporting access to information about key services, especially in remote and marginalized areas. The program will support the design and implementation of performance monitoring systems by using innovative techniques to gather information about service delivery and performance by seeking citizens’ feedback about the quality of the services received.

The program will be implemented in seven provincial target departments and executed by Punjab Resource Management Program, Planning and Development Department. He said that Sub-National Governance (SNG) programme would concentrate on six districts in Punjab, supporting reforms in planning, budgeting, and monitoring at provincial and district level through evidence-based identification of needs of the people using innovative techniques such as GIS as well as leveraging on PPMR program’s citizen feedback platform to gauge the quality of public services.

SNG would also support new and innovative ideas for improving service delivery, through District Delivery Challenge Fund, on a pilot basis, making sure that resources were allocated on the basis of evidence of needs and solutions that work, he said. Both programs are hailed as significant steps towards supporting increased transparency of the provincial and district governments’ departments through performance monitoring in delivering public services.

THE NEWS  I LAHORE I Wed, Dec 18, 2013 I