Adapting Public Sector Services to Local Delivery
This article describes the local government system established in the 2001 Devolution Plan and its evolution over the period 2002-07, with a focus on two essential public services, education and health. We believe that the devolution of service delivery functions, delegation of financial powers, decentralization of authority, and deconcentration of executive powers, can, together, lead to better accountability of results and, hence, to improved public service delivery to the poor and marginalized. The Devolution Plan made inroads toward these goals, particularly in education, but their achievement was incomplete due to a number of factors, among those incomplete fiscal decentralization, limited targeting of backward areas, and centralizing tendencies of the provincial departments and civil service. Recommendations are offered on how to further develop the local government system more generally, with an eye towards increasing accountability and improving coordination both across local governments and between tiers. For this, complementary reforms to simplify business processes and revamp human resource management policies are needed; introducing a district level civil service is among the suggested changes. The article concludes with detailed recommendations on improving the decentralized delivery of education and health services.
Volume (Year): 17 (2012)
Issue (Month): Special Edition (September)
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- Cheema, Ali & Khwaja, Asim Ijaz & Qadir, Adnan, 2005. "Decentralization in Pakistan: Context, Content and Causes," Working Paper Series rwp05-034, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
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