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Authors: KHAN, SARA
Keywords: Social sciences
City & regional planning
Issue Date: 2013
Abstract: Community participation with broader institutional support plays a critical role in making development effective, efficient and sustainable. It offers more powers and control over decisions and resources and helps in making development more inclusive. In Pakistan, history of participatory approaches in government led development has not been encouraging and overall development has been driven by centralized conventional approaches. The Local Government Ordinance, 2001 (LGO, 2001) offers an institutional framework in the form of Citizen Community Boards (CCBs) for promoting participatory development through active involvement of the communities. It necessitates conducting research to determine the performance of CCBs in achieving their objectives and to identify the shortcomings, if any, in the system that governs their functions. The research aims to evaluate the performance of institutionalized CCBs in promoting participatory development in Pakistan. The research adopted a pragmatic blend of qualitative and quantitative methods which include review of the literature to establish an evaluation frame suiting the country context by taking Multan Region as a case study. The analysis is primarily based upon the prevailing practices of selected CCBs and their projects covering different sectors, in-depth interviews conducted with the stakeholders and the survey of the project beneficiaries. In general, the study has revealed many discrepancies in the functioning of CCBs. The existing practices are devoid of understanding about the spirit and rationale behind participatory development approach. The cases studied revealed that different actors were using CCBs platform for their vested interests which is clearly borne out from the nature of projects and implementation mechanism. This tended to adversely affect the concept of participatory development in the region. Never-the-less a limited number of cases where community participation was ensured had successfully achieved the development goals. This in turn created precedent of healthy and positive impact and best practices accrued to participatory development in the region. The factors hindering the performance of CCBs identified by the study include lack of awareness, limited access to authorities, threat from and dominance of elite class, lack of enthusiasm and capacity among local government officials, political differences, difficulties in collection of funds, lack of capacity of CCBs, lack of transparency, weak monitoring system and inefficient role of support organizations in improving CCBs performance. The study further revealed that technical projects could not be implemented without adequate support of experts. This factor paved way for the inclusion of contractors in the projects designing and implementation who ultimately hijacked the projects pushing aside the CCBs and dragging the system into the conventional approaches. The empirical evidence clearly demonstrated that participatory development though looked good, in practice suffered because of vested interests. On the whole, research concluded that the institutionalized participatory development through CCBs could not flourish in Pakistan. Nevertheless, the study collected evidence that participatory development approach has lot of potential under the Local Governments System provided the impediments including the elements undermining this concept are removed. The study’s recommendations, inter alia, include establishment of a broad-based institutional framework and procedure for accomplishment of CCBs’ activities.
Appears in Collections:PhD Thesis of All Public / Private Sector Universities / DAIs.

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