The Department for International Development (DFID) Annual Review team visited Hafizabad, which is one of the six Sub-National Governance (SNG) Punjab pilot districts on Thursday, March 2, 2017. The visit was planned to meet with the Deputy Commissioner (DC) Muhammad Ali Randhawa and his team and evaluate SNG Programme implementation and progress towards its targets.
DFID is supporting Government of the Punjab (GoPb) in implementing SNG Programme in six districts of Punjab. The visit was scheduled as part of SNG Punjab’s fourth Annual Review (AR) in Lahore, which was scheduled for Tuesday, February 28, 2017, to Friday, March 3, 2017.
The Annual Review team included Matt Carter from the National School of Government International (NSGI), UK; Mary Kate Thompson, Deputy Group Head, Governance Group, DFID; Rizwan Azam, Programme Manager, DFID; Omar Mukhtar, Governance Adviser, DFID Pakistan; and Rabiya Malik, Programme Officer, TEST. Representation from SNG Punjab team included Shoeb Iqbal Syed, SNG Punjab Team Lead; Faisal Rashid, Muhammad Arshed and Anam Hussain, PFM Advisors; Khurram Jillani, M&E Advisor; Usman Khan, Challenge Fund Manager and Syed Zain, Jr. Consultant Challenge Fund.
During the visit, DC Hafizabad, Randhawa, introduced the AR team to the latest monitoring system of the district, established via Whatsapp application without incurring any addition cost from public funds. In order to demonstrate via example, how the monitoring system works, a meeting was also set up between the AR team and eight Chairpersons of Union Councils of Hafizabad district.
The AR team also met with the Local Government (LG) representatives, including Hamil Rafiq, CEO Health; Fakhur-ul- Islam Dogar, Assistant Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Finance highlighted the significance of the linkages of evidence based budgeting and Integrated Ambulance Service (IAS) to the inventory management and telemedicine project. He went on to explain the benefits of evidence based budgeting exercise and how it helped the district government to ensure the provision of adequate funds for medicine, repair and maintenance at all times with the increase in the number of patients visiting the Primary Health Care (PHC) facilities.
While discussing the problems of newly established local government system, one of the LG representatives expressed the need of trainings on managing funds and improving the community engagement. Furthermore, it was also suggested that if SNG could play a similar role at the District level for the local government setup in designing the training manuals, it will prove to be beneficial in the elimination of ambiguities.
In order to have the beneficiary perspective, AR team also visited the District GIS Cell and the control rooms of IAS in District Head Quarter (DHQ) hospital. The AR team appreciated the maintenance of services available at the hospital.