PESHAWAR: SNG Programme shared results of the local government trainings with Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (GoKP) and Development Partners (DPs) in a dissemination of results and experience sharing workshop held at Peshawar on February 01, 2017.
Together with Local Government, Elections and Rural Development Department (LGE&RDD), SNG developed plan, training modules and held trainings during 2015-16 for the government officials and elected representatives of district governments in six districts of KP. Chaired by Secretary, LGE&RDD, Jamaluddin Shah, the workshop was attended by 55 government officials, representatives from DPs, SNG, master trainers and local government experts. “The planning and budgeting processes have been changed drastically in view of the new local government system in KP.
The core governance challenges included weak planning and budgeting and also the low capacities of the officers. With the help of SNG the LGE&RD department developed a comprehensive training plan for the districts and the issues were addressed. We have formally notified the training manuals developed by SNG and these manuals will be used for trainings in future as a curriculum of the local government school”, said Shah.
An independent evaluation of the trainings shared in the workshop showed a significant improvement in the knowledge, skills and attitude of the government officers and elected representatives. As per the findings, heads of the devolved departments were in a better position to prepare budgets for their respective departments adhering to the budget rules also ensuring needs of the citizens through citizens’ involvement in the budget making processes. Following the SNG training model, the Director General Local Government KP, Amir Latif announced to start same kind of trainings for remaining districts of the province. “We have developed training schedule for all the three tiers of the local government which is under process. Meanwhile we are planning to finalise a standard syllabus for the local government school also establishing its divisional branches in KP”, said Latif.
The focus districts for trainings included, Haripur, Nowshera, Buner, Karak, Lakki Marwat and D.I.Khan. A total of 23 training sessions were held in different locations and 664 government officials and elected representatives were trained which also included 52 women. The trainings were focused on three thematic areas; decentralized development planning; budget making; and local government system under the Local Government Act (LGA) 2013. Through the local government system under the LGA 2013, near 40,000 elected representatives are member in 25 district councils, 73 Tehsil Councils and 3501 Village and Neighborhood Councils in KP.
Through a financial and administrative devolution the planning and budget making processes have been devolved to the districts with 30% additional development funds. Keeping in view the devolution from sub-national government to local governments a comprehensive training plan was a pre-requisite for the success of the system in Pakistan.