Local government system fails to deliver in NWFP, Pakistan

Staff Report

PESHAWAR: Majority of people in the NWFP is not satisfied with services provided by local governments, reveals findings of a survey.

Nielsen Pakistan and Urban Institute conducted the survey on ‘Citizens’ Perceptions and Preferences on the Local Government System’. The USAID-funded Pakistan’s Districts that Work (DTW) sponsored the survey whose findings were revealed during a workshop here on Tuesday.

The survey touched on the local government’s service delivery system in the NWFP.

The survey findings said quality and coverage of services in rural areas was worse than urban areas possibly because of the malfunctioning of the provincial, district and tehsil departments.

The survey’s results come at a time when the federal government, backed by provinces, is considering reforming the LG system introduced by former president Pervez Musharraf in 2001.

The survey said majority of the respondents believed local governments could be more effective if they’re held accountable for their acts.

On question of primary drinking water source in rural areas, 43 percent respondents said they’re using water provided by other than the local government, while 22 percent said they were using ‘unimproved’ water. Only 36 percent Frontier population has connection to government-supplied water.

In rural areas, garbage collection from houses by the local governments stood at zero percent and it’s 15 percent in urban areas, according to the survey. Around 51 percent rural and 23 percent urban population disposed of garbage in the open, it said.

The survey also found the population had ‘no strong sense’ that civil servants were responsive. “Forty percent respondents said (they) don’t know.” Only eight percent to 13 percent population considered that the provincial, district or tehsil administration had an ‘open door’ policy, which will allow them access to the government officials.

According to the survey findings, just 21 percent respondents said the federal and provincial governments were responsive, while 42 percent said the district, tehsil and union councils were responsive, while 20 percent said ‘none’ and 16 percent said ‘don’t know’.

Fifty-five percent respondents either said none or don’t know which level of government tried to know citizens’ opinion by the federal, provincial, district, tehsil or union councils before taking policy decisions.

Similarly, 54 percent respondents either said ‘none’ or ‘don’t know’ when asked which level of government could easily be accessed. Eight percent population said they’d access to the federal government, seven percent to the provincial government and eight percent to the district government.

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3 Comments

Filed under Development

3 responses to “Local government system fails to deliver in NWFP, Pakistan

  1. This is indeed very sad, no don’t take me wrong, its sad because we don’t let institutions grow and take roots.
    This survey is ironical to say the least, life is difficult, but against what? If LGs are not delivering, who else did? Pakistan has among the worst record of social service delivery, but that is not because of LGs, its the strong centralist state that we unfortunately have. The only ray of hope was LG system which the politicians wont let happen as no one want to let go control and power. Imagine a Pakistan where you don’t need to go to the MLA to have your street paved or your electricity installed. what job would these minions do then?
    This is not politician bashing, its simply a case of conflict of interest. unfortunately, we the voters don’t care. the civil society doesn’t seem to care and the NGOs… well you know that!

  2. this article gives information about what is going on in our country … thankx for sharing …

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