Impact of Community Participation on Development: Devolution Initiatives in Pakistan

By:
Mohd Shakil Ahmad
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Pakistan is one of low-income countries located in South Asia. Economic development in South Asia is characterized by a moderate success in economic growth with a substantial failure in human development such as basic health, education and gender equality (Dreze and Sen: 1995). This characteristic is most apparent in Pakistan, as seen in country-level statistics reported by UNDP (2005). There is an unequal distribution of income and assets where the core network is based on familial, clan, and tribal relations, with limited historical experience in CBO-based cooperation in development efforts [JICA (2003)]. The current government led by Gen. Pervez Musharraf, which came to power after in October 1999, has been attempting to change this situation through two policy measures. The first is the Devolution of Power (Cheema et al. (2006)). The second policy measure is the Poverty Reduction Strategy based on the World Bank funded Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) (GOP (2003)). Devolution is listed as one of these four pillars and thus closely linked with poverty reduction policies in Pakistan. Figure 1 shows the governance structure in Pakistan under the devolution initiatives. Devolution is designed in three spheres [GHK (2005), Cheema et al. (2006)]. First, in the delivery of services and public goods by the government, with the district government responsible for the service delivery in Tehsil (sub-districts) and unions (smallest administrative units). Second, in the decision making sphere, three-tier local bodies of elected representatives have been established. Third, in the financing sphere, direct budget allocations to districts and lower bodies have begun. A union is the unit of local administration, have population of 10,000-25,000. According to the advocates of participatory rural development, Participatory Development aims at accomplishing certain specific functions including (1) Identifying and eliciting development priorities by the target community itself (2) Strengthening the civic skills of the poor by nurturing community organizations and (3) Enabling communities to work together for the common good (Mansoori and Rao: 2004). The transfer of power from the central government to more peripheral levels has been seen as a means for overcoming physical and administrative constraints of development, improving the management of resources, and increasing community participation (Vaughan et al. 1984; Mills et al. 1990; Manor 1995). By the 1970s, the meaning of participation in the development context began to be redefined. Rather than being identified with political and electoral processes, it became associated with the administrative or implementation process. A number of reasons account for the redefinition of the political scope of participation (Sadiullah: 2006). People’s participation is considered as an integral part of both the ideal and practice of democracy, and reflects the basic aspirations of the people (OECD: 1994). The recent revived interest in participation is linked to concepts of good governance and democracy, which make the governments more accountable, and government accountability is considered essential to benefit the poor (World Bank 1994). This paper address whether the CCB’s are contributing in empowering the grass root by comparing the projects implemented by CCB’s with those of implemented by local government and to what extent DTCE is playing its role in empowering communities.


Keywords: Community Participation,, Participatory Rural Development
Stream: Economics and Management, Education and Social Welfare
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Mohd Shakil Ahmad

Research Associate, Management Science, COMSATS Institute of IT
Abbottabad, N.W.F.P, Pakistan

This paper emphasis the devoltion initiative(2001) taken by pakistan government in order to change the sturcture of government to make it make feasible and participatory for gross root empowerment plus to improve the rural paticipation.In order to empower gross root, community is allowed to participate in development activities so Citizen Community Boards(CCB ) come into existance in 2003.

This paper study the impact of CCB on community lives in one of District i.e District Abbottabad in Pakistan

Ref: I07P1013