8-9 September 2020 | Balochistan – UCLG ASPAC’s LEAD for SDGs Pakistan, a programme with funding support from the European Union (EU), organised a Policy Dialogue on Empowered and Effective Local Government System and Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Quetta on 8 September 2020. The policy dialogue aimed to discuss how local governments could play an effective and relevant role in helping implement the SDGs at local level, to share the lessons learned from the 2010 Local Government Act and local government tenure (2014-2019), and to recommend legal reforms to the parliamentarians and government institutions. The dialogue showed fruitful discussions among participants of over 40 stakeholders including parliamentarian, ex-mayors and district chairmen, civil society representatives, media, UN agencies and representatives from other EU funded programmes.
The dialogue provided an opportunity for parliamentarians, local government representatives and civil society to learn from experiences under the previous local government system to implement the SDGs. Parliamentarians assured the participants that they would take up the recommended reforms at the Standing Committee level.
Key recommendations included:
- To empower the local government system, as per spirit of Art 140-A of the Constitution of Pakistan.
- To form a Provincial Finance Commission for the just distribution of resources.
- To formalise and ensure community participation in local development.
- To place the local dispute resolution mechanism within the ambit of local governments.
- To finalise the de-limitation and immediate announcement of the local government elections.
- To build the capacity of local government representatives, including awareness on SDGs.
Establishment of Provincial Alliance on Sustainable Development Goals
LEAD for SDGs Pakistan Programme has established a Provincial Alliance on Sustainable Development Goals – the first of its kind – in Balochistan (PAS-BAN). The aim is to create a multi-stakeholder public-private partnership platform to implement the SDGs at provincial and local level. To achieve the mission, PAS-BAN organised its 2nd quarterly meeting on 9 September 2020 to discuss the structure and action plan of the alliance by involving various relevant stakeholders namely the 27 members including ex-mayors and district chairmen, representatives of civil society organisations, lawyers bar association, media, local council association, UN agencies and private sector.
From the discussion, the alliance members unanimously decided to nominate LEAD for SDGs Programme to act as the first secretariat of the alliance. A 10-member working committee was also created to steer the alliance objectives and actions. The alliance identified the several key actions to be adapted for improvement of coordination, cooperation, consolidation and communication around the implementation of SDGs in local communities.
- To improve the horizontal and vertical coordination between different tiers of government.
- To encourage and coordinate public and private partnerships.
- To raise awareness about the role of different stakeholders to implement the SDGs.
- To organise mass media campaigns, through electronic, print and social media.
- To engagement with chambers of commerce, telecom and banking sector for their support.
- To establish a data base for the consolidation of existing efforts by the alliance members.