Socio-economic impacts and reasons of failure of CCBs in Local Governments in Pakistan

Citizen Community Boards were introduced in Pakistan in 2001 to encourage participatory management of development schemes. Ten years’ of experience to implement CCB projects in 96 district governments has given mixed results. On the one hand people expressed their willingness to undertake the responsibilities but on the other hand procedural complications created conditions contrary to the spirit of community participation.

5/25/2011

Socio-economic Impacts of CCBs in Pakistan

Socio-economic impacts and reasons of failure of CCBs in Local Governments in Pakistan

Mukhtar Paras Shah Pakistan

Graduate Institute of Policy Studies Tokyo May, 2011

Mukhtar Paras Shah

Pakistan

Socio-economic Impacts of CCBs in Pakistan

This paper has been written for the participants of Conference on Community Driven Development organized by RIPA international in association with Local Government Association, UK.. The document was produced under the supervision of Prof. Zvezda Dermendzhieva; a faculty member of Department of Development Economics at GRIPS. This publication may be reproduced free of charge in any format or medium for research and private study. This is subject to it being reproduced accurately and not in a misleading context. The material must be acknowledged as copyright and the title of the publication specified. Further information or free copies of this publication can be obtained by sending an e-mail to mukhtarparas@gmail.com; calling 00 92 51 2274840; faxing a request at 0092 51 9213740 or by writing to the MPS, 14-Kyber Block,Gulshen e Jinnah,Islamabad, Pakistan.

Mukhtar Paras Shah

Pakistan

Socio-economic Impacts of CCBs in Pakistan

Dedicated to the people of Pakistan who have been waiting since decades for their leaders to take decisions and measures for allocation of appropriate resources necessary for development

Mukhtar Paras Shah

Pakistan

Socio-economic Impacts of CCBs in Pakistan

Index

Page No

1.

Introduction 1.2 1.3 Rationale Mechanism

01 01 02 03 05 06 06 08 09 10

2.

Problems Faced 2.2 2.3 2.3.1 2.3.2 Success Stories Case Studies Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Punjab

3. 4.

Synthesis Conclusion

References Flow Diagram of CCB Procedures

11 Annex-I

Mukhtar Paras Shah

Pakistan

Socio-economic Impacts of CCBs in Pakistan

Introduction There is a growing realization that communities, if empowered with authority to manage resources for their specific needs, can bring change in their socio-economic profiles (Cook, 1995). It has therefore been emphasized that community participation has clear linkages with sustainable development (Ahmad & Talib,2010). Decentralized form of governance therefore, offers arrangements to involve local people in policy, planning and implementation of development projects (Kliksberg,1994). In this backdrop, local governments in various countries promoted community participation hoping to alleviate poverty through this mechanism (Bardhan, 2002). Pakistan is home to approximately 180 million people who live in its four provinces; Baluchistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sind. According to an estimate more than 80 million people do not have required level of access to basic amenities and thus no wonder that the country ranks 134th in Human Development Index (Kurosaki, 2006). After the promulgation of Local Government Ordinance (LGO) in 2001, around 96 district governments were formed in Pakistan (NRB, 2001). Citizen Community Boards (CCBs) were introduced under the LGO 2001 with the objective to motivate communities to initiate plans to serve local needs (Ahmad & Talib, 2010). The question however remains unanswered as to what impacts, thousands of development schemes undertaken under CCBs in these ten years, had on poverty alleviation of the respective people. Rationale Decentralization Support Program (DSP) with the assistance of Asian Development Bank made efforts to implement the devolution plan under the LGO 2001. They coordinated a policy dialogue to study the role and performance of CCBs in 2004. According to the initiative, all the four provinces in Pakistan had agreed to introduce CCBs in the local governments. This was done with the objective of creating alliances between government and communities to eradicate poverty and inequality. It was viewed that community participation was key to sustainable development because of the following reasons:

Mukhtar Paras Shah

Pakistan

Socio-economic Impacts of CCBs in Pakistan

I.

Only communities can identify the local needs and this knowledge enables them to plan the initiatives appropriately

II. III.

Shared responsibility may help in utilization of resources appropriately Communities may employ local resources and manpower reducing the costs for various projects

IV.

Close association and linkage with the local government may help the communities in implementation

The CCBs were therefore designed to undertake the following responsibilities: 1) Improvement of delivery of service by a public facility 2) Development and management of a new public facility 3) Welfare of the handicapped, destitute, widows and families in extreme poverty; 4) Establishment of farming, marketing and consumers cooperatives; 5) Identification of development and municipal needs and mobilization of resources; 6) Formation of stakeholder associations for community involvement in the improvement and maintenance of specific facilities; 7) Reinforcing the capacity of a specific Monitoring Committee at the behest of the concerned council (Alam and Ehsan, 2002). The argument explained above was strong enough to propagate the CCBs and local communities also showed interest and initiative to implement schemes under the proposed mechanism. The concept of community participation in development schemes has already been practiced in Bolivia, Philippines and India. Even Pakistan had the history of community participation under various regimes and projects such as Orangi Pilot Project have been widely recognized and appreciated. Thus it was not difficult for Pakistan to take inspiration from earlier precedents. Mechanism Community involvement however requires certain organizational structure and

participatory mechanism. According to LGO 2001, CCBs were defined as voluntary and

Mukhtar Paras Shah

Pakistan

Socio-economic Impacts of CCBs in Pakistan

non-profit association of the local people. A minimum of 25 people could form a group and register their CCB with the local government. Their task was to identify the project and raise 20% of the funds for the same depositing it into a bank account. The remaining of the 80% was to be provided by the respective local government on receipt of satisfactory implementation arrangement reports. The local governments across the country were obliged to reserve 25% of their available funds for CCBs and it was an enough incentive for the local communities to plan and execute development schemes according to the local needs. These CCBs could then proceed by developing their project proposal and cost estimates with the assistance of local government officers. The flow chart for processing the project proposals under CCBs is given at Annex-I. The mechanism of implementation of CCBs may sound simple but it turned out to be very complicated and non-transparent during the course of implementation. Problems Faced These CCBs worked under the local governments from 2001 to 2010. There is no definite information as to how many CCBs were formed during this period in the country but a realization about their role and performance in the development sector is essentially there. Some studies have been undertaken to identify the problems faced by the CCBs during implementation of development schemes. The said problems can be broadly categorized into two groups; problems in operationalizing CCBs and problems in their effective functioning. Raising awareness among the masses about the facility of CCBs has been the biggest problem (National Report,2002). Majority of the people in Pakistan still live in rural areas and most of them are illiterate. One can well imagine the intensity of the problem by the fact that all information about CCBs was available in English and not in the local languages. The process of registration, approval and reports involved skills and knowledge that most of the people lacked. The institutional mechanism was there to support them but in the absence of any system of check and balance, it only created difficulties for the applicants. Mobilizing communities to undertake development initiatives also required the local

Mukhtar Paras Shah

Pakistan

Socio-economic Impacts of CCBs in Pakistan

residents to take the blessings of the local political and feudal lords. It was widely reported that most of the development schemes in rural Pakistan were registered and planned by the political elite in the name of the local residents and majority of these schemes only existed in papers. The political elites either registered CCBs in order to access funds or to undermine political influences of each other opponents through development initiatives (CCB Policy Dialogue, 2004). This phenomenon in fact negated the true spirit of community participation and sustainable development. Lack of awareness and ownership therefore created difficulties for the local residents to operationalize the CCBs. The problems became acute in view of the fact that local government officers had the powers to decide cost estimates for the projects and it in fact paved the way for corruption (Paracha,2003) The proper functioning of CCBs was also hampered by the lack of institutional support and dearth of resources (Devolution in Pakistan,2003). In Quetta, the capital of the province of Baluchistan, around 30 CCBs were registered in 2003 after the awareness campaign by the local government but only a couple of them were operationalized because of the lack of support from the bureaucracy. The official bottlenecks discouraged the initiative takers to think creatively as the responsible government agencies were also not trained to empower the people. Many CCBs faced problems in arranging the 20% required as the share of the community in the project (Paracha,2003). In order to arrange the required money, poor people either abstained from undertaking the initiatives or went to local influential leaders to join hands with them. In many cases people even asked the contractors in construction sector to pay the 20% amount with the promise to give the contract to them. Release of funds from the government exchequer for CCBs thus became a source of corruption for the officials and people were obliged to bribe in order to implement their development project. In the District Dera Ghazi Khan Rs.60 million kept on lying in the local government account without being released to CCBs only because of officialdom (DAWN,2004).

Mukhtar Paras Shah

Pakistan

Socio-economic Impacts of CCBs in Pakistan

Local government officials had limited capacity to design paper work for their schemes and naturally had to rely on the officials for processing their project proposals. As a result of this we see that even in places such as in Gujranwala in the province of Punjab, not a single CCB was formed. Another big reason for dysfunctional CCBs was that local government officers viewed this initiative as the threat to their authority and thus either created difficulties for the development schemes or made efforts to extort undue favors (DAWN,2004). Success Stories However the CCB experience was not without positive results. The innovative initiative not only enlightened the local people about the possibilities of their participation in development work but also reflected on the real benefits of local government system. Some impressive stories have been summarized as under: 1. 35 households in Union Council 4 Bahawalpur established Al Rahman Welfare Society and constructed a high quality sewerage system with the cost of Rs. 3.0 million 2. Poor Women working in dairy sector in Harripur District formed Women Skill Development Society and proposed projects with Rs.348,000 to improve their security and working conditions 3. A poor community in Rawalpindi formed CARD CCB to provide facilities for subsidized education and medical treatment of their children in association with local schools, book stores and doctors 4. In Jhelum, a CCB completed six sanitation projects worth Rs. 2.0 million in collaboration with National Rural Support Program (NRSP) 5. In Abbottabad, local people constructed a 0.5 kms long bridge between two hills with Rs. 1.0 million; a cost four time less than the official estimates. This bridge resulted in access of the local communities to an urban center and improved the socio-economic condition of the people.

Mukhtar Paras Shah

Pakistan

Socio-economic Impacts of CCBs in Pakistan

6. In Punch, a remote area in Baluchistan, local people utilized Rs.1.0 million on installation of hand pumps as a part of water sector project. The scheme provided drinking water to hundreds of people in the rural mileu. The above given references are just a few to explain as to how people enthusiastically joined the local government for redress of their problems in the development sector. Such initiatives were big in number where the local governments effectively communicated the purpose and mechanism of CCBs in their districts. An overview of development portfolio in every district therefore dramatically improved. For example, a total number of 4821 Development Schemes with an estimated cost of Rs.1765 million were implemented in alone in District Mansehra in 2006 with a specific focus on Drinking Water Supply Schemes, Health, Education and Communication Sectors (NIM Report, 2006). These successful interventions signify that objective of introducing CCBs was not to shift the responsibilities local governments to local communities but to provide a system of better service delivery arrangement that could effectively cater the local immediate needs (DSP Report, 2005). Case Studies I. Khyber Pakhtunkwa

Ahmad and Talib (2010) conducted a research on the impact of CCBs based on data collected from 21 Villages in 07 Union Councils (Dhamtor, Kakul, Mirpur, Jhangi, Nathiagali, Namlie Maria and Central Abbottabad) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The development schemes for education, health, sanitation and women empowerment sectors were distributed in two groups; the projects implemented by the local government itself (Control Group) and the others those implemented through the CCBs (Treatment Group). Multiple Regression Models were developed for both the groups to identify the factors responsible for sustainability and socio-economic impacts on the lives of the people. Analysis of control and treatment groups made by the researchers is summarized in the following table.

Mukhtar Paras Shah

Pakistan

Socio-economic Impacts of CCBs in Pakistan

Table 1

Variables

Coefficient

Control Group Treatment Group (Government Projects) CCB Projects 1.56 6.232 Constant (7.70) (8.80) -0.214 0.0420 Need Assessment (1.36)*** (2.12)** -0.101 -0.1209 Capacity Building (-2.21)*** (-3.21)* 0.266 -49.60 Access to Information (1.28)*** (-1.66)*** 0.126 16.413 Participation (3.21)* (2.22)** 0.48 0.52 Adjusted R2 30.65 25.36 F-Ratio Dependent Variable: Sustainability of Projects. *p<0.01, **p<0.05, ***p<0.10 A comparison of the completed projects by the government and CCBs in the target areas was also made during the exercise and it offered an interesting insight. Information in tabulated form is given in the following table.

Table 2 Sector
Water Supply Electricity Sanitation Education Health Construction Social Welfare Services Women Development Total

Government Completed Projects
52 01 06 00 00 24 02 46 00 131

CCB Completed Projects
24 00 02 01 02 18 09 10 01 67

Mukhtar Paras Shah

Pakistan

Socio-economic Impacts of CCBs in Pakistan

The results of the survey conducted by the researchers concluded that project by CCBs were more sustainable. Statistical analysis also confirmed that… CCB's projects had comparative advantage over local government projects. Comparison of the coefficient of determination (R2) calculated for both groups indicates that sustainability and need assessment, capacity building, access to information and participation is comparatively highly correlated in the case of CCB's projects (52%) than local government projects (48%).The sustainability of CCB's projects is explained by 52% variation of independent variables compare to 48% for local government projects. This means that the projects implemented by CCBs are comparatively more sustainable as they were based on need assessment; capacity building, easy access to information and people's participation. (Ahmad & Talib,2010) II. Punjab

JICA also conducted a case study of CCBs in District Hafizabad of Punjab province under their initiative namely “CCB Improvement Plan” (CIP). Data about 428 villages covering 119 CCBs in 42 Union Councils was obtained and Regression Analysis was conducted to determine the factors responsible for success and failure of CCBs (Takaashi,2005). The results of the regression analysis found that… Villages in Unions with higher literacy rates, with presence of NGOs in the Union and influential persons in the village, and with less access to schools and financial institutions are more likely to be successful in forming a CCB. The determinants of successful preparation of CCB development projects conditional on the CCB formation include the age of a CCB, more strict management (regular meeting and record keeping), and more technical skills (diversity in members' occupation). The effects of education, gender, and inequality on the project success probability were not clearly discernible, although a negative effect of land inequality on project submission was found. The study highlighted the important fact that collective participatory action was possible even in rural Pakistan where fundamentals for essential physical and social networks were rare.

Mukhtar Paras Shah

Pakistan

Socio-economic Impacts of CCBs in Pakistan

Synthesis Both the case studies discussed above emphasize and infer that CCBs had the potential to improve the socio-economic conditions of the people. But in fact it did not. It showed only moderate success in areas where determinants of successful preparation of CCBs were already there. Up till 2006 only 37% of the CCBs had submitted project proposals and only half of them were in fact approved (JICA,2006). The results of the survey hint that officialdom created difficulties in operationalizing the CCBs. The socio-cultural influences in the community had also restricted people to be involved in development schemes under CCBs (Chaudhary,2009). The writer explains the phenomenon as under: …the issue also [related] to the cultural scene in which the majority of the people came from an agricultural back ground and participating in the CCBs mostly meant to them the installation of a tube well, buying a communal tractor or a thresher or constructing a road to link their farms to the markets. While seeing the power holder competing over the funds the common public decided to remain apart in order to avoid any possible damage to their life or property. (Chaudhary,2009)

The above discussion makes it clear that participation of community in the development activities under CCBs is restricted and restrained (Ahmad & Talib,2010). Strategy proposed by the donors and authority exercised by the government through the political elite has rendered the development initiative ineffective. However, clear linkages of participatory development work with sustainability indicate that philosophy behind the CCBs was sound. But clear socio-economic impacts are not visible because of marginal participation, complicated procedures and defective implementation. CCBs did not deliver because the external factors resisted the community empowerment. The CCB mechanism would have worked more effectively if real needs of the people in local economies had been identified and incorporated in the system. The focus must have been on development and economic empowerment both as it is the people who were the ultimate beneficiaries. Government introduced this forum as non-profit and it became a

Mukhtar Paras Shah

Pakistan

Socio-economic Impacts of CCBs in Pakistan

disadvantage as people had no incentive to propose and undertake real socio-economic activities. The system was designed such that favored the local influential elite instead of creative and innovative entrepreneurs. Those who had access to resources as well as local government offices therefore benefitted from the system whereas sections of society who were politically and socially marginalized remained economically marginalized. The development activities proposed under CCBs in fact made them more marginalized. Conclusion Policy dialogues conducted on the role and performance of CCBs made it clear that citizens and communities had no reservations on the existence and rationale of the forum. The people however were not comfortable about the bottlenecks and procedures for processing and approval of development project proposals. Although there were reports that CCBs were constituted to get access to funds from the local government and that functional forums were not in good number. However successful stories underscored the point of view that efficiency combined with commitment could deliver desired results. If all the stakeholders would have understood and underscored the philosophy of community participation in development schemes, the CCBs would have essentially contributed in the socio-economic growth of the society and the populace. Had the CCBs been designed to encourage community entrepreneurship to undertake development activities on profit and loss basis, the results would have been different. Economic benefit to the communities in social development projects would have then automatically alienated the external influences such as political and bureaucratic bottlenecks. CCB Projects in education, health, infrastructure, sanitation and the like could have been a source of income for its members in the local economies as well as a sustainable mechanism to provide improved service delivery for its citizens.

Mukhtar Paras Shah

Pakistan

Socio-economic Impacts of CCBs in Pakistan

References Anjum, Naeem (2005), Manual of New Punjab Local Government Laws with Punjab Local Government Ordinance 2001, rev. ed., Lahore: Mansoor Book House. Alam, S.M Khatib and Ehsan, N. (2002); Devolution of Power, Programme in Pakistan: Case Study of Faisalabad District, Department for International Development (DFID). Paracha, S.A., (2003) Devolution Plan in Pakistan: Abid G. Chaudhry (2005) Citizen Community Boards: A Case of Mal-Practice in Devolution Plan. Chohan.A.Yasin, (2003), Citizen Community Board (CCB) for Local Development in Punjab - Pakistan, Kurosaki,Takashi (2006), Community and Economic Development in Pakistan: The Case of Citizen Community Boards in Hafizabad and Japanese Perspectives Pakistan Journal of History and Culture, Vol.XXX, No.2, 2009 Baseline Survey, (2002), Social audit of governance and delivery of public services:, National Report, p. xiii. Implementation and issues International Journal of Trade, Economics and Finance, Vol.1, No.4, December, 2010 Devolution in Pakistan, (2007)Vol 2, p. 75 DSD Study, (2005), National Reconstruction Bureau, Vol. 2, p. 75 CCB Policy Dialogue (2006) Decentralization Support Program,DSP – Outcome Report. A

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Annex-I

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