available languages: englishUrdu February 8, 2021

Pakistan’s experience with decentralisation and devolution of fiscal, political, and administrative powers has been marred with inconsistencies. The complicated journey towards introducing and sustaining decentralisation and devolution through local government reforms, in particular, has been difficult.

This briefing paper contends that, among the many factors that have impeded the introduction and sustainability of local governments and their associated reforms, a lack of political involvement and, thus, political ownership remain the biggest barriers towards effective devolution. This lack of political will to strengthen local government mainly occurs as a result of efforts by parties to maintain political and provincial control, an overpowering bureaucracy and reduced authority of local governments themselves.

Read the full briefing paper in English and in Urdu.