PESHAWAR, February 1 (Pakistan Point News - APP - 01st Feb, 2017 ) : The Local Government, Elections and Rural Development Department (LGE&RDD) has successfully developed a permanent capacity building plan for all the tiers of the Local Government. It was announced by the Jamaluddin Shah, Secretary LGE&RDD, in an experience sharing workshop in Peshawar organized by DFID-funded Sub-National Governance (SNG) Programme. The LGE&RDD had also developed a comprehensive training plan with the collaboration of development partners to enable the district governments to serve the citizens as per their needs, he added.
"The planning and budgeting processes has drastically changed in view of the new local government system in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP)". The core governance challenges in KP included weak planning and budgeting and also the low capacities of the officers. With the help of SNG, the LGE&RD department developed a comprehensive training plan for the districts and the issues were addressed, he added. "We have formally notified the training manuals developed during the training initiatives and these manuals will be used for trainings in future as a curriculum of the local government school", Shah said.
An independent evaluation of the trainings shared in the workshop showed a significant improvement in the knowledge, skills and attitude of the government officers and elected representatives. As per the findings, heads of the devolved departments were in a better position to prepare budgets for their respective departments adhering to the budget rules also ensuring needs of the citizens through citizens' involvement in the budget making processes.
Through SNG training initiatives 664 government officials and elected representatives were trained, which also included 52 women. In this respect 23 training workshops were held in six focused districts. The districts where training session were held included Haripur, Nowshera, Buner, Lakki Marwat, D.I.Khan and Karak. The training were imparted in three main areas; decentralized development planning, budget making for government officers and orientation to elected members of the district councils on local government act 2013. Keeping in view the political, administrative and financial devolution resources to local governments, there was a dire need for capacity building of the government officials and elected representatives in the province which was filled through the training and capacity building endeavors in the province.