• Editorial - Development Matters: March 2015Mar 19, 2015

  • Pakistan’s most important asset is its youthPakistan’s most important asset is its youthMar 18, 2015
    As UNDP Pakistan next National Human Development Report (https://vimeo.com/122077096) will analyze only 1 in 10 of youth are in stable employment – out of these, 36% spend more time searching for a job than actually doing one. And unemployed youth are not only a lost development opportunity but also exposes them to radical and criminal groups. See what we are doing here: http://nhdr.undp.org.pk/ or follow @JawanPakistan or on FB: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pakistan-Youth-NHDR/

  • Electoral Reforms in Pakistan: Perspectives and OpportunitiesElectoral Reforms in Pakistan: Perspectives and OpportunitiesDec 15, 2014
    In any country, even in well-established democracies, the legal framework and administrative processes for elections need to be seen as organic, requiring regular review and modification. This is not only to ensure compliance with international standards and obligations. It also reflects a broader political need to engage in continuous efforts to sustain confidence in the efficacy of the democratic system by making sure electoral processes are responsive and inclusive, and are aligned with the expectations of all electoral stakeholders.

  • Editorial - Development Matters: Issue 5Dec 19, 2014
    The entire United Nations family in Pakistan came together on December 16 to condemn the barbaric attack on the school in Peshawar which killed scores of innocent children. We join our voices to those of the country which came together in unity to express shock and solidarity with the victims. We extend our prayers to those families who have lost loved ones and pledged to continue working for a more tolerant, educated, democratic, egalitarian and prosperous Pakistan. The attack unfortunately adds to the sense of crisis in Pakistan. It also highlights the need for a cohesive strategy to address head on the opportunities and challenges faced by young people in the country. Not only were the victims mostly children and young people but the attackers were also young men. National and provincial policies on youth should place greater emphasis on education, employment and engagement in society. The country needs urgent action on violence prevention, barriers to skills development and jobs, gender divides and wider aspirations of youth must take place in an inclusive environment. Unfortunately, for Pakistan’s youth the realization of these aspirations is complicated by numerous crises the country endured in 2014.

  • The Political Economy of the BudgetThe Political Economy of the BudgetOct 23, 2014
    The budget is one of the most powerful fiscal instruments at the disposal of the incumbent governments to implement their political commitments and development agenda. Unfortunately the debate when it happens is overly focused on allocations and expenditures and rarely on the critical issues of transparency and accountability of the budget making process. Only a transparent and accountable budget making regime can ensure budgets achieve their results.

  • Understanding the enablers of Institutional Integrity in the National Highway and Motorway Police of PakistanDec 1, 2014
    The National Highway and Motorway Police (NH&MP) is considered to be the only corruption free public sector institution in Pakistan. The 2002 report of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the country’s national anti-corruption body, notes, ““with regard to petty and middling corruption, the consensus has been that there is hardly an arm of Government which does not suffer acutely from corruption, with the exception of the Motorway Police.” The general public also perceives NH&MP a corruption free and clients’ friendly institution. So how was such an effective institution created in the backdrop of a very poor history of public service reforms in Pakistan and what are the lessons that could inform the discourse on public service excellence?

  • Sustainable poverty reduction requires reducing vulnerability and building resilienceSustainable poverty reduction requires reducing vulnerability and building resilienceMar 3, 2015
    In the last 2 decades, most countries have registered significant improvements in human development. Now, vulnerability and the impact of crises and disasters are undermining the hard won progress or slowing down its growth. The annual growth in Human Development Index (HDI) value has declined in Pakistan from 2 percent in 2000-2008 to almost zero during 2008-13. The 2014 UNDP Human Development Report (HDR) 2014 launched in Pakistan on September 18 demonstrates that progress cannot be sustained without building resilience

  • Development Matters - September 2014Sep 29, 2014
    The launch of the Global Human Development Report 2014 in Pakistan on September 17 focused on addressing vulnerability and resilience for human development. The issue of vulnerability and resilience is unfortunately well known and interiorized by Pakistanis.

  • Development Advocate Pakistan Volume 1, Issue 2-Editorial Development Advocate Pakistan Volume 1, Issue 2-Editorial Jun 24, 2014
    The impact of education investments is considered a simple linear function of inputs and outputs in most developing countries, including Pakistan. The measure of performance and the process through which inputs are converted into outputs, and subsequently, outcomes, are seldom discussed. Good governance—in terms of setting up performance benchmarks, systems of monitoring and accountability, and budgeting and distribution formulae—can considerably improve institutional effectiveness and results in the education system, without new inputs.

  • Making a DifferenceMaking a DifferenceDec 19, 2013
    Editorial by Marc-André Franche, Country Director, UNDP in Pakistan I am pleased to introduce ‘Making a Difference,’ a monthly newsletter with a synthesis of results achieved in Pakistan. This newsletter shows how UNDP is contributing to transformational change in people’s lives in Pakistan.

  • Community Resilience and Local GovernanceCommunity Resilience and Local GovernanceMar 6, 2014
    Rukhsana relied on the support of her extended family when her husband was laid off from his job at a factory in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. With support from the UNDP Community Resilience Initiative she received training in tailoring and embroidery, and she also learned valuable entrepreneurial skills. Due to skills enhancement efforts, household incomes of more than 4,000 people have increased by 15 percent in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

  • Women’s Parliamentary Caucuses as Agents of Change Women’s Parliamentary Caucuses as Agents of Change Jul 1, 2014
    By Marc-André Franche, Country Director UNDP Pakistan. Nation-building processes cannot work and development goals cannot be achieved if women are denied meaningful political participation. To ensure this, Pakistan’s Parliament introduced a 17 percent gender quota in 2002 in all legislative houses. Unfortunately, despite the quota, qualitative indicators of women’s meaningful political participation remained low. Despite accounting for 22 percent of the federal parliament, from 2002-07 women could not achieve much in terms of lawmaking except the Women’s Protection Act. In the subsequent mandate of 2008-13 however, women made more progress, overseeing policy implementation and raising important issues in all Houses.

  • Development Matters - June 2014Development Matters - June 2014Jul 1, 2014
    by Marc-André Franche, Country Director, UNDP Pakistan. “I belong to a province where development indicators have not shown any substantive progress, so I intend to go back and work on social development as I know the priorities of the area,” says Zia Ud Din. Born in the small town of Pishin, Zia Ud Din worked part-time to make ends meet while he pursued his M.Phil. He learned about the UNDP-Higher Education Commission fellowship award supported by UNDP and immediately decided to apply to support his continuing studies. His winning thesis topic was “Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Development Pre- and Post-7th National Finance Commission Analysis."

  • Artful Initiative: UNDP Pakistan proudly sponsors Lahore Literature Festival 2015Artful Initiative: UNDP Pakistan proudly sponsors Lahore Literature Festival 2015Mar 2, 2015
    UNDP Pakistan joined the Government of Punjab, a number of embassies and consulates, education institutions and the corporate sector to support the annual Lahore Literary Festival. I attended the Festival for the third year in a row along with many colleagues.