Editorial by Marc-André Franche, Country Director, UNDP in Pakistan
I am pleased to introduce ‘Development Matters’, a bi-monthly newsletter showcasing stories of achievements and transformational change achieved by communities, institutions and leaders of Pakistan as a result of the support of UNDP and its partners. We hope this newsletter will also provide an additional platform to showcase development partners’ strategies and accomplishments in Pakistan.
As reiterated in UNDP’s new Country Program 2013-2017 signed with the Government of Pakistan, we are working with communities and government counterparts to help them achieve the Millennium Development Goals by finding innovative, sustainable development solutions and fostering resilience and recovery from disasters and crises. Our focus on governance and community empowerment reflects our commitment and shared vision of inclusive growth and human development by enlarging people’s choices.
The new Country Programme consolidates and focuses UNDP cooperation along the thematic areas of democratic governance, environment and climate change and crisis prevention and recovery. We have also strengthened our capacities to support policy development and dialogue in these thematic areas and adapted the structure to better support the provincial governments in the post-18th amendment setting. This year’s international conference on participatory federalism considerably shaped our work agenda and ensured the buy-in of academic, institutional and political stakeholders. We were grateful for the important intellectual contributions of international partners to the conference.
Our programme delivery strategy is focused on Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA, given the disproportionate incidence of development challenges they face. We are allocating the great majority of our resources in those regions to fewer large-scale initiatives at the institutional and community levels. The institutional support aims at medium to long term changes in rules, norms and structures, while our community development approach aims at achieving immediate results in improvements of livelihoods and basic services.
More importantly, I see UNDP as a catalyst of partners’ ideas and strategies including federal and provincial governments as well as members of the international community in Pakistan. We are at our best when we convene and facilitate dialogue and knowledge management processes to support development results.
This edition’s featured partner, the European Union (EU), is a long standing and one of the most important development partners in Pakistan. Its new 7-year Country Cooperation Strategy demonstrates the EU’s strong commitment with Pakistan complementing its trade agenda which achieved the GSP-Plus status for Pakistan last week. The EU and UNDP have been collaborating for many years in Pakistan, particularly on post-disaster reconstruction and recovery, community resilience in areas where Afghan refugees are or have lived, and democratic governance, in particular to strengthen the electoral institutions. The EU and UNDP share strategic objectives in support of a prosperous and democratic Pakistan. We also share a common approach to development, investing and advocating for crucial governance reforms at the national and provincial levels while investing in stronger communities in the poorest and most vulnerable regions of the country.
We hope ‘Development Matters’ will not only be a useful information resource, but also serve as a platform for new ideas for the development community in Pakistan.