Decentralization and Local Governance

Decentralization & Local Governance is a multi-year, multi-tier, multi sector and multi-stakeholder project launched by UNDP Pakistan to strengthen participatory federalism and decentralization against the backdrop of 18th Constitutional Amendment (2010).  The project views the 18th amendment through a governance, development and public policy lens and identifies strategic areas of intervention for transition management at federal, provincial and local levels. The core objective of the project is to develop policy support mechanisms and create institutional mechanisms to strengthen effective service delivery in a manner that is transparent and accountable to the people at the local level.

The 18th amendment introduced reforms that provide provinces with significant legislative, fiscal and administrative autonomy, but the implementation and institutionalization of these reforms face significant challenges in a country with a legacy of a dominant centre. After the passage of 18th amendment implementation mechanisms at the federal level, provinces and the districts are either underdeveloped or non-existent. Risks of failure of a timely, coordinated and fully implemented 18th constitutional amendment consist in terms of party, societal and security politics. Therefore, UNDP Decentralization and Local Governance project strives to strengthen all three levels (federal, provincial and district) in order to assist the Government of Pakistan towards an effective decentralized inclusive governance system. 

The project works with the Council of Common Interest and the Federal/Provincial Departments of Human Rights and Inter-Provincial Coordination to improve the management of their shared responsibilities. At the provincial level the project assists provincial governments to develop legislative, institutional and policy frameworks on devolved subjects.

At the local level the project aims to assist local government departments to institute participatory development planning, implementation and monitoring at the lowest tiers of governance.



Project start date:

November 2012

Estimated end date:

December 2019

Focus area:

  • basic services
  • Project office:

    UNDP in Pakistan

    Implementing partner:

    United Nations Development Programme

    Full project information  

    Funding Support by

    Donor name

  • Usaid
  • United Nations Development Pro
  • Government Of Germany
  • Department For Int'l Developme
  • Swiss Agy For Development & Co
  • Mptfo As Aa For Jp Pass Throug
  • Foreign Common Wealth Ofice
  • Amount contributed


    Delivery in previous fiscal year

    2018 $1,010,200

    2017 $1,133,682

    2016 $816,029

    2015 $986,342

    2014 $1,045,857

    2013 $572,921

    2012 $0

    Our Work

    • UNDP’s Support to Federal Human Rights Institutions

    UNDP’s directly supports institutional capacity development through trainings to administrative representatives and legislators responsible for different rights functions of government. 

    • The National Commission on Human Rights (NCHR)

    UNDP has worked to build the capacity of the NCHR and its provincial representative offices to support NCHR’s priorities, meet international human rights reporting obligations, equip it to occupy a position of independence in relation to government, and to achieve its 2017-19 Strategic Plan. 

    • Inter-Provincial Coordination

    D&LG project facilitated the coordination of strategic interprovincial dialogue amongst Provincial Governments’ line departments is a key effort by the UNDP Decentralization & Local Governance (D&LG) Project to assist provincial governments maintain channels of debate and experience sharing by creating a space for the representatives of government stakeholders to discuss opportunities for promotion and protection of human rights in light of the post 18th amendment scenario in Pakistan. 

    UNDP’s Support to Provincial Human Rights Institutions

    • Provincial Human Rights Policies Development

    As part of UNDPs support to provincial rights institutions’ fulfilment of their obligations under the 2016 National Action Plan, UNDP has established firm partnerships with provincial rights departments and directorates to consult on, develop and approve provincial human rights policies.

    • Provincial and Sub-Provincial Stakeholder Capacity Development

    UNDP supports the provincial rights ecosystem in Pakistan, as an active partner in capacity development for provincial and sub-provincial elected representatives and administrative representatives. To this end, UNDP has developed and delivered training programmes and materials for members of provincial Standing Committees, District Officials, Human Rights Department staff and relevant line department staff.

    • Provincial Treaty Implementation Cells

    UNDP has provided support to Pakistan to fulfil its rights reporting obligations under the European Union (EU) Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+), a special incentive arrangement granting removal of EU tariff lines if Pakistan can show advances in sustainable development, good governance and human rights. To meet reporting requirements, the Government of Pakistan has initiated Treaty Implementation Cells (TICs) which have been established at both federal and provincial level. While TICs have been developed for the GSP+, they have the potential to support fulfilment of Pakistan’s reporting obligations to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and UN Core Human Rights Conventions.

    In 2017, UNDP therefore conducted extensive consultations with key line departments in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh to develop a strategy paper on rights-based data collection and reporting protocols for provincial TICs. The strategy paper maps current reporting structures and capacity gaps in each province and provides actionable recommendations to improve the coordination and function of each TIC.

    UNDP’s Support to Pakistan’s Wider Rights-Enabling Environment

    • Nationwide Human Rights Data Capacity

    Pakistan’s Vision 2025 and the 2016 National Action Plan for Human Rights both focus on strengthening the process of data collection. Pakistan’s rights reporting obligations to multiple treaty bodies, the EU GSP+ and the Universal Period Review are often hampered by poor data collection, storage and analysis, particular following the 18th Amendment devolution of these responsibilities. UNDP leverages on Pakistan’s commitment to human rights data collection, in order to integrate human rights into national policies, to strengthen state accountability architecture, and to improve progress monitoring for basic rights. UNDP’s human rights programme is therefore committed to development of comprehensive and cohesive human rights data ecosystem at all levels. 

    • Advocacy, Communications and Outreach

    UNDP supports the National Action Plan to promote awareness of human rights and available rights mechanisms, through communications and outreach strategy development for provincial rights institutions.

    • Civil Society Engagement

    UNDP remains committed to collaborate with the government and the civil society for nuanced and rooted development planning. This means strengthening the abilities of civil society to participate in the rights reporting and institutional development for the protection and promotion of rights.

    • Human Rights Mainstreaming

    UNDP seeks to help Pakistan ensure that duty-bearing institutions beyond human rights institutions are aware and able to uphold their responsibilities to promote and protect human rights in Pakistan. 

    UNDP’s Support to Reforms 

    Legal Reforms

    UNDP provided technical assistance to Gilgit Baltistan (GB) Select Committee to draft and enact the Gilgit-Baltistan Local Government Act 2014.

    Public Administrative Reforms

    • UNDP’s Support to Institutional Capacity Building in Pakistan
    • UNDP’s Support to Civic Education in Pakistan
    • UNDP’s Support to Preventing Violent Extremism in Pakistan

    The “Local Level Disengagement and Rehabilitation Initiative” implemented by D&LG team in Swat aimed to contribute to overcoming the threat of radicalization in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). The Project was implemented in Swat as one of the districts affected by conflict, which reached its peak and subsequent conclusion in 2008-2009. The project implementation comprised of an individual-focused disengagement component and an environment-focused reintegration component.  

    Upon identification of Swat district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province as the geographical focus of project interventions, UNDP, established 10 Integrated Support Groups (ISGs) including 2 women ISGs. Furthermore, with the assistance of ISGs, 100 youth offenders were identified as beneficiaries and provided psycho-social support services with the aim of re-integrating them into their communities through employment support and job placements. In order to achieve this, UNDP also enhanced the capacity of 251 youth councilors. Through this support, 90% of the youth offenders were able to secure jobs in the local communities, along with 3 who managed to obtain employment abroad.

    In light of the success of Phase-I of the project in Swat, UNDP Pakistan aims to further build upon these in Phase-II, to be implemented in Swat and urban areas of Karachi in 2018.

    • UNDP’s Support to Former FATA’s Integration into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province

    Given the signature of the 25th Constitutional Amendment Bill by the President of Pakistan on 31st May 2018, and the subsequent integration of erstwhile FATA into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), UNDP as part of its continued support to the Government of Pakistan organised a one-day consultative meeting in July 2018 to discuss implementation of the local government system and the way forward.


    UNDP Around the world

    You are at UNDP Pakistan 
    Go to UNDP Global