Decentralization, Human Rights and Local Governance

The Decentralization, Human Rights and Local Governance (DHL) project aims to strengthen participatory federalism and decentralization against the backdrop of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution (2010) which devolved significant powers from the Centre. The project views the 18th Amendment through a governance, development and public policy lens and identifies strategic areas of intervention to help manage the devolution process at federal, provincial and local levels. The project aims to assist in developing institutional mechanisms to strengthen effective service delivery for peace and development, and ultimately contribute towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The project aims to create stronger democratic processes and institutions at all levels so that they are responsive and accountable to citizens and effective in equitable service delivery.


Reforms mandated by the 18th Amendment will bring decision-making closer to communities.



Project start date:

November 2012

Focus area:

  • accelerate structural transformations
  • Project office:

    UNDP in Pakistan

    Implementing partner:

    United Nations Development Programme

    Full project information  

    Funding Support by

    Donor name

  • United States Agency For International Development (usaid)
  • United Nations Development Pro
  • United Nations Population Fund
  • Government Of Germany
  • Department For International Development (dfid)
  • Swiss Agency For Development And Cooperation - Sdc
  • Undp As Administrative Agent For A Joint Programme Pass Through Arrangement
  • Foreign Common Wealth Ofice
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft Für Internationale Zusammenarbeit
  • Australian Dfat
  • Undp Funding Windows
  • Amount contributed


    Delivery in previous fiscal year

    2020 $350,859

    2019 $1,525,604

    2018 $1,639,865

    2017 $1,133,682

    2016 $816,029

    2015 $986,342

    2014 $1,045,857

    2013 $572,921

    2012 $0

    Expected Results

    • Establish constitutional federal organs to conduct devolution-related duties and support their policy, regulatory and supervisory roles.
    • Support provincial governments to develop their legislative, institutional and policy frameworks on devolved subjects.
    • Support local governments in all four provinces to incorporate and use participatory development planning, implementation and monitoring methodologies.
    • Integrate decentralization, rights discourse and local governance into advocacy and civil society agendas.

    Key achievements

    • The Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Human Rights Department, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa passed the first Human Rights Policy for the promotion and protection of human rights in the province, with the technical support of DLG, UNDP.
    • Under rights-based development, DLG project assisted the KP Provincial Government in preparing the KP Human Rights Policy, and the innovative KP Virtual Platform (now renamed to HRIMS), the Project has created an enabling environment for rights-based development in the province. In May 2018, the Human Rights Policy for KP was approved by the GoKP. Ongoing trainings for relevant focal points on both the Policy and the Virtual Platform (HRIMS) will create a strong foundation for long-lasting results. The technical assessment for the KPVP was finalized and the pilot with the MoHR is in preparation.
    • Capacity building support was provided through specific programmes to enhance awareness amongst officials of line departments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well as staff of the National Commission of Human Rights Pakistan. 
    • The “Local Level Disengagement and Rehabilitation Pilot Project” implemented in Swat and Karachi to build resilience in local communities, especially in the vulnerable and at-risk segments of population. The project is based on a community driven model and targets 140 beneficiaries in Swat and 200 in Karachi.
    • Provided technical assistance to the Government in passing the first of its kind Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2018.
    • In 2018, DLG continued to collaborate with and provide support to provincial and local governments. A key expected result of this support is the on-going establishment of a “Reform and Mainstreaming Cell” at the Local Government Department, KP. With the project’s support, the Cell will take lead in bringing about major reforms in the existing LG system, and work towards its extension to the newly merged tribal districts and tehsils in the province.

    What’s next?

    • Improve the capacity of national and subnational institutions to fulfil post-18th Amendment governance responsibilities.
    • At the federal level, DLG will continue providing technical assistance to the CCI for the development of a comprehensive inter provincial framework; the project will also conduct inter-provincial coordination meetings for exchange of best practices and sharing lessons learnt.
    • At the provincial level, the project will support the Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab governments in drafting the Human Rights Policies and their implementation frameworks. Building on the institutional digitization support provided to the Government of KP for human rights reporting, D&LG aims to assist the Federal (MOHR), Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab Governments in installation and operationalizing of the HRIMS; this will aid in meeting international treaty body reporting obligations
    • In 2019, D&LG will focus on social inclusion (especially women) in tribal districts by providing capacity building support to district officials of social welfare and relevant departments in KP; this will be coupled with outreach and advocacy efforts with CSOs to strengthen citizen oversight mechanisms
    • In order to create an enabling environment for social inclusion in Sindh, the project will continue working at the community level for vulnerable and at-risk youth and strengthening linkages between communities and the district administration; this will be done by training district officials, forming women advisory committees and local girls’ peer groups.

    Download the PROJECT BRIEF


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