PESHAWAR: The Planning and Development Department (PDD) of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) has initiated an institutional optimisation study to analyse the existing systems and processes to improve district administration in the merged areas.
A group of experts, consisting of deputy commissioners of Kurram and Khyber districts, has been created under the leadership of the chief economist Nauman Afridi with the task to conduct the study covering all the newly merged districts.
The study will be conducted by PDD with the technical assistance of the UNDP Merged Areas Governance Project. During the first meeting of the group of experts chaired by Nauman Afridi, it was agreed that a set of context-specific questionnaires will be prepared so that officials at multiple hierarchies can be covered including Deputy Commissioners, Assistant Commissioners and Heads of Line Departments of Health, Education and Communication & Works. The law enforcement sector will also be covered with specific reference to the integration of levies force in the police service.
It was also agreed during the meeting to include the political leadership and local elders as part of the optimisation study to analyse their perceptions and experiences following the merger of the former tribal areas in KP. The mode of the study includes in-person meetings, telephone interviews, online surveys as well as desk study of available information. Literature review of the existing resources on district governance and service delivery will also be conducted before the commencement of field activities for the institutional optimisation study.
Once the fieldwork is completed by August 2020, the follow-up steps will be data analysis and compilation of findings, which will be concluded by the end of September 2020.
The key findings of the institutional optimisation study after the endorsement of the chief secretary and the additional chief secretary will be presented to the chief minister so that the findings can be taken up for implementation with the objective to bring improvements in the district governance of the merged areas, including all the tribal subdivisions.