Participatory Democracy Together We Can Bring a Change WE can actively participate in all public policy formulations by electing right people, engaging them in meaningful discussions hence transform policies and legislations for public good; Through vibrant and active Public Interest Groups WE can make our voices count in legislations, policy formulation, resource allocation, planning and monitoring of public services etc.;
Democracy is a way forward Participatory Federalism and Decentralization are becoming increasingly decisive topics as the pillars of Pakistan’s democratic structure are reshaping, especially against the backdrop of 18th Constitutional Amendment. This Amendment was passed unanimously in both Houses of the parliament. It is a rare example of political consensus in the country. There are 28 federal countries in the world today, which together represent 40 per cent of the world's population. They include some of the largest and most complex democracies India, the US, Brazil, Pakistan, Germany and Mexico. There are 17 ministries and over 35 departments which have fallen under provinces domain after this amendment. We are a nation in democratic infancy; hence have a long road ahead of us to reach our destiny.
WE can diversify policy forums by lobbying/campaigning for those Constitutional provisions which help us break monopoly of powerful elitist groups and pave way for inclusion of all marginalized groups in parliament; WE can broaden public discourse by bringing issues of national interest, foreign policy and even resource allocations in public sphere by engaging parliamentary committees through our research based and public-backed representations,; WE can form our own budget monitoring committees, budget tracking systems, citizens reporting on social issues and public services, besides developing peoples’ tribunals or assemblies to bridge gaps of trust between policy makers and public.,.
Contact Us: South Asia Partnership Pakistan (SAP-PK) Haseeb Memorial Trust Building, Nasirabad, 2k.m., Raiwind Road, P.O. Thokar Niaz Baig, Lahore – Pakistan. Phone: +92 42 35311701-3 Fax: +92 42 353710 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Testimonials “In a federal democracy we at least get the chance to have some say in decision making. We can hold not only our local representatives accountable for budgetary allocations, social development plans but even get the chance to move legislations on issues of our concern,” Prof. Anis Khel, Bhukkur “I appreciate SAP Pakistan for giving us an opportunity to interact with our legislators and persuade them to ensure implementation of international commitments like UDHR, CEDAW and ICPPR,” Ms Noreen, Bhukkur. “They are so afraid of a written application that I saw them covering the loopholes in the local budget once we raised our voice through a petition ,” Noor Bux while talking about power of people in democracy.
Empowering the Society
“Government of the people” Democracy is a concept aimed at developing a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Democracy is finally sinking into the bloodstream of Pakistani society with the completion of first peaceful democratic transition in May 2013. Democratic Institutions are gaining more and more relevance as they are maturing in age and quality of discussion but failing to create that ideal power sharing formula enunciated in the doctrine of separation of power. Under this doctrine government is divided into three branches; Legislative, Executive and Judiciary. Constitution of 1973 detailed these issues but for a number of reasons ranging from widespread illiteracy to monopolized state and political structures it could not be implemented. Meanwhile, it remains a fact that Democratic index of 2011 places Pakistan on the 106th number in the world with a democratic score of just 4.55. Norway is at the top of the chart with a score of above 9.5. When we see the poverty index, we see Norway at the top with least poverty and Pakistan is 144th ranking again. We can clearly see a connection between democracy and poverty reduction. So Democracy is just not a concept to elect your representatives but it also gives you powers to keep a check on their performance. For that all of us, together got to be informed, educated, combined, and vigilant so that we can make democracy work for the people.
We can Raise our Voice in; Foreign Policy By asking state institutions and government to follow national and international obligations like International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), UN Security Council Resolution 1325 with Convention for Elimination of all kinds of the Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)..
Form Citizen groups under ICCPR Ensure community participation in Policy interventions Shortlist our issues of concern on Foreign Policy, Local and national budgets for social services Make Presentations to elected representatives and state functionaries on our concerns Write individual and joint (community groups) letters to your elected Representatives, state institutions, national leadership and even international organizations. Follow-up on these letters with continuous reminders, presentations Utilize social media to highlight our issues, concerns and develop consensus on local issues while seeking global perspectives Keep a vigil on preparation and utilization of budgets to ensure transparency and real development Always remember “Free people are not equal, and equal people are not free.”
Pro-People Budgeting By lobbying and campaigning with national/provincial assemblies and related bureaucracy and with informed agendas of social change, we can all help ourselves to direct these policy makers and executives allocate our funds judiciously, make logical laws and spend transparently.
“Citizens are the most important component of Democracy. They need to strengthen themselves up if they want democracy to be strong. They should choose better people among themselves, who will then run the country for them.”