The Centre for Public Policy and Governance (CPPG) Forman Christian College, Lahore and the Planning and Development Department (P&D) held a seminar to launch the ‘Institutional Assessment Report – Department of Social Welfare and Bait-ul-Maal’ at the Planning and Development Department on December 14.
The report is part of a larger project titled “Social Welfare Department: The Provincial Face of Regulation and Interaction with NGOs” being conducted by CPPG with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Program (SGAFP). The event was presided over the P&D Chairman Mohammad Jahanzeb Khan along with CPPG Founding Director and Professor Dr Saeed Shafqat, Social Welfare Department Director General Mr Waheed Ansari, Mr Aslam Javaid (Senior Chief SW/WD P&D) and other representatives from relevant government departments.
The report presents the findings of an institutional assessment study of the SWD, conducted by CPPG. This report assesses the SWD within the context of social welfare and protection in Punjab; the current organizational structure, resources, systems, processes for planning and implementation ‑ particularly from the lens of capacity constraints and consequent impact on service delivery; and provides recommendations and policy prescriptions going forward.
The report stresses the need for the SWD to conduct a detailed review of all existing laws, ordinances and regulations under which the department conducts its activities, and revise and update this legislative framework. Additionally, it also stresses the need for the SWD to develop strategies to ensure that all Social Welfare Programmes – public and private sectors both – are adequately coordinated to avoid wastage of limited resources, and to ensure systematic delivery of social services to all deserving people.
Dr Saeed Shafqat thanked all the participants everyone involved in the development of the report including USAID, the SWD, P&D and the project research team. He briefly talked about the context behind the project. Talking about the need for progress and change from within he said, “It must be understood that SWD does a lot of good work for the poor and the marginalized and that the bureaucracy plays a very pivotal role in this regard. We need to restore the dignity and performance of the bureaucracy and that can happen if the system looks from within and creates ownership for reform.” He also said that the question to ask is how change can be imbibed in the bureaucracy from within.
Mr Mohammad Jahanzeb Khan, Chairman P&D gave the closing remarks for the event. He thanked all the participants for attending. He said, “My expectation from this launch and report is that we will be looking at what needs to be done in order to have social protection institutions in the government, and what is the role of the government regarding how government can engage with other stakeholders.” He advised the department to see how this work can now be institutionalized by developing a project for the next budget.
The launch of this report closes out a twelve-month long project. Other activities conducted under the project included a series of training for government officers and NGO representatives; a Draft Social Welfare Policy developed for the SWD; and an updated Draft curriculum developed for the Social Welfare Training Institute (SWTI). The Institutional Assessment report is available at the CPPG Resource Centre.