In collaboration with the Local Governance School (LGS), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (established under the Local Government, Elections and Rural Development Department), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is implementing an innovative, first of this kind project ‘Inclusive Capacity Development of Local Governments in Newly Merged Districts’ which introduces the concept of ‘twinning’ to enable concrete and meaningful learning from successful enterprises. This concept has been implemented in various countries including Germany, wherein a formal (two way) learning process is initiated between an expert entity or ‘twin’ and a recipient institution/entity. In the case of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, four selected Tehsil Municipal Administrations (TMAs) are being twinned with four recently established TMAs of the Newly Merged Districts (NMDs).
The basic premise of this twinning is transfer of skills, knowledge and systems from the “Expert Twin TMAs” which have a relatively stronger local government system to four newly established “Recipient Twin TMA”of NMDs. The recipient TMAs are still at the infancy stage of institutional development and need support in the areas such as planning, budgeting, citizen engagement, designing and implementing their service delivery mandate.
To formally initiate this pilot project, a joint UNDP-LGS twinning orientation workshop was held in Peshawar at the Local Governance School (LGS) for all potential twins and concerned stakeholders. The workshop was attended by senior representatives of Expert and Recipient Twins from eight TMAs that included officials from Kohat, Bannu, Timergarra, Khar, Miranshah, Sadda and Parachinar. In the session, the representatives developed their respective TMAs profile, highlighted their areas of expertise in which they are ready to offer and support their recipient twin. In a diagnostic matchmaking group exercise, the expert twins (Kohat, Bannu, Timergarra) and recipient twins (Khar, Miranshah, Sadda and Parachinar) agreed on sub-areas of twinning support. Subsequently, a draft work plan was developed in which timelines for twinning visits were agreed upon to operationalize the twinning program.