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Pakistan’s underperformance- Background and Context

Pakistan is underperforming on social and economic indicators compared to other countries at the same level of income. Pakistan’s formal sector caters to the needs of middle, and high income groups and informal sector caters to the needs of majority poor. Welfare organizations cater to the needs not fulfilled by the informal and formal sector. While the formal sector provides high cost high quality services, and informal sector provides both high cost and low cost -and low quality services, welfare sector provides low cost and high quality services that can improve provision of basic services to low income communities.  

Formal sector barriers

The reasons for the failure of formal sector are simple. One, what communities understand by underdevelopment is different from the elite’s understanding of this concept. Two, there is underfinancing for human and social development, caused due to predatory ideology, policies, and practices of our elite. For example, 83 percent of our budget goes for financing defense expenditure, debt servicing and provision of subsidies. Three, this underperformance takes place because the meager resources allocated by the government and development assistance agencies are underspent. And the resources which are spent are underutilized. Impact of our elite’s predatory budgetary practices is balanced by welfare practices of our society. Models set up by voluntary welfare organizations to restore dysfunctional water and sanitation schemes, health clinics and schools ( worth hundreds of millions of dollars) need to be scaled up professionally through social enterprises to fill the underperformance gap in a significant way. We need to engage youth to run these enterprises. Social enterprises will build the confidence of young entrepreneurs in their own leadership and management abilities, strengthen their trust with local communities and government, and improve human development indicators (HDIs) by restoring dysfunctional municipal services.

Community level barriers

There are four key reasons for welfare model’s limited outreach. One, Pakistan’s community welfare practitioners ‘don’t know what they know’; their knowledge has not been documented, analyzed, and presented in accessible form to youth who constitute 50 percent of Pakistan’s population, and happen to be potential social entrepreneurs. Two, due to lack of guidance on welfare oriented models, social entrepreneurs have not responded on a large scale and built community power for self help. Three, there is a strong cultural and political tradition of looking at the problems as the opportunity to complain not as an opportunity for a business opportunity to serve the people. Four, the image of community service is a blue collar image and its presentation as a ‘social business model’ can create a white collar image which will be more acceptable to educated youth. 

Formal and community sector barriers have created deep mistrust between communities and the government. This trust deficit is caused due to knowledge deficit about each other and our model will build on evidence- based dialogue to strengthen trust and improve HDIs. These models have the potential of being expanded to 404 towns/tehsils of Pakistan and can generate employment for at least 2000 young people and improve HDIs for millions of households.

Entry Point: Water, Sanitation, and Solid Waste Management

Future add-ons:  Farmers Field Schools  for health and safety training for women cotton pickers, organic farming, tree farming for mitigation of climate change and earning carbon credits, water efficient farm management, crop diversification and non traditional agriculture; and livestock breeding and vaccination; as well as marketing of crafts women products in Canada.

Business Model 

Research, Development and Extension on establishing Social Enterprises for community’s well being will be carried out by a professional organization The Knowledge Executive (TKE) based in Canada.

TKE will undertake research and development; documentation, digitization, and management of data; and training, mentoring and guidance based on successful experiments in the field will be provided by experienced development professionals and financed by voluntary contributions and grant funding.   

Extension as a Social Business will be carried out by offering Franchises at Tehsil (Town) level to aspiring young entrepreneurs, on meeting prequalification requirements. Applicants will qualify for getting a Franchise for ‘Adopt Your Town’ (AYT) if they compile a score card for basic services in at least one Union Council (UC)-lowest tier of local government- and mark the service scores on the base map. On mapping and scoring the services for all the UCs TKE’s local partners in Pakistan will work with the selected candidate to sign a Service Management contract with the town government under which AYT will oversee and report the service quality to the town government, issue bills and collect payments at household level as a subcontractor and receive payments for the services rendered to the government. AYT Management in Pakistan will receive a onetime contract fee and periodical payment of management services fee from the AYT Franchisee.

Franchisee’s Prequalification and Training

  • Expression of Interest in response to web-based advertisement
  • Enlisting as intern
  • Mapping the services through pedestrian survey
  • Scoring services at the UC level through community participation
  • Tracking budget cycle and unspent budgetary resources
  • Learning how to enter unmet community demands in the Annual Plan
  • Preparing an evidence-based Situation Analysis for presentation to the Town Committee
  • Dialogue for private-public partnership and offering management services based on component sharing approach
  • Signing Partnership Agreement with the Town Committee

TKE’s role

  • Digitizing service maps, tracking progress and preparing and sharing periodic reports
  • TKE will use a public domain facility for digitizing maps and data developing GIS at town level
  • Sharing progress reports with the Franchisees, government partners and educational and research institutions (on payment of subscription or one-time user fee).
  • Establishing a Website, a YouTube Channel and, Wiki Pakistan- for hosting score card reports, case studies, Standard Operating Procedures, Procurement Guidelines, Annual budgeting, and planning guidelines, and offering management consultancy, online advice, training, or courses
  • Developing training packages, financial management systems, and monitoring and reporting protocols
  • Providing on ground training through partner institutions
  • Providing back up support
  • Documenting and reporting the progress 
  • Facilitating experience sharing and networking



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