Rural Support Programmes Network (RSPN), Pakistan
The floods of 2010 compelled millions to leave their homes and washed away their sources of income. In order to provide quick relief to the affected population Government of Pakistan launched a direct cash transfer program called “Watan Card Program”. A direct cash transfer of Rs. 20,000 to affected families served as a quick relief measure. Subsequently the “Citizens’ Damage Compensation Program” (CDCP), has introduced further direct cash transfer of Rs. 40,000 per household, funded by the Federal Government and International donors. Disbursement was made conditioned to a TPV exercise for validation of the initial list of beneficiaries.
ASP-RSPN evolved a unique and innovative four-pronged TPV strategy ensuring:
The Third Party validation of CDCP’s survey spanned over 80 districts in the four provinces, GB and AJK. Each district was considered as separate assessment where complete team was hired and separate results were compiled. The geographical spread was enormous; resultantly, the exercise was a huge as well as organizational challenge in terms of project design, planning and implementation. In addition, there were accessibility challenges, communication delays and security problems faced by the survey teams. ASP-RSPN’s central and provincial program offices maintained a strong presence in the flood affected areas. These offices served as a hub of administrative and operational activities in the validation process.
The harnessing of technical skills with organizational backstopping in trying circumstances provides lessons for the future. There were pitfalls and problems but the collaborative approach involving USAID and other donors, the Federal and Provincial Governments and agencies like PDMA and District Administration worked in sync and proved to be a very successful model of implementation.
For over a quarter of a century, Abacus Consulting has been offering cutting-edge business solutions which enable organizations transform their aspiring visions into realities. The business value offered by Abacus Consulting has a deep scale, is industry focused and technology driven with a world class delivery capability. The aim is to help the clients realize their dream of being the market leader.
Abacus Consulting helps the clients determine who can be a most valuable business partner, ensure a smooth and hitch-free merger, conduct business research for clients, offer environmental advisory services, implement SAP and train employees in the software. Furthermore, it assist the clients to enhance their supply chain and other management models, outsource business processes, develop mobile and other applications for clients, and conduct all sorts of HR activities like organization design, restructuring, development, change management including a wide array of training activities.
Assessment and Strengthening Program (ASP-RSPN) on the request of USAID completed the Pre-award assessment of Abacus Consulting during August 2011.
National Engineering Services Pakistan (Private) Limited (“NESPAK” or “the company”) was established in March 1973 as a private limited company, under Companies Act 1913 (now Companies Ordinance, 1984).The company is wholly owned by the Federal Government of Pakistan. NESPAK offers a broad spectrum of consultancy services ranging from conception to completion and operation of development projects. The scope of these services covers pre-feasibility and feasibility studies, surveying and mapping, investigations, design, tender and contract documentation, construction/installation supervision, contract management and post-construction services. NESPAK specializes in the fields of power and mechanical; water and agriculture; architecture and planning; highways, bridges, airports and seaports; environmental and public health engineering; engineering for industry; heating, ventilation and air-conditioning; information technology and geographical information systems (GIS).
Assessment and Strengthening Program (ASP-RSPN) on the request of USAID completed the Pre-award assessment of NESPAK during October 2011.
A.A. Associates is a multi-disciplinary consultancy with nearly forty years of experience specializing in engineering, architecture & planning. As a leading consultancy based in Karachi (Pakistan), the firm brings a unique perspective & depth of knowledge to all its projects. The firm is established in 2,000 sq.m., fully networked premises with a total staff of over 200 persons, comprising university graduate and para-engineering persons.
A.A. Associates have successfully engineered & supervised the construction of:
Assessment and Strengthening Program (ASP-RSPN) on the request of USAID completed the Pre-award assessment of A.A Associates during September 2011.
Halcrow is a multi-disciplinary consultancy with a hugely diverse range of design, engineering and business skills. Its focus is on the big issues society faces today – water, transportation, energy, and the need for places to live and work – and how these fit sustainably into the world around us. Halcrow takes on every element of an infrastructure project from pre-planning through to delivery and on-going maintenance and management.
Halcrow helps deliver clean water to people’s homes. It protects lives and property from the ever-increasing threat of flood. It delivers planning, design and management services for developing infrastructure and buildings worldwide. Halcrow contributes to the construction, operation and maintenance of the built environment, and the protection, enhancement and maintenance of the natural environment. With almost 30,000 employees, its combined firms strengthen the leadership in water, environmental, transportation, and other markets.
Assessment and Strengthening Program (ASP-RSPN) on the request of USAID completed the Pre-award assessment of Halcrow during September 2011.
National Development Consultants Pvt. Ltd. Pakistan is one of the Pakistan’s premier consulting engineering organization, which has attained international standard and is ranked among the Pakistan’s top 5 consulting firms. It established in 1977 and progressing successfully for the last 30 years. It has more than 500 employees. The firm has completed more than 250 projects in discipline of engineering. NDC has been certified in ISO 9001: 2000 in the year 2001. NDC provide services in consultancy sector from conception to completion of projects including feasibility studies, planning, designing, tender documentation, valuation, construction supervision and project management, in the following engineering disciplines:
Assessment and Strengthening Program (ASP-RSPN) on the request of USAID completed the Pre-award assessment of National Development Consultants during September 2011.
Since its inception, Echo West International (Pvt.) Ltd (EWI) has steadily expanded its operations, whilst developing expertise across a range of engineering projects. EWI is proud of its reputation, which is founded on the continual provision of high quality finished products those meet the clients highest expectations. The company guards its reputation by exercising tight financial controls and excellent site management in sometimes difficult situations. Today, the company offers a full range of skills in the design, construction and management of Civil, Electrical and Mechanical works. The company’s head office is located at Lahore while the regional offices are located at Karachi and Islamabad.
Assessment and Strengthening Program (ASP-RSPN) on the request of USAID completed the Pre-award assessment of Echo West during September 2012.
Established in 1982, Qavi Engineers Private Limited (QEL) has over 30 years of experience in providing value beyond the building. As CA No limit General Contractor, registered with Pakistan Engineering Council, QEL has undertaken diverse construction projects ranging from Industrial, Residential and Commercial to Infrastructure Works. Staying true to its culture of innovation and change, QEL introduced Pre Engineered Building (PEB) Systems to Pakistan in 1997. QEL has experience in working with multiple PEB Manufacturers and holds the distinction of completing Pakistan’s most challenging PEB Projects including Lahore Expo Centre at Johar Town, Lahore and Research Facility at Heavy Industries, Taxilla.
QEL has been working as Prime Design / Build Contractor to the US Government since 2002. QEL has won contracts under full international competition with the US Department of State. QEL has also received contract awards on Soul Source Basis including creation of US Consulate at Herat, Afghanistan and Physical Security Upgrade of US Consulate Peshawar, Pakistan as Prime Design/Build Contractor.
Assessment and Strengthening Program (ASP-RSPN) on the request of USAID completed the Pre-award assessment of Qavi Engineering during September 2012.
EA is a full service Engineering, Architecture and Project Management firm, Headquarter in Karachi, Pakistan with a diversity of disciplines and expertise in multiple services. EA has successfully completed projects of Schools, Colleges, Residential Buildings, Heavy Industries, Bridge and Highways, Water Supply and Sewerage, Hospitals, Town Planning, Flood Control, Topographical Surveys as well as Electrical and Mechanical Installation and HVAC Projects in Pakistan. EA has also carried out projects of Bridges, Highways and Buildings in UAE. EA has established itself as one of the leading technologically advanced and reputed consulting organizations of the country. The firm provides consultancy services for planning, engineering and design in multidisciplinary fields of Architecture, Civil, HVAC Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, including the Technical, Economic and Financial Management of projects. Today, the firm possesses 3 decades of experience, with a vast record of executing infrastructures and other major development projects. Assessment and Strengthening Program (ASP-RSPN) on the request of USAID completed the Pre-award assessment of EA Consulting during September 2012.
MATRACON started its operations as a sole proprietorship firm in 1985 and after completing 19 years of successful business it was converted into a private limited company as MATRACON (Pvt.) LIMITED in August 2004. The Company has undertaken on its own as well as in partnership with renowned companies of Pakistan, civil engineering contracts of varying nature and magnitude as management contractors and as their sub-contractors. It is today one of the leading upcoming Civil Engineering companies in the private sector at the National level. The company has to its credit construction of several commercial / residential building complexes in Pakistan, water supply work comprising large diameter pipelines, bridges, roads, siphons, canal regulators, airport facilities, factories, office buildings, pre-fabricated structure and other civil engineering works. It is a professionally managed company, whose business philosophy and operational policies are geared towards qualitative performance. The company has received letters of appreciation from clients and consultant on a number of occasions, for its effective professional financial management and execution, The Company is fully competent in terms of financial resources, expertise, skilled manpower and construction equipment to undertake all types of civil engineering projects. Company has progressive approach towards the avenues of expanding its business especially in infrastructural and telecommunication fields.
Assessment and Strengthening Program (ASP-RSPN) on the request of USAID completed the Pre-award assessment of Matracon during September 2012.
IZHAR Group is in its 6th decade of pioneering construction operations since its inception in 1959. The consistent contributions in the domain of engineering and construction to date see the organization graduated into a multidimensional establishment exhibiting command over a diverse range of innovative cum economical construction methodologies. The group cherishes successful completion of numerous large industrial, commercial, educational and high-rise building projects along with infrastructure and development works to its credit. The company operates in a variety of construction activities, including:
Assessment and Strengthening Program (ASP-RSPN) on the request of USAID completed the Pre-award assessment of Izhar Construction during September 2012.
Marie Stopes Society (MSS) is a social enterprise that provides reproductive health and family planning services to the people of Pakistan. Registered in 1990, MSS is a subsidiary of Marie Stopes International (MSI), a UK based organization with partners in 43 countries around the globe. Marie Stopes Society is dedicated to ensuring an individual enjoys his/her right to sexual and reproductive health. MSS meets the needs of its clients by constantly providing and improving its fleet of services, provided through its strong network of outreach/ mobile van services.
Assessment and Strengthening Program (ASP-RSPN) on the request of USAID completed the Pre-award assessment of Marie Stopes Society during January 2013.
ASP-RSPN designed a three-phased approach for the capacity development of Municipal Services Delivery Program (MSDP) Sindh. Phase-I focused on providing technical assistance to the department for the development of the program PC-I and institutionalizing the capacity building initiatives. In phase-II the systems document like the policy manuals and procedures are developed for the PMU. While in phase-III, the PMU staff is to be trained through a handholding and on-job training program on the new manuals. ASP-RSPN assisted P&D Department, Sindh and prepared the PC-I in the light of the design and technical parameters identified through a series of meetings with P&D. The PC-I was prepared by ASP-RSPN in record time of three (3) weeks.
The PC-I was shared with USAID in June 2011, which after their review was sent to P&D Department Sindh for further input. ASP-RSPN after incorporating inputs of USAID and P&D department submitted the final draft of PC-I to USAID on July 15, 2011. The PC-I after approval from various forums and technical committees i.e. PDWP and CDWP was later approved by ECNEC during August 2012. The second phase comprised of development of required manuals viz: Financial Management, Monitoring & Evaluation, Needs Assessment, Procurement Management and HR Management. All five manuals have been shared with Project Director (PD) MSDP and USAID. The third phase of ASP-RSPN intervention intends to provide on the job technical assistance on the implementation of frameworks and manuals. ASP-RSPN is currently engaged in this phase of implementation through provision of relevant experts. These experts, in addition to handholding of PMU staff, are also working on detailed manuals for each of the above mentioned areas.
ASP-RSPN supported Sindh Basic Education Program of the Education Department Sindh by implementing a three-phased Capacity Building (CB) Plan based on the Risk Mitigation Framework (RMF) of SBEP. In the first phase, ASP-RSPN supported SBEP in meeting the USAID’s pre-obligation requirements and developed from scratch the project’s PC-I in minimum possible time. The PC-I was later approved by ECNEC during August 2012. During the 2nd-phase, ASP-RSPN developed the project’s operational manuals. These included manuals for Procurement Management, Monitoring & Evaluation, Financial Management and HR/Administration. This is a missing element in case of PSDP and ADP projects in Pakistan i.e. non-availability of Standard Manuals and SOPs for the projects’ staff, resulting in confused and unreliable decision making.
ASP-RSPN with the support of GoS & USAID standardized the processes for all operational areas in the form of specialized manuals for the project. The Third Phase of assistance, which is in progress, involves provision of on the job technical assistance for the implementation of frameworks and manuals. ASP-RSPN has engaged experts and deployed at SBEP for each operational area. These experts, in addition to handholding of PMU staff, will also facilitate them to start working and implementing the detailed manuals for each of the above mentioned areas.
The USAID has worked with the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to offer scholarships to financially disadvantaged students in the areas of Agriculture and Business Administration Programs since 2004. The objective is to provide opportunities to talented students who are incapable of meeting higher education costs, and to enhance the institutional capacity of the HEC and of local public and private sector universities in designing and implementing need and merit based scholarship projects. Accessibility and financial constraints remain the most important deterrents on the part of the students, particularly for girls in rural areas.
USAID’s Merit and Needs-Based Scholarship Program with the HEC is an important step towards alleviating these problems, with the USAID committing to the provision of USD 9 Million or PKR 810 Million in Grant-in-Aid to the project. ASP-RSPN’s support to HEC included the identification of key interventions to ensure effective, transparent and accountable utilization of USAID funds; and the recommendation of feasible and efficient structures to ensure internal controls and compliance with the standard procedures. Phase-I of the HEC’s capacity building initiative included to oversee the preparation of a PC-I and revise the Fund Flow Mechanism for the scholarships. To help improve the timeliness of the funds disbursement mechanism an independent evaluation of the system was carried out. The requisite data was collected from primary and secondary sources using a number of instruments. These included the completion of a specifically designed questionnaire by 48 pre-identified students at 6 program universities. Informal discussions were also held with students to gather views and information not covered by the questionnaire. Phase-I of the HEC’s Capacity Building Plan was completed in December 2012. All deliverables were successfully completed within the set deadlines. A draft PC-1 was prepared for the HEC and a revised Fund Flow Mechanism was proposed that reduced the scholarship processing and delivery time from six months to less than 1 month.
ASP-RSPN has partnered with the HSA Islamabad which plays a key role in developing Public Health Leadership for the country. The HSA was established in 1988 to provide short training courses to in-service public health practitioners & professionals. The promulgation of HSA Ordinance, 2002 gave it an autonomous status. Over the years, it has established itself as the premier research & teaching institution of public health.
The capacity building of Health Services Academy is one of the strategic Capacity Building interventions of ASP-RSPN. The pre-award assessment of HSA indicated that the Academy required assistance in the formulation of policies and procedures, preparation of financial statements on a regular basis, lack of adequate human resource personnel in the finance department, internal audit, usage of latest accounting software and preparation of bank reconciliation statement. During Phase-I of the implementation of CB plan technical assistance was successfully completed in the preparation of bank reconciliation statements, financial reports, recruitment of additional staff, redesigning of the organogram and training of the finance team in using the accounting software Peachtree.
The second phase of Capacity Building included Development of Policies & Procedures in the areas of HR/Administration, M&E, Procurement and Internal Audit. In addition, on-the-job assistance for a period of six-months was also planned. ASP-RSPN has successfully developed all the policy manuals for the academy which have been approved by its Board of Governors. On-the-job technical assistance was also positively concluded in March 2013.
The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PMDA), established in March 2007 by the Government of KP, aims to effectively and efficiently manage and prepare for natural disasters in the country. The Provincial Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Settlement Authority (PaRRSA) is a separate body established under the PMDA in June 2009 and is responsible for the coordination, supervision and monitoring of reconstruction, rehabilitation and settlement activities of conflicted affected people in five districts of Malakand and two Fata agencies. In February 2012 ASP-RSPN was assigned the responsibility to initiate this capacity building initiative. Capacity building initiatives were defined for PDMA/PaRRSA in the areas of Strategic Planning and Governance Structure Support, Policies and Procedures Manuals, Financial Management, Procurement Management, Human Resource, Training Support and Information Technology. Under this Plan, a team of professionals and experts was selected to implement the capacity building targets in their respective specialization areas within the overall guidance of the ASP-RSPN.
The yearlong PDMA/PaRRSA capacity building plan was initiated in April 2012, and has been successfully completed in July 2013. Multiple objectives of institutional strengthening were effectively met while significant advances have been made towards others. All the newly developed/updated policy documents developed including Financial Management manual, Procurement Management manual, M&E manual, Human Resource Management manual, IT Policy have been approved by the Director General PaRRSA. A milestone tracking system has also been developed and successfully deployed at PaRRSA. Given the success of the project, in May 2013 the USAID proposed a one year extension under ASP-RSPN in order to provide technical assistance in three additional problem areas identified in the pre-award assessment phase and also requested by USAID’s technical team.
ASP-RSPN’s Capacity Building Plan aimed at bolstering the efforts of the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to strengthen public financial management in provincial departments. Initially six departments, including Health, Higher Education, Public Health Engineering, Irrigation, Social Welfare and Population Welfare were selected for this exercise on a pilot basis. The Plan envisaged assisting these departments in developing Strategic Plans and incorporating them in the annual budgets of subsequent years in order to make them result-oriented. Strategic Planning is necessary for more efficient operation of these departments by helping them overcome various institutional constraints such as inefficient budget allocation, weak project monitoring and poor compliance with government regulations, amongst others. It provides a clear understanding of departmental mandate and objectives and tools for better planning and monitoring without which the achievement of long term organizational goals is not possible. Given the exceedingly scarce resources of the public sector, careful strategic planning and its operationalization through annual action plans and budgets to maximize institutional efficiency is of the utmost importance. The project was planned under a two-phase framework; the first phase included carrying out SWOT analyses, preparation of the Strategic Plans and Annual Action Plans for the six identified departments. The second phase included the incorporation of the aforementioned plans in the provincial budget for the year 2013-14.
The key deliverables of each department included an Inception Report, a Situation Analysis report, Strategic Plan and Annual Action Plan (2013-14) in the first phase and Annual Budget for financial year 2013-14 in the second phase. The Capacity Building Plan was completed in June 2013 with the presentation and approval of Annual Budgets of these departments by the provincial legislature. All deliverables were successfully completed within the set deadlines. ASP-RSPN’s assistance has been acknowledged by GoKP in the White Paper annexed with the Budgetary Estimates 2013-14 presented before the provincial legislature. The initiative of Strategic Planning has been institutionalized by setting up of a monitoring mechanism in Finance Department of GoKP that will track progress against the milestones and targets set in the Plans through agreed upon Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
On the request of Ministry of Industries, a capacity building plan detailing areas of intervention linked to financial, procurement, human resource and administrative management, rules and regulations and monitoring & evaluation was approved for SMEDA. ASP-RSPN carried out capacity building of SMEDA by strengthening systems specific to financial, procurement, human resource management and monitoring and evaluation through development of relevant manuals. All of these manuals were developed using a collaborative approach and by engaging all the management tiers of SMEDA.
SMEDA after thorough review have approved these manuals for adoption. Training sessions on the finalized manuals have also been completed. SMEDA highly appreciated ASP and USAID management’s efforts towards capacity building of SMEDA and intended to progressively implement the developed policies & procedures.
STI is a training forum of government cadres who comprise the first tier of policy formulation and feedback to government. STI works with the public sector organizations for developing and delivering high quality need based training programs related to secretariat work as well as in the field of management to improve skills and bring attitudinal change among the Government functionaries so that they are able to perform their duties in an efficient, effective and economical manner. ASP-RSPN is providing assistance in the review of curriculum/content development, support in training delivery, Website upgradation and development of an ERP software which are in progress.
The assistance also focuses on a possible collaboration with STI for dissemination of ASP-RSPN’s research findings and recommendations by using the STI forum. As part of the implementation of plan a three-day “Train the Trainer (ToT)” Workshop was held in Islamabad from 18 – 20 April 2013. The faculty members of STI, WAPDA Administrative Staff College, Foreign Service Training Academy, Pakistan Planning & Management Institute (PPMI), Establishment Division and Audit & Account Training Academy (AATI) participated in the workshop. Also, ASP-RSPN in collaboration with Secretariat Training Institute (STI) arranged a cross cutting simulation workshop on “Problem Solving & Decision Making, Force Field Analysis and Policy Analysis” for Office Management Group (OMG) (Probationers) of 35th Specialized Training Program (STP) in STI.
ASP-RSPN in partnership with the department of Auditor General of Pakistan (DAGP) identified the following three support areas:
ASP-RSPN partnered with the Finance Department KP to provide assistance through Reforms Management Unit (RMU) for establishment of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (KP-PPRA). A breakthrough achieved in this regard was the notification of Public Procurement Regulatory Authority in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. ASP-RSPN is supporting the government of Khyber Pakhtnukhwa in institutionalizing the provincial procurement system. ASP has been continuously coordinating with the provincial government on the issue and providing technical assistance to the Finance Department. Previously ASP-RSPN also persued the approval process of KP-PPRA Act which was passed by the Provincial Assembly in October 2012.
The following areas have been targeted and successfully completed:
ASP-RSPN is providing capacity building support to the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority Islamabad to update the Procurement Code 2004, development of a National Procurement Strategy and implementation of an ERP system alongwith the deployment of a Learning Management System. An ‘Advisory Group’ for supporting the work of Federal and Provincial Public Procurement Authorities was notified by the government during the quarter. The Advisory Group comprises of representatives from the Public Procurement Regulatory Authorities (PPRAs) at the federal and provincial level, as well as Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. Key donors working on public procurement issues were also given representation on the forum. The Advisory Group would help PPRAs in refining rules and regulations, creating synergies and in formulation of a National Procurement Strategy. This development constitutes an important signal of Government’s ownership of ASP agenda and of recognizing ASP’s role as a catalyst for key governance reforms in public sector.
In the inaugural meeting of the Advisory Group on Public Procurement ASP-RSPN shared the broad concept of a ‘National Procurement Strategy (NPS)’. The meeting provided an excellent platform to senior public procurement representatives of the federal and provincial governments, donors, USAID and other members of the Advisory Group to interact with each other, exchange ideas and discuss options for strengthening the procurement system in the country. MD PPRA and USAID’s Deputy Mission Director attended the session and contributed effectively in the discussions. The NPS has been shared with the provincial stakeholders by PPRA for finalizatio.
The development of an integrated Management Information System/ERP for PPRA is also in progress which involves the development Financial Management, Human Resource Management, Payroll and Electronic Monitoring & Performance Measurement modules. Development of a Learning Management System (LMS) is also in progress which will enable the users/participants to get the PPRA’s specific training by using the LMS.
ASP-RSPN’s partnership with the Finance Department KP triggered the Capacity Building plan for setting up Internal Audit function in selected departments of KP. It was envisaged as a support from ASP for a pilot project which will later on be adopted by the provincial government in all of its departments.
The intervention identified the following areas of assistance which have been successfully completed:
ASP-RSPN provided technical assistance to institutionalize an independent and professional internal audit function within Education, C&W and Health departments of KP. ASP’s supported internal audit function; previously missing in the government’s setup has been recognized by the GoKP. Eighteen (18) new positions have been sanctioned by KP government in the current year’s budget for this in-house financial accountability function, as indicated in the Budget White Paper for the FY 2013-14. ASP-RSPN also developed a complete governance structure for the functioning of Internal Audit Cells (IACs) within the departments.
Preparation of PC-I for the Command Area Development Project of Gomal Zam Dam – Agriculture Department (KP) was assigned by USAID to ASP-RSPN. This project has an overall funding of US$ 91 million and aims at making 163,000 acres (app.) of land cultivatable through the project. The PC-I was developed during the last quarter of FY 2011-12 and has been submitted to Agriculture Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Meetings were held with Agriculture Department and USAID on cost benefit ratio (CBR) and Result Based Management (RBM) and subsequently comments were incorporated in the final version of PC-I.
ASP-RSPN was assigned the task of developing ‘Project Design Document’ i.e. PC-I for the USAID funded Jacobabad Institute of Medical Sciences (JIMS) commonly called the District Headquarters Hospital, Jacobabad. ASP-RSPN facilitated and conducted a stakeholder’s meeting of JIMS including USAID, District Administration, Finance, P&D and Health Departments on July 9, 2012 to discuss PC-I and other related matters. Based on the recommendations of the meeting, the PC-I was developed and submitted to Sindh Health Department. The final version of PC-I after incorporating the comments of USAID and other stakeholders was submitted to Health Department and USAID on September 08, 2012.
ASP-RSPN aims to assist the Government of Sindh in strengthening the authority to achieve the principles of procurement and to improve governance, management, transparency, accountability and quality of public procurement of goods, works and services.
The specific objectives of the capacity building plan for SPPRA include:
The Government of Balochistan is keen in the pursuit of establishing good governance tools in procurement and creating mechanism for ensuring value for money as they enacted an act on the establishment of a PPRA which is now under amendment. Following up on this, the Government of Balochistan requested support from ASP-RSPN in establishing and strengthening the Balochistan Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (BPPRA).
The ASP’s approach for the Capacity Building plan comprises of three phases. In Phase-I, ASP will first conduct a rapid mapping exercise of all relevant rules and regulations and then in Phase-II it will develop the system documents ranging from the procurement code, personnel and HR policy as well as structure of BPPRA to the establishment of grievance redressal system and other relevant documents for BPPRA. In Phase-III, the personnel of the provincial government will be trained on the new PPRA rules and regulations.
The specific objectives of the capacity building plan for BPPRA include:
Visualizing the futuristic needs, to meet the challenges and become more robust organization in terms of Governance, HR, Procurement, Financial management, IT, and M&E systems, AHAN’s management has decided to enhance and strengthen the institutional capacity and requested USAID/ASP-RSPN for help in capacity building initiatives. It was agreed that ASP-RSPN would provide institutional support to AHAN through provision and implementation of an ERP (software), development of various management procedures / operational manuals and on-the-job trainings.
The Capacity Building plan is focused towards achieving the following broad objectives:
Assessment and Strengthening Program – RSPN in partnership with the WAPDA Administrative Staff College (WASC) is implementing a Capacity Building plan to update the institute’s curriculum and courses as per the latest standards and practices.
The specific assistance to be provided during implementation of the plan includes:
After the successful completion of the Phase-I of Capacity Building support to PDMA/PaRRSA, ASP-RSPN has partnered with the government of KP for provision of Phase-II support the organization. Phase-II of the capacity building initiative in PDMA/PaRRSA aims to evolve a robust internal audit system, reinforce a nascent financial management system in order to strengthen the budgeting and accounting processes, and to improve PDMA/PaRRSA operations and governing policies through the use of automated systems.
To this end, the ASP-RSPN has proposed the establishment and operationalization of an Internal Audit System, development of an automated MIS and the enhancement of staff capacity on key Finance/Budgeting/Payment issues and other functional tasks.
To ensure the successful completion of activities ASP-RSPN will engage an audit firm, IT expert and a Financial Management Expert to provide the requisite technical assistance in each respective area. ASP-RSPN will closely monitor and evaluate the pace and success of the PDMA/ PaRRSA capacity building program extension through monthly updates and regular meetings with PaRRSA’s management.
The Trust for Democratic Education and Accountability (TDEA) was established in October 2008. It was a spinoff of the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN). After having conducted the largest domestic observation of general elections in Pakistan and influencing the subsequent process of electoral reforms, member organizations that formed FAFEN decided to formalize the network by acquiring legal status as a prerequisite to sustainability of the landmark work. Following exhaustive discussions that spanned more than a year, FAFEN member organizations decided to transform the network into a legal entity. The establishment of TDEA and subsequent process of institutionalization was a step towards sustainability of work initiated in the area of election observation, voter education and electoral reforms advocacy.
Assessment and Strengthening Program (ASP-RSPN) on the request of USAID completed the re-assessment/validation of TDEA during September 2012.
For over a quarter of a century, Abacus Consulting has been offering cutting-edge business solutions which enable organizations transform their aspiring visions into realities. The business value offered by Abacus Consulting has a deep scale, is industry focused and technology driven with a world class delivery capability. The aim is to help the clients realize their dream of being the market leader. Abacus Consulting helps the clients determine who can be a most valuable business partner, ensure a smooth and hitch-free merger, conduct business research for clients, offer environmental advisory services, implement SAP and train employees in the software. Furthermore, it assist the clients to enhance their supply chain and other management models, outsource business processes, develop mobile and other applications for clients, and conduct all sorts of HR activities like organization design, restructuring, development, change management including a wide array of training activities. Assessment and Strengthening Program (ASP-RSPN) on the request of USAID completed the re-assessment/validation of Abacus Consulting during December 2012.
As part of its endeavor to streamline policies and procedures for effective utilization of foreign aid, Assessment and Strengthening Program (ASP) undertook a diagnostic study through a consultative process to analyze the establishment and operationalization of Revolving Funds Account (RFA) for donor funded projects in the public sector. The study identified areas where improvements are needed to ensure robustness of the procedure for the RFAs. The approach adopted was not to reinvent the wheel, but rather analyze the gaps and constraints in the present system and suggested measures for removing major bottlenecks in the system. In addition, the research also focused on control related issues in the system and how to mitigate those risks.
The main objectives of the study are mentioned as follows:
The research was undertaken by Mr. Mohsin Khan, former Controller General of Accounts. CGA initiated consultation process with provincial Accountant Generals (AGs). The research study was also presented to the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and also acknowledged by Federal Finance Minister. Currently, it is under consideration by MoF for the issuance of revised procedure.
Development architecture in Pakistan has undergone many changes over time in terms of its structures, policies, procedures and systems. Assessment and Strengthening Program (ASP) conducted a study to review the present planning processes in Pakistan and project cycle in detail. The study was primarily a diagnostic study reviewing the present planning processes and project cycle in detail. It not only identified the risks and issues surrounding the design, approval and implementation of development projects but also suggests a practical way forward for streamlining systems and policies to improve the efficiency and thus, the impact of development planning in the country. Also it attempted in analyzing potential areas where engagement between the central and provincial planning machinery can be further strengthened and improved.
The objectives of this study were three-fold:
There is a general consensus among the theorists and practitioners of development that development projects are vital for erecting and improving infrastructure along with triggering socio economic development and ensuring well being for the citizens in a country. All governments along with their national and international development partners seek better governance options for implementing development projects. In order to implement development projects of different nature and magnitude country after country have developed their governance mechanisms and structures. One such mechanism is the PMU mode in which a development a project is implemented by a specialized body comprising of specialists and relatively independent of the normal governed departments although governed by the government systems and policies.
The study conducted by Assessment and Strengthening Program (ASP) looked into the effectiveness and efficiency as well as the structures and mechanism adopted by PMUs, and see how these can be improved in order to have more robust, functional, efficient and effective PMUs which can ensure accountable, and transparent implementation of the development projects fund by the GoP and the development partners. This study also attempted to consolidate various perspectives to achieve a common goal, i.e. better governance and harmonized services of the PMUs. This objective can only be achieved through streamlining procedures and instructions governing the PMU operations. Furthermore, improvements in Project Management can facilitate in utilizing resources efficiently and effectively for better livelihood and service delivery for the governments and the citizens.
The Assessment and Strengthening Program mandated to develop public and non Government sector capacities developed an initiative to design a PFM assessment framework at the organization level. A team of experts were engaged to design IPAF to allow the Governments and Development Partners in assessing gaps and strengths at the institutional level. The objective of the initiative was to ensure institutional level reform efforts are synchronized and directed towards the achievement of PFM outcomes and ensure effective budget management. In line with the framework development cycle, the next phase was the comprehensive testing of the framework at Federal level to assess IPAF from all aspects ranging from the relevance of the performance indicator to the functionality of the results. Field Testing of IPAF framework at federal level was completed successfully.
A Team of eminent experts under the leadership of Mr. Nawid Ahsan, Former Secretary General Finance were hired to work on IPAF. A platform was created officially at the national level with representation of all Ministries/Line Depts. and provinces. The IPAF was discussed at length with Donors Working Group on PFM reforms (WB, DFID, EU and USAID) and also presented by DCOP in Washington at USAID Procurement Reforms Workshop and received appreciation. Currently it is under review by USAID for global replication.
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