Deepening Democracy through Local Governance in Punjab
The project was started in 2015 in collaboration with NED in 6 union councils (now defunct) in Lahore and Sheikhupura. Despite serious reservations on the Punjab Local Govt. Act 2013, particularly with regard to the reserve seats of women, minorities and workers/peasants and mode of election of these seats, WISE took it as opportunity to help bridge the democratic and development gaps at the grass roots level.
Since then, the WISE has been working for the overarching objective of deepening democracy at grass roots level in Punjab. More or less the project objectives remained revolving around the strengthening/improving Local Govt. system in Punjab, community political/democratic awareness with focus on women, capacity building of the elected councilors and local activists, promotion of public accountability and transparency.
Overall WISE strategy is embedded in democratic approach of taking all stakeholders together. But specifically, it has been using two-pronged strategy; a) advocacy with policy makers and legislatures, engagement with mainstream media and civil society through discussions and publication of policy briefs, position papers and research reports on local governance. b) Capacity building of the elected councilors as well as community activists and help amplify community voices through open spaces to talk, discuss and highlight their issues and draw local development agendas.
- Mobilized over 16,000 women and created large scale awareness on local governance through a number of public seminars, awareness walks, training workshops, women conventions, lectures awareness sessions and virtual cafes
- Strengthened the debate around women political participation in local governance through advocacy seminars and stakeholders’ consultations, media forums and lobbying meetings
- Trained 232 male LG elected representatives, UC secretaries; members of Musalihat-e-Anjuman/Panchayat
- Published Critical Analysis of the Punjab Local Government Laws
- Developed and widely disseminated Training Manuals, Modules and Hand outs
- Produced researches flyers, booklets, newsletters and promotional. material