Client name: UK Department for International Development (DFID)

Scope of work: Sub-National Governance (SNG) Program

Duration: 2013 – 2017  

Location: Pakistan

The Sub-National Governance program is improving the quality of governance at the provincial and district level in Pakistan so that the governments are more responsive to the needs of communities. And so they deliver the basic services that their citizens rely on.


Pakistani citizens in the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces generally receive limited access to adequate basic services at the district level. This includes inadequate access to healthcare and education, especially for women, minorities and the poor. As a consequence, local people feel that they cannot trust the regional and local governments which are viewed as corrupt, ineffective and unresponsive to their concerns.


The Sub-National Governance program recognises the link between governance and improved service delivery. Strengthening service delivery in the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa regions is critical to improving the lives of locals and increasing their trust in government.

The program is focused on ensuring that decisions by sub-national (regional and local) governments are based on robust evidence, that their services are more responsive to peoples' needs and that the capability of governments to deliver services is strengthened. Public finance reform advice, technical support and education to help decision-makers budget and lead effectively are some of the ways the program is assisting.

To support innovation and reform in district governments, the District Delivery Challenge Fund finances pilots of reforms to the way services are delivered to communities. Successful pilots will be scaled up and factored into the planning and budgeting cycle of the provincial government. This ensures long term impact and sustainability of reforms in healthcare and education delivery.


As an essential component of the program, the District Delivery Challenge Fund has delivered eight primary education pilot projects across Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the first round of funding, directly impacting over 290,000 students, teachers and community members. Funded pilots have included:

Learning Boost  this project focuses on increasing access to quality education in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It is working to improve satisfaction with learning processes and outcomes. And at least 400 primary school teachers to use technology in literacy and numeracy classes through the use of a purpose built mobile van. The project holds awareness sessions on reading and numeracy for parents, as well as weekly reading and maths camps for children, 45% girls.

Educational Data Management System  creating an Educational Data Management System to automate the marking, collection and aggregation of assessment results in Punjab and transform the data collected in to actionable knowledge. Learning analytics are collected in a central data repository. This improves student outcomes by allowing schools and government authorities to accurately track and archive student rate of learning and achievement.

Learn While You Teach  using portable tablet technology for innovations to train of District Teacher Educators in modern teaching practices. Tablets allow for the distribution of training videos across the Punjab region to improve teacher performance and lifting student results.

Improving Education Governance  working with government and community partners in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to promote evidence-based primary education budgeting, through the reform of planning and monitoring practices.

Education Quality Assurance  the project seeks improved learning outcomes in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through school performance assessment, with the aim of improving educational outcomes through the use of innovative assessment tools and reforms to teacher training.

Inquiry Based Science Activities  exposing over 4000 girls and almost 3000 boys to inquiry-based science, the project seeks to promote critical thinking and problem solving skills in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa primary schools through science camps in a purpose-built mobile van. Teachers are involved in the organisation of camps so that they may continue the practice after the pilot ends. The aim is to provide better access to and quality of primary science education.

Broad Class  the project aims to increase enrolment and improve learning outcomes by improving teaching quality and practices in selected schools. Government officials and teachers are trained in the use of radios as a learning tool for fostering literacy and numeracy skills.

In both provinces a selection process in currently underway for projects that improve primary healthcare services with a focus on the health of mothers and children.