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TitleEmpowering citizens' participation and voice
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsDelhi, INWater and
Secondary TitleField note / WSP
Pagination9 p. : 2 boxes, 2 fig.
Date Published2007-06-01
PublisherWater and Sanitation Program - South Asia
Place PublishedNew Delhi, India
Keywordscase studies, community participation, decision making, pakistan karachi, sdiasi, sdipar, water authorities, water supply

Successful services require relationships in which clients can monitor and discipline providers (client power) and in which citizens have a strong voice in policymaking (voice). Citizens have the right to demand quality services and hold service providers accountable for any failures.

A citizen's ability to decide what and how much is required for basic survival is the precursor to practicing citizen power. However, in many developing countries, the inability to provide services, let alone quality services, has left a major gap in both service delivery and citizen participation.

In Pakistan, the Local Government Ordinance of 2001 initiated a process of devolution of power through which many opportunities have been created for effective and responsive service delivery. It brought about major structural changes in service delivery including municipal services - water and sanitation services devolved to Tehsil Municipal Administrations (TMAs). This field note explores the dynamics of making available mechanisms that allow voicing of grievances and exercising client power for redress through a case study from an urban municipality in Pakistan - the Tehsil Municipal Administration of Gulshan-e-Iqbal in Karachi. This TMA established a computerized customer complaints center for addressing consumer grievances. This initiative proved to be not just a technological advancement for the citizens of the area, but also a sorely needed confidence-building measure. Now residents have the option to personally approach their union council Nazim (or Mayor) and town officers with their problems, thus bypassing an entire level of bureaucracy that has not been able to deliver in the past.

NotesIncludes references
Custom 1822, 205.1


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