Focus: decentralisation

Advising local administrative and tax departments in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab on issues of decentralisation and dialogue with the public.

Support areas requested by the partner:

  1. Qualification offers for employees of local government and tax administration
  2. Advisory and research services for the local government level
  3. Dialogue between local associations in Pakistan and Germany

Duration: December 2016 - December 2018, approximately two years

Support services:

  • Moderated exchange of experience and expertise with experts and practitioners in Germany
  • Use of expert networks
  • Study trips
  • Short-term assignments of German experts and practitioners in Pakistan
  • Promotion of dialogue between local associations


What has happened to date

Excursions and kick-off planning workshop in December 2016 in Berlin

In early December 2016, two high-level delegations from Pakistan consisting of representatives of the local and tax administration from the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab met with German representatives from research, administrative academies and administration to learn about the German systems of local governments, federal administrative structures and tax collection systems.

The first delegation visited e.g. the Potsdam municipal administration, the Institute of Local Government Studies at the University of Potsdam, the community of Michendorf as an example of a local government and the Brandenburg Academy of Local Government. The second delegation focused on the topic of public finances and visited e.g. the tax administration of Hamburg and various administrative colleges in northern Germany. During the excursions already, initial ideas for a cooperation between Pakistani and German partners were developed, which were taken further during the subsequent workshop.

The love of VAT

The insights gained into qualification offers for employees of the local government and the tax administration were considered particularly interesting. In addition, scientific consulting and research offers for the municipal level, as they exist in Germany, received great interest.

The workshop also discussed concrete forms of exchange between local authority associations in Pakistan and Germany which serve to increase the efficiency of this structure. Thus, in May 2017, two officials of the Hamburg Financial Administration accepted an invitation to Islamabad; there they held presentations on VAT at a conference and were available to their counterparts as resource people. This three-day learning seminar on VAT with the Revenue Authorities of all four Pakistani provinces took place at the invitation of the Pakistani partners, embedded in the BMZ-funded GIZ project "Support to Local Governance Programme (LoGo)". 

Presentations and discussions led to the common understanding that closer inter-provincial coordination between Pakistan's independent provincial authorities makes sense. As a result of the seminar, all four Pakistani provincial administrations came together for the first time for a joint meeting on 21 May 2017 to settle the long-standing question of allocating revenue from cross-border transport of petroleum products.

"It's just fun to talk to colleagues who do the same job as I do – but in a very different country, under much more difficult conditions. If more develops from the conversations and we find partnerships or other forms of exchange, I personally would be very happy about that."

Jörg Bülow, Managing board member of the Schleswig-Holstein Local Authorities Association


Where we are now

Another Pakistani delegate visits to Germany

Pakistan is currently undergoing a process of local government reform and wishes to be supported by German experts with experience in politics. In the field of public finance/taxation, the FSRP provides support for the reorganisation of the VAT system in Pakistan by officials of the Hamburg financial authority and another Pakistani delegation visited recently Germany. In the areas of decentralisation and improved public participation, among other things a cooperation with the Schleswig-Holstein Local Authorities Association is envisaged. Because the Local Authorities Association in the partner provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab must first be reconstituted after the local elections, there are no concrete results here as yet.


Where we want to get to

Everything about the further planning

Further intermittent assignments of the German colleagues are planned as required by the partners. The content of the consulting missions is to be integrated directly in the efforts to reform the VAT system. The cooperation between the Schleswig-Holstein Local Authorities Association and the Pakistani Local Authorities Association in the partner regions will also continue to be supported. This can give new impetus to decentralisation and improved public participation, and both sides can gain new ideas for their local government work.