Local Councils Association of Punjab, in partnership with the Commonwealth Local Government Forum and the European Union, is endeavouring to strengthen the local democracy in the province to contribute to good governance and local development across the country with regional Associations for Local Councils. Under expected result areas of two and four of the program SALG, it was envisioned to increase local government leaders’ understanding of effective leadership, capacity and knowledge for sustainable local development. It is necessary to address ongoing issues and challenges and ponder on suitable solutions for the current state of local governments in the province.

It is necessary to engage prominent vocals with the will to promote local democracy in the region. The relevant stakeholders need to work with vigour and practical solutions for the challenges in the local government sphere. The session of Expert Roundtable on the Role of Local Governments in making of Resilient & Inclusive Local Communities across Pakistan has been designed to formulate an action plan of advocacy and debates with relevant stakeholders. It is to accommodate crises and to introduce a sustainable local government in Pakistan.

Concerning Advocacy and Lobbying meetings with Pakistan People Party (PPP) leadership in the past, the current Expert Roundtable was designed to have views from Sindh and Punjab’s political leaders, Mayors/Chairmen from different local government tiers and civil society experts.  This session was held to achieve an in-depth understanding of Resilient LG communities and future steps for better local governments.

This session was to engage the judiciary and legislative assembly for blowing oxygen into dire and dense lungs of local democratic culture in Pakistan.

Why this session?

The overall objective of the Expert Roundtable is to infer plans and actions to favour local communities with strengthening the environment for local governments to manage crises (COVID), to recover and make resilient local communities by improving legislation, to raise voice for elections, efficient networking and consultation with political party leaders and civil society experts to generate recommendations for the decision-makers.


  • To engage local government leaders in a prolific discussion to generate a resourceful recommendation for a sustainable local government in Pakistan.
  • Increase networking among relevant and influential stakeholders for efficient advocacy regarding distinctive aspects of local governments
  • Formulate an enabling environment for debate and discussion among political parties & local government experts to cater to much-needed thematic areas regarding local democracy.
  • Support to introduce tools and ways for recovery and resilience to manage crises at the local level.

How it has happened?

The Expert Roundtable is designed to initiate analytical discussion on the current local government challenges and to formulate solutions. The roundtable consisted of participants from Political Groups, Social sectors, Media, and local governments to address various layers of the issues of recovery and resilience as per the expertise of the aforementioned areas. These stakeholders facilitated a constructive debate on the prescribed questions formed as per the objectives.

Local Councils Association of the Punjab hosted this session to instigate an effective dialogue on the role of local governments to perform during a crisis and to introduce practical solutions for its sustainability. Political Leadership and Mayors along with civil society experts led to the formulation of a working group to specify thematic areas addressing the objectives of the session.

The results are an impetus to the coverage and an easy reach towards decision-makers to increase an impact on the efforts of strengthening a sustainable local government across Pakistan.

Analysis and Outcomes

The leadership of the Pakistan People Party (PPP) was agreed to formulate the plan to move forward for a sustainable local Government system with practical solutions. The leaders and experts reiterated the fact of strong roots lead to formulating true democracy in the country.

The reports of the last two months show an increase of nearly 1100 new COVID cases, the highest since Oct 14. The Government and its various departments agreed upon the salience of local governments during the time of crisis. The province of Punjab and Sindh are preparing to hold a local government election as per newly formed/amended legislations. The presence of functional LGs will build a more resilient culture against the COVID crisis in the running year.  Through resilience, policymakers can form strategic responses in a more dynamic context. The local government is working on the same notion coping with poverty, reducing disaster risk and fostering peace & security the amidst COVID pandemic. This concept has far reached utility for development initiatives in local governments. It can address the needs of the people living in the margin of society.

While addressing the importance of recovery and resilience in Pakistan. The experts and senior leadership from PPP maintained that every crisis in the country can be catered through first-line responders. The local government members are an integral part of predicting and dealing with such crises.

Senior leadership along with civil society experts reached to a formulating a resolution as a way forward to recovery and resilience through local governments in Pakistan, the below-mentioned points are to achieve an in-depth understanding of Resilient LG communities and future steps for better local governments.

  • Formulating the RESOLUTION FOR CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS for sustainable and strong local governments
  • CATERING COVID SOLUTIONS at a lower level through local governments
  • Support to LCA Sindh through MEMBERSHIP FEES from lower-level tiers
  • Formulation of LOCAL GOVERNMENT WING in the Political Party
  • RENEWAL OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTS across Pakistan for the availability of force during the crisis. 

Author: LCAP
Local Councils Association of the Punjab is an organisation working in Lahore, Punjab. While supporting various local government aspects under the project SALG funded by European Union and CLGF.

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