This project is 18 month long project which is implemented by Hamdam Development Organization (HDO) with the financial support of TDEA/USAID. The targets areas of the project are District D.I.Khan, District Tank, District Lakki Marwat and District Bannu. Activities are planned in a way to strengthen Citizens’ Voice for better law-making and oversight. 

There is very little concept of Legislature and good governance at the local level and candidates for political aspirations are judge on the basis of their welfare activities rather than the self-accountability and the legislature work that they have carried out or have promised for their term. The proposed activities are aimed at improving general awareness among the masses (including the legislatures) about the need of constant interaction and accountability of legislatures and the public who is the direct beneficiary and get affected by any of the legislation that has been made in the provincial or national parliament for them.

Under the 1973 constitution it is the right of every citizen of Pakistan to contact a parliamentarian to discuss some social, economic or political matter or to share your ideas about a policy issue or a piece of legislation. Democratic governance and effective legislative processes require that citizens engage proactively with lawmakers to ensure that the rights and interests of citizens are protected. Without such engagement democracy would turn into a periodic ritual of casting a ballot. To engage with our representatives we must clearly know their roles and responsibilities so that our engagements with them are effective and in line with the requirements of good governance. Briefly, legislators in Pakistan have three basic roles:

Representation of Constituents: As citizens' representatives, members of Federal and Provincial Assemblies as well as Senators are expected to keep informed about problems their constituents face and to voice their concerns and aspirations in assemblies and public forums.

Law Making: The legislative function is the primary responsibility of the Parliament. In the role of legislators, parliamentarians propose new legislations or amendments in the existing ones and vote for or against proposed legislation. Once a Bill has been voted into an Act of Parliament, it becomes a part of the domestic law. The judiciary then interprets and applies the law

Executive Oversight: As a system of checks and balances, parliamentary democracy requires the legislature to keep a check on the executive to ensure it functions within the bounds of law and in an efficient and transparent manner. For example, it is within the ambit of legislature's Executive oversight role that it keeps track of the functioning of police (an Executive department) and holds the government accountable if it transgresses the rule of law or fails to deliver the goods.

The Overall Objectives of the project are:

  • Public campaigns for more effective legislative procedures in areas like budget approval and oversight, adoption of a code of conduct for legislators and mandatory requirements for public hearings;
  • Developing through a consultative process a Citizens’ Charter of Demands vis-a-vis the performance of the Federal and Provincial legislatures
  • Establishing and enhancing linkages between provincial and national legislators to bridge the gap between national and provincial legislation on specific issues; and
  • Establishing new forums of civil society organizations (CSOs) and developing information exchange hubs of CSOs to oversee legislative affairs and monitor legislators’ performance.