Decentralization And Public Service Delivery: A Case Study Of Education Sector In Balochistan

Theme/Relevant Ministry:


P&D Board and Education department, Balochistan

Project Brief:

In the wake of devolution of education to provinces through the 18th Constitutional Amendment, there has been a noticeable increase in public allocation and spending on school education. Moreover, certain reforms have been introduced in education planning, management and monitoring. These measures have enhanced availability of physical infrastructure and reading and writing material for schools and improved education monitoring, alongwith marginal improvements in overall literacy rate and reading and arithmetic skills.

Notwithstanding the limited gains, the reforms and increased public spending have not translated into commensurate improvements in schooling and learning outcomes. Learning outcomes aren’t improving because the various elements of education system are not aligned around the goal of learning. In contrast, expansion of schooling appears to have remained a strategic objective of education delivery but it hasn’t experienced significant improvement. Major inefficiencies in education management practices combined with ineffectiveness of accountability mechanisms across the education delivery chain have undermined the system’s ability to ensure timely and reliable provision of all inputs necessary for enrolling and retaining children in school.

Application of the ‘political settlement’ lens reveals that education outcomes aren’t recording major improvements because elite interest is aligned with neither learning nor access. Instead, elite interest is aligned more around patronage politics. Education delivery is driven by short-term, clientelist, political objectives, which are in turn shaped by the highly fragile, exclusive, fragmented and personalized nature of political settlement.

Public Policy Relevance:

This study assesses if decentralized public management of education has resulted in improvements in school education planning and management, implementation, monitoring, financing, transparency, and governance in Balochistan. The findings of the study will be useful for policy- makers, practitioners and designers of public sector reforms.

Unedited Working Paper and Policy Brief prepared for the Second RASTA Conference can be downloaded from the link:

CGP 02-120
Rafiullah Kakar
Member (Social Sector and Devolution), Mo PD&SI (PI)
08 months
Rs. 2,000,000/-