What would it take to create enduring change?

Summary

A decade-long consistent application of the delivery approach has helped the government of Punjab build the infrastructure required for improved public services, while also building a foundation for improved governance and citizen outcomes.

Description

Our work with the government of Punjab, Pakistan began with the Punjab Schools Reform Roadmap, one of the most ambitious education reform programs in the world. In 2011, about 40 percent of Pakistan’s grade school children were out of school. Over 20% of teachers did not show up to public schools and as many as a third of 3rd graders could not do addition or subtraction. Through the efforts of a government-wide roadmap, significant progress had been made by 2018. This progress has been acknowledged internationally and well documented. 

Several years later, we helped establish the Chief Minister's Special Monitoring Unit (SMU) on education goals. Punjab went on to apply the same model and delivery methods to other key priorities – such as healthcare, solid waste management, and clean drinking water – with our support; we also co-developed a training curriculum to help civil servants across the provincial government deliver on their own programs and priorities.

Real-world challenges

Punjab is the most highly populous province in Pakistan, with over 100 million residents. The sheer number of people alone presents a challenge for public service delivery; in Punjab, these challenges were made more complex by labor and security issues.

Additionally, in many cases, the team lacked reliable, comprehensive data to understand the situation on the ground.

Real-world solutions

A high priority for the team was to establish a strong data system for each of the priorities. One of the world’s largest monitoring systems was established in Punjab with a fleet of motorbiking data collection teams who helped geo-tag 11,000 water treatment facilities across the province, creating the first working map of every facility and its status. The team used smartphones that could reliably geo-tag locations and applications that could reliably update data.

Interventions included the installation of automated chlorinators at water treatment facilities; tracking facility performance at the regional level; and using improved data as an asset to drive regular stock-takes with the Chief Minister, so the government could problem solve and prioritize effectively.

As part of our broader work, we co-developed a six-month Leadership Programme to help government officials across the province deliver on multi-sector goals beyond those for which we were providing direct support. Participants explored the concepts of Deliverology, applied what they were learning to their own work, and reported progress back.

Results

Punjab was successful in every roadmap assigned to the SMU: 

  • Improving quality and quantity of education, with increases in student and teacher attendance as well as improvements in student performance
  • Improving healthcare delivery by increasing doctor attendance (from 40% to 85% in one year) and medicine distributed at no cost (46% to 74% in a little over a year)
  • Sweeping improvements to drinking water, and a corresponding reduction in water-borne illness
  • An additional 4 metric tonnes of solid waste collected, leading to visibly cleaner cities and improvements in citizen perceptions of their cities cleanliness
Nearly 31 million additional residents improved their access to clean, safe drinking water.

Through our Leadership Program, trainees were able to see increased effectiveness in their own programs, such as increases in school enrollment, increase in loan disbursement to farmers, reduction in counterfeit drug use, and more.

Most importantly, our "I do, We do, You do" approach, along with mentorship and continuing education, ensured the government of Punjab established the skills and structures to deliver on priorities time and time again, creating an enduring framework for change, even as political leadership changes. The Delivery Unit model has been and continues to be employed throughout sectors in the government of Punjab, with success.

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What would it take to create enduring change?
What would it take to create enduring change?

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