UK delegation reviews progress on capacity building of Malakand officials

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A six-member delegation of the British High Commission Islamabad, led by Governance Adviser Matt Carter, met Commissioner Malakand Division Shahidullah Khan at Commissioner’s Office Saidu Sharif on Tuesday.

Other delegation members included Economist Tufail Khan Yousafzai, Program Officer Amala Najeeb, Program Coordinator Athar Waqar, and Political Secretary Sam Fletcher.  The purpose of the delegation’s visit was an annual review of the Sub-National Governance Program (SNG) funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office.

The SNG provides technical support to officers and local representatives in tehsils on planning, budgeting, and revenue mobilization in the four districts of Malakand.  Speaking to the delegation, Commissioner Malakand Division Shahidullah Khan thanked the delegation for providing technical support through the SNG Program and hoped that the program would provide more support.

The commissioner said that there is a need to increase the capacity of officers and local representatives under the new system of local government.  He said that local governments have to work on revenue mobilization ideas considering the local situation to show better performance in which the SNG program can be helpful.  The meeting also discussed training programs for local representatives and officers at the Tehsil level and the Commissioner appreciated such training programs.

The commissioner also appreciated the ongoing support for solid waste management and said that waste could be better utilized by recycling and that more proposals need to be worked on.  In the meeting, the commissioner also drew the attention of the delegation to Mingora traffic management and said that there is a need to work on new ideas in this regard as well.

Matt Carter, head of the delegation, said that this was his first visit to Swat and he was impressed by the natural beauty and hospitality of Swat.  He said that the purpose of the annual review is to improve the targets of the SNG program by meeting with the authorities so that better work can be done on budgeting, planning, and revenue mobilization with the provincial and local governments.