"Work in progress" : the hidden dimensions of monitoring and planning in Pakistan

W.A.M. Kolkma

    Research output: Thesisexternal PhD, WU


    <p>The study argues that monitoring systems for large numbers of projects constituting public sector development programmes such as found in Pakistan, are built on the positivist premise that progress can be summarised objectively and in a few concise statements or indicators. Theory and handbooks on the subject largely support the view that monitoring is relatively unproblematic (yielding `data') as compared to for instance programme evaluation (yielding value judgements). The premise is not borne out after a close examination of the working of monitoring systems in the State of Azad Jammu and Kashmir in Pakistan (and to a lesser extent other areas). Heroically assuming that government departments are dispassionate servants of government, most of the monitoring conducted materialises as progress reporting on paper from the side of implementing agencies about their own projects to the agency that funds them (in this case the Planning and Development Department). Other possible monitoring options are not pursued seriously, such as systematic project visits by the funding agencies.</p><p>Contrary to common presumptions, even the most `simple' data concerning for instance financial progress, is ridden with perspectivistic and strategic (organisation-related) biases. When the purpose of the reports changes, or their audience changes, the supposedly factual information also changes (including the problems mentioned).</p><p>One of the solutions offered is the articulation and mandating of more diversified monitoring systems all concerned with the same development programme, but each organised by a particular category of stakeholders. The increased opportunities for crosschecking by all parties concerned will then hopefully raise the level of information overall. Other, fundamental, limitations to monitoring as an instrument for programme management are given attention as well, and solutions proposed.</p><p>The discussion as a whole links the monitoring systems to the overall planning and policy making system in Pakistan, which, as is argued, is dominated by the bureaucracy and legitimated on the basis of scientific/technical rationality. The study argues that Pakistani reality is too diverse and idiosyncratic for the successful application of rational comprehensive planning methods. Unfortunately, Pakistan's instabilities and imbalances, for instance an overpowering central bureaucracy combined with a rudimentary local government and administration, make the application of other planning methods also difficult. Some of the imbalances will have to be addressed before planning and monitoring can be expected to improve. Waste and malfunctions of existing planning as well as monitoring systems are documented in detail.</p><hr/><p>Trade edition of this book is published by:<br/>Thela Publishers Amsterdam<br/>ISBN 90-5485-951-2<br/><p>Please send your order by mail or telefax to:<br/>Thela Publishers, Prinseneiland 305, 1013 LP Amsterdam, the Netherlands<br/>Faxnumber: +31.20.6203395; E-mail: office@thelathesis.nl<br/>Payment by credit card (without extra costs) or proforma invoice (with bankcharges); postage and packing will be charged additionally. You can also order at your local bookstore.</p><p>Customers in the U.S.A. and Canada can order from:<br/>Eiron, Inc, P.O. Box 400712 Washington D.C. 20016<br/>Tel (202) 966 3240; Fax (202) 244 0913; E-mail eironinc@aol.com</p><p>UK and Ireland orders to:<br/>Central Books, 99 Wallis Road, London E9 5LN<br/>Tel (0181) 986 4854, Fax (0181) 533 5821; E-mail: orders@centbks.demon.co.uk</p>
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • van Dusseldorp, D.B.W.M., Promotor
    • Hilhorst, J.G.M., Promotor, External person
    Award date21 Dec 1998
    Place of PublicationS.l.
    Print ISBNs9789054859512
    Publication statusPublished - 1998


    • development planning
    • monitoring
    • evaluation
    • rural development
    • government policy
    • pakistan


    Dive into the research topics of '"Work in progress" : the hidden dimensions of monitoring and planning in Pakistan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this