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Governance Track-Record – Public Negativity Remains High
   PILDAT Releases Score Card on Quality of Governance in 1st Year of Federal and Provincial Governments based on Nationwide Survey
 

September 02, 2014
Islamabad


Download Report [PDF] [11.9 MB]
   

September 02; Over the past 1 year, the Pakistani public has been able to see glimpses of the Federal Government’s policy agenda and initiatives for improved governance in the country. However, results indicate that the Federal Government’s efforts have been unable to register significant improvements in governance.

Of the four provinces in Pakistan, Punjab scores significantly better in terms of the governance track-record of the Provincial Government. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Provincial Government has not been able to register the same level of positive governance evaluation as the Punjab Government, albeit it emerged as the second-best among the four provinces, trailing Punjab. Of the four provinces evaluated and compared in this opinion poll for the respective Provincial Governments’ Governance performance, the Sindh Provincial Government has emerged as the clear loser.

PILDAT released score card on quality of governance based on a nationwide survey. The nationwide survey was commissioned by PILDAT and conducted by Gallup Pakistan to gauge public opinion on quality of governance across Pakistan upon the completion of the 1st year of National and Provincial Governments elected through the May 2013 General Election. The nationwide poll was conducted during July 16, 2014 to August 6, 2014 to obtain public opinion on core indicators on quality of governance across National and Provincial Governments. The respondents for the survey included 3065 citizens from rural and urban areas from all the four provinces of Pakistan.

 
 


Nationwide public perception on performance of 4 Chief Ministers shows that the Chief Minister of Punjab received the highest rating with a Net Performance Rating (NPR) of +33% as 65% rate his performance as Good to Very Good while 32% rateit as Bad or Very Bad. In public opinion, the second ranking on the ladder is reserved for Chief Minister of KP, whose performance though rated negatively with the NPR of -14% shows 51% rated his performance as Bad or Very Bad while only 37% of the respondents evaluated his performance as Good or Very Good. Third place on the ladder is reserved in public opinion for Chief Minister of Balochistan who received NPR of -19% as only 33% respondents rated his performance as Good or Very Good while the majority, 52%, rated his performance as Bad or Very Bad. The Chief Minister Sindh occupies the opposite end of the performance meter with NPR of -29% as a significant 59% of the respondents rated his performance as Bad or Very Bad while only 30% of the respondents rated his performance as Good or Very Good.

Prime Minister of Pakistan received 46% positive ratings in public opinion while 52% rated his performance in the last year as Bad to Very Bad.

Detailed results on governance indicators include the following:

Federal Government’s Scorecard

The scorecard shows the Federal Government’s Net Performance Ratings on the core governance indicators. Negative Score reflects that the negative assessment of the Federal Government’s performance outpaces positive evaluation. Similarly, a positive NPR is indicative of an evaluation where the positive assessment of the Federal Government’s performance is greater than the sum of negative assessment.

 
 


Governance Track-Record – Public Negativity Remains High

Over the past year, the Pakistani public has been able to see glimpses of the Federal Government’s policy agenda and initiatives for improved governance in the country. However, results indicate that the Federal Government’s efforts have been unable to register significant improvements in governance.

The NPR scores in Table 2 show that on most indicators, the public has evaluated the Federal Government’s governance performance negatively. 26 out of the 30 Governance indicators assessed for the Federal Government received a negative NPR. The Federal Government’s governance performance has been positively evaluated on three indicators: Immunization of Children – particularly in reference to the nationwide anti-polio campaign (NPR: +15%); National Security (NPR: +26%); and Foreign Policy (NPR: +1%).

Crucial distinction must also be made for indicators where the negative NPR scores are small, thereby indicating that the public’s overall assessment on such indicators is currently divided, with negative evaluations slightly outpacing positive evaluations. For instance, on Law & Order (NPR: -2%) Education (NPR: 0%), Health Care (NPR: -7%), Transparency (NPR: -4%), Investment Friendliness (NPR: -9%), Utility Bills Collection (NPR: -5%), and the Development Programme (NPR: -3%), the Federal Government’s negative evaluation is only slightly greater than its positive assessment. These indicators highlight issues where the Federal Government has managed to perform well, and has also been evaluated positively by a significant proportion of the public. Continued attention and reform in these areas can help overturn the current negative NPR into positive evaluation of its Governance track record.

Strong on National Security, Weak on Poverty and Energy

Public opinion on the Federal Government’s first year’s governance performance indicates that the Pakistani public has clearly distinguished between the Government’s strengths and weaknesses. The PML-N led government has garnered strong positive assessments of its National Security performance (NPR: 26%). The positive NPR on this indicator shows that the Government’s efforts to strengthen the country’s national security has been well-received by the Pakistani public. Given Pakistan’s on-going struggle against violent militancy, this positive score reflects the public’s expectation that this Government can succeed in purge rampant terrorism and violent militancy in the country.

In contrast, the current Government’s performance on Alleviating Poverty and Energy Production & Management have been equally poorly assessed by the people of Pakistan (NPR: -51%). Both issues are critical in resuscitating Pakistan’s economic growth and development. The overwhelmingly negative assessment on these two indicators reveals the public’s dissatisfaction with the Government’s first year governance efforts aimed at resolving two key challenges that affect the daily lives and livelihoods of ordinary citizens across the country.

Critical Agenda for Improved Governance – Economy, Energy, and National Security

When the PML-N Government was installed just over a year ago, it determined for itself three critical areas that needed urgent and concerted efforts: economic revival, overcoming the crippling energy crisis, and eradicating terrorism and violent militancy in the country. The results showed here provide an indication of how well the Government has performed in these areas – issues high on the public agenda during Election 2013 – a year into its five year term.

On Energy, despite the Federal Government’s concerted efforts and policy focus designed to reform the energy sector and increase the production capacity, the Pakistani public has deemed the first year’s efforts as insufficient. On Energy Production & Management, the Government was able to get a NPR of -51, which illustrates the substantial level of dissatisfaction with the continuing energy crisis in the country – particularly with incessant power shortages. This result shows that the Government’s stated commitment of delivering relief in the power sector in four years time is a long way off for the Pakistani public. Crucially, the Federal Government’s initiation of reforms and new projects in the Energy sector over the last year has not translated into favourable public sentiments at this point in time.

On National Security, the Federal Government came to power in the middle of widespread militancy and terrorism in 2013, with violent anti-state militias safely harboured in the country’s tribal areas. Over the last year, the Federal Government has moved away from the path of dialogue with militant organizations in the tribal regions, and towards launching a full-scale military operation against militants and their safe havens in North Waziristan. On this stated goal, the Federal Government has been able to generate public support and sympathy by garnering a NPR of +26% on National Security.

On Economy, the Federal Government’s achievements in its first year of power have been received mostly negatively by the public. The assessment of the Federal Government’s economic policies and achievements varies on different indicators. While the Government scored a NPR of -3% on its Development Programme, the target goal of Poverty Alleviation has been unrealized – the Government scored a NPR of -51% on this indicator. Similarly, while the Government scored a NPR of -9% on Investment Friendliness and -15% on Tax Collection in the country, it scored deeply negative NPRs on Inflation (-48%) and Unemployment (-36%). This shows that the Government successful economic reforms and policies have as yet failed to trickle down to the masses in the form of palpable positive changes in livelihoods – with the public feeling that inflation, unemployment, and poverty remain as economic challenges for the people of Pakistan. Alternatively put, the Government’s macroeconomic policy reforms may be working, but grassroots economic improvement is yet to take root in the country after several years of economic decline and stupor.

 
 


Accountability & Transparency

The present Government came into power in the context of the significant public negativity and derision at the lack of accountability and transparency in the previous PPP-led Government. A year on, the PML-N Government does not seem to have succeeded in dispelling the impression that the Federal Government remains open, transparent, honest, and accountable in its policies and projects. While the Government scored a NPR of -4% on Transparency, which reveals that its policy of remaining open about its policies is improving the Federal Government’s operational perception, it scored significantly negative NPRs on Anti-Corruption (-45%) and Merit-based recruitment and promotions (-37%). These numbers show that the current Federal Government needs to do more in shaking off the lack of trust and perceptions of rampant corruption and dishonesty in its management of the country’s affairs.

Provincial Government Scorecard (Provincial Governance Evaluation)

The questions included and asked in the provincial segment of the opinion poll asked respondents to evaluate the performance of their Provincial Government on the core governance indicators relevant to provincial governance.

Respondents from each province were asked to evaluate their provincial government’s governance performance. The Net Performance Rating Scores published here provide an indication of how residents from each province evaluate the state of governance in their province. The list of indicators used for provincial governance analysis is slightly different and includes subjects that have been devolved to the provinces in the aftermath of the 18th Amendment.

The Governance in Punjab

The PML-N was elected for its second five-year term in Punjab through General Election 2013. This feat in itself alludes to the successes in governance and administration that the Shahbaz Sharif administration has been able to register in the last six years.

Of the four provinces in Pakistan, Punjab scores significantly better in terms of the governance track-record of the Provincial Government. The Provincial Government’s work in its policy priority areas has been well-received by the people of Punjab.

The Punjab Government’s best NPR was registered in Immunization of Children (NPR: +50%). Similarly, the PML-N Provincial Government’s concerted focus on infrastructure improvement, particularly Public Transport infrastructure received a robust NPR of +46%. Much has been made of the Punjab Government’s focus on improving the educational infrastructure and services in the province. At present, the Government’s reforms and projects in Education garnered an NPR of +27%, the highest of all four provinces. Unlike any other Government in the country, the Punjab Government is the only one to have achieved a positive NPR in Healthcare (+15%). In total, the Punjab Government generated positive Governance NPRs in 14 out of the 27 indicators studied for the four provinces.

Crucially, 5 negative NPRs for the Punjab Government were barely negative, which alludes to performance ratings that can be converted into positivity if the Provincial Government retains its focus and policy direction: Tax Collection (-2%), Transparent & Efficient Public Procurement (-1%), Management and Supply of Agricultural Products (-2%), Environmental Sustainability (-5%), and Disaster Preparedness & Management (-1%). On these indicators the negative evaluations only slightly outpaced positive assessments of the Provincial Government’s performance.

However, the PML-N led provincial government in Punjab mirrors the negative scores achieved by the party’s Federal Government. The Punjab Government received the lowest NPRs in Energy Production & Management (-45%), Poverty Alleviation (-34%), Anti-Corruption (-31%), Management of Unemployment (-31%), and Merit-based Recruitment & Promotions (-28%). This implies that although the Punjab Government has the best governance track-record of any Government (Federal and Provincial) in Pakistan, it still needs to convert and transfuse its capacity and achievements into improving the public’s perceptions of issues directly relevant to the ordinary citizen’s everyday life.

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Vs. Punjab – Governance Comparison of PTI Vs. PML-N

The PTI’s emergence as a strong political party in Election 2013 was manifested by its impressive political performance in the KP Provincial Election, which installed the party’s Government in Peshawar. The much discussed PTI vs. PML-N political tussle in the country can also be interpreted through the performance comparison of the two respective Provincial Governments.

KP’s Provincial Government has not been able to register the same level of positive governance evaluation as the Punjab Government, albeit it emerged as the second-best among the four provinces, trailing Punjab.

The KP Government achieved positive NPRs on 6 out of the 27 Provincial Governance indicators covered in this opinion poll: Transparency (+7%), Utility Bills Collection (+11%), Use of Technologies for Better Governance (+9%), Immunization of Children (+8%), Access to an Efficient Justice System (+13%), and Public Transport (+3%).

KP’s Provincial Government scored the highest negative NPRs on: Disaster Preparedness & Management (-45%), Anti-Corruption (-43%), Education (-42%), Quality & Independence of Civil Service (-42%), Merit-based Recruitment & Promotions (-41%), Environmental Sustainability (-40%), Healthcare (-38%), Tax Collection (-38%), Energy Production & Management (-37%), Investment Friendliness (-37%), and Transparent & Efficient Public Procurement (-35%).

On 3 out of the 27 indicators, the KP Government scored barely negative ratings: Law & Order (-8%), Management of Unemployment (-8%), and Safe Drinking Water Supply (-5%).

In comparing the two Provincial Governments, it appears that the Punjab Government’s governance reforms and efforts have been far better received and evaluated by the people of Punjab when compared to the KP Provincial Government’s evaluation by the people of KP.

 
 


Sindh’s Governance Dilemmas – Widespread Negativity

Of the four provinces evaluated and compared in this opinion pollfor the respective Provincial Governments’ Governance performance, the Sindh Provincial Government has emerged as the clear loser.

The people of Sindh evaluated the Government of Sindh’s governance track-record negatively on all 27 indicators included in this poll. This prevalent negativity in the province reflects the poor state of governance in the PPP-led Provincial Government. The Sindh Government scored its highest negative NPRs on: Anti-Corruption (-65%), Merit-based Recruitment & Promotions (-62%), Energy Production & Management (-61%), Poverty Alleviation (-58%), Management of Unemployment (-51%), Sanitation (-51%), Environmental Sustainability (-48%), Transparent & Efficient Public Procurement (-47%), Devolution of Power to the Local Level (-46%), Safe Drinking Water Supply (-43%), Access to an Efficient Justice System (-42%), Quality & Independence of Civil Service (-42%), and Use of Technologies for Better Governance (-41%).

The Sindh Government’s least negative NPR was recorded on Immunization of Children (-6%) – where in comparison Federal, KP, and Punjab Governments had positive NPRs, while the Balochistan Government earned a neutral score (0).

This damning verdict of the Sindh Government’s weak governance record shows that the people of Sindh are the most dissatisfied and disillusioned of any jurisdiction in Pakistan. For Pakistan’s second largest province, which includes the country’s largest urban metropolis and its economic hub, the state of affairs in Sindh should be a wake-up call for the Provincial Government, as well as the Federal Government, which needs to assist the province in improving its governance record, in order to bring relief to the people of Sindh.

 
 


Performance of the Prime Minister: 46% provide positive ratings

While 46% of Pakistanis state that they rate his performance as Good to Very Good, 52% rated his performance in the last year as Bad to Very Bad.

Performance of Chief Ministers

Respondents from across Pakistan were asked to evaluate the performance of the four Chief Ministers. The Net Performance Ratings of each Chief Minister is given in Figure 1.

Performance of CM Punjab: 65% provide positive ratings
The Chief Minister of Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif, received the highest rating from respondents across Pakistan, with a NPR of +33%. 65% of the respondents rate his performance as Good to Very Good. 32% respondents rated his performance as Bad or Very Bad.

Performance of CM Sindh: 30% provide positive ratings
In contrast with CM Punjab, CM Sindh, Qaim Ali Shah occupies the opposite end of the performance meter. A significant 59% of the respondents rated his performance as Bad or Very Bad. 30% of the respondents rated CM Sindh’s performance as Good or Very Good. CM received the highest negative NPR (-29%) amongst the Chief Ministers of the four provinces.

Performance of CM KP: 37% provide positive ratings
Chief Minister of KP, Pervez Khattak’s performance ratings are also in the negative when respondents from across Pakistan were asked to evaluate his overall performance (NPR: -14%). The majority of the respondents from across the country, 51%, rated his performance as Bad or Very Bad. 37% of the respondents evaluated his performance as Good or Very Good.

Performance of CM Balochistan: 33% provide positive ratings
Chief Minister of Balochistan, Abdul Malik Baloch does not enjoy a high level of positive assessment by respondents from across Pakistan. While 33% respondents rated his performance as Good or Very Good, the majority, 52%, rated his performance as Bad or Very Bad (NPR: -19%).

 
 


Respondents from across Pakistan were asked to evaluate the performance of the four Provincial Governments. The Net Performance Ratings of each Provincial Government is given in Figure 2.

Performance of Punjab Provincial Government: 65% provide positive ratings
65% of the respondents rated the Punjab Government’s performance as Good to Very Good. 33% respondents rated the performance of the Government as Bad or Very Bad, giving the Punjab Government a NPR of +32%. At this point in time, the Punjab Government enjoys the healthiest positive performance rating of the four provinces.

Performance of Sindh Provincial Government: 31% provide positive ratings
The Sindh Government is evaluated negatively by the majority of the respondents form across Pakistan. 59% of all respondents rated the Provincial Government’s performance negatively, while only 31% reached positive assessment of the provincial Government. These scores from across Pakistan gave the Sindh Government the highest negative NPR of the four provinces: -28%.

Performance of KP Provincial Government: 36% provide positive ratings
The KP Government is also evaluated negatively by the majority of the respondents form across Pakistan. 53% of all respondents rated the Provincial Government’s performance negatively, while only 36% reached positive assessment of the provincial Government. These nationwide ratings gave the KP Government a NPR of -17%.

Performance of Balochistan Provincial Government: 32% provide positive ratings
The Balochistan Government is evaluated negatively by the majority of the respondents form across Pakistan. 55% of all respondents rated the provincial Government’s performance negatively, while only 32% reached positive assessment of the provincial Government. These scores give the Balochistan Provincial Government a negative NPR of -23%.

 
 


Biggest Current Issue

The biggest identified challenge for the country is the Energy Crisis, which is identified by 27% Pakistanis as being a major problem. Inflation came in a close second, with 25% Pakistanis identifying it as a serious challenge for the country. Similarly, unemployment was the third biggest problem, with 15% Pakistanis identifying it as a big national problem. Insecurity, peace, law & order, and terrorism were identified by 12% Pakistanis as a major national problem facing the country at this point in time.

Trust in Institutions: NAB: 42% provide positive ratings
At present, Pakistanis appear uncertain about NAB. 52% Pakistanis assert that they have little to no trust at all in NAB, while 42% report that they have somewhat to a lot of trust in the Bureau. The institution received an overall NR of -10%.

Trust in Institutions: Government Officers: 29% provide positive ratings
68% Pakistanis state that they have little to no trust at all in Government officers. Only 29% Pakistanis state they have somewhat to a lot of trust in the country’s bureaucrats (NPR: -39%)

Trust in Institutions: Army: 73% provide positive ratings
At present, 73% Pakistanis claim to have somewhat to a lot of trust in the country’s Army. However, 25% Pakistanis also state that they have little to no trust at all in the Pakistan Army. The Army has a healthy positive NR of +48%.

Trust in Institutions: Police: 30% provide positive ratings
A substantial 69% of all Pakistanis stated that they had little to no trust at all in Pakistan’s police. Only 30% of the country’s population has somewhat to a lot of trust in the police force. This gives the country’s police a negative NR of -39%.

 
 


Comparative position with respect to Zardari: 46% provide positive ratings

When respondents were asked to compare Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Government with that of the PPP’s tenure under President Zardari, the majority – 46% - claimed that the Nawaz Sharif Government has performed better. 31% of the respondents from across the country stated the current Government’s performance is worse than the preceding Zardari Government.

Comparative position with respect to Musharraf: 44% provide positive ratings

While 44% Pakistanis reported that the current Government is performing better than the Musharraf regime, a strong 40% assess the performance as worse.