The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


DPU Working Paper - No. 94

The Imperative of Optimising Institutional Framework For Development In Pakistan's Districts


2 April 1999

Authors: Musharraf Rasool

Publication Date: 1999

In the organisation of society, institutions develop for various reasons, predominantly as responses to the felt needs of society as a whole or certain sectors within it. Institutions are entities set up to achieve specific goals of society or its sub-groups. In economic exchanges, they are a means for dealing with uncertainty (North, 1998:18). A conceptualisation of development which aims to widen individual choice in order to enhance welfare (Haq, 1995:14; UNDP, 1997:10) requires a mechanism to implement these objectives at the level of society. Some of the institutions that exist within the socio-political milieu serve the purpose of achieving welfare objectives. Others may be perceived to obstruct the process.

Others may have to be created. In any case, institutional arrangements will be made in accordance with current development policy. Rather than remaining oblivious to social and state institutions, policy will have to endeavour to target these in order that they function in accordance with their objectives (cf. Siedman & Seidman, 1994:27;54; Meier, 1995:83-84). It is through these institutions that policy will be implemented, inputs and outputs determined and end results rationalised to a great extent. 

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