With a view to inspire ideas for better public services in the field of education and health, the District Delivery Challenge Fund (DDCF) is being launched in six districts each of Punjab and KPK provinces through Sub-National Governance Programme (SNG) in collaboration with the Department of International Development (DFID), the UK, Shoaib Iqbal Bukhari Team Leader of Northern Area of the programme said here.

While narrating salient features of the revolutionary programme being launched in the introductory ceremony of the District Delivery Challenges Fund which was attended among others by DCO Mansoor Qadir, DO (Cord) Noman Hafeez, ADC Safeena Siddique, Officers of the Education Department, educationists, representatives of NGOs and large number of members of civil society, programme leader Shoaib Iqbal Bukhari said that the DDCF was designed to identify, develop and innovative ideas for delivery of public services particularly in the field of education and health. He said that the programme is being launched in Hafizabad, Sheikhpura, Mandi Bahauddin, Bahawalnagar, Vehari and Sahiwal in the Punjab and six districts of KPK province. During the first phase, the programme is being launched for the delivery of more responsive, efficient and accountable public service and quality education and to increase children’s access to schools, adding that in the second phase, the programme would be launched in health sector for improving service delivery system. He further said that the DFID would provide initial funding of 2.7m UK pounds for Punjab and there would be total of four calls for the proposals during the period 2014-2017.

He pointed out that the government institutions, NGOs and members of civil society would jointly bring about better service-oriented results by putting forward their pilot projects. He said that SNG Programme would grant 50,000 to 250,000 UK pounds to the DDCF for 12 to 18 months for each round. He said that any organisation that had an idea and ability to pilot the programme can apply by February 24, adding that the public and private sectors organisation, academic institutions, members of civil society and NGOs, having idea and ability to pilot the programme can apply and the applications would be judged competitively in a transparent manner by a panel of representatives from the provincial government and SNG based on eligibility criteria.

Later, DCO Mansoor Qadir appreciated the provincial government for including Hafizabad district in the pilot project and expressed his hope that the govt, NGOs and members of Civil Society would come forward to augment the efforts being made better service delivery system and improve the quality of education in schools, a success.