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The Government of Punjab is undertaking a number of initiatives to improve performance of the social service sectors leading to the achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the target year of 2015. Policy documents like the Vision 2020 and P-PRSP clearly demonstrate the commitment of the provincial government towards meeting these objectives.

Punjab Devolved Social Services Programme (PDSSP) is another such initiative taken up by the Government of the Punjab to improve the service delivery right at the grass root level. For working and implementation of PDSSP, the present devolved system under PLGO provides best opportunities, as three-tier political system of LGs is well crafted and backed by a number of Council Committees with built-in system of transparency and public voice and pressures. The roles and responsibilities at three tiers of LGs are also well defined. The PDSSP design creates a balance between institutional reforms and addressing governance issues. Further, the program design is not complex and is supported by a package of technical assistance to address institutional and governance issues. The Provincial Government has agreed to a flexible financing of social sectors through PDSSP to address gaps in service delivery, target the poor and vulnerable including children and women, capacity building, and monitoring and evaluation.

The overall goal of DSSP is to strengthen devolved social services to achieve progress on MDGs related to poverty, gender, education, health, and Water Supply and Sanitation (WSS). The program objective is to support more equitable, efficient, effective, and sustainable social services in line with the PLGO. In order to achieve the goal and objective, it will be necessary to;

Expand coverage of health services, especially for women and children, increase school enrolment rates, and improve access to WSS facilities;
Improve governance and oversight, strengthen capacity of LGs to plan and implement social services, and enhance financing of social services, especially at LG level.

PDSSP is built around five principal policy outcomes:
Realign inter-governmental relationship to support the delivery of devolved social services;
Rationalize social services and set minimum standards to support pro-poor policies and strategies;
Strengthen public accountability mechanisms and community participation at the province and district levels;
Promote public-private partnership and innovations in alternative service delivery;
Enhance social sector financing and allocative efficiency.

PDSSP is designed for province-wide support, covering all 34 districts and up to 34 TMAs, for devolved social services for 3 years. The technical assistance (TA) support for strengthening of social sectors development would remain effective for a period of 3 years.

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