"CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS (CSOS) AND PARTICIPATORY LOCAL GOVERNANCE IN PAKISTAN: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY"
NIKU, BALA RAJA
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This paper analyses the extent to which the civil society organizations (CSOs) have influenced the decision‐making of the local government toward the needs and priorities of citizens. In development discourse, civil society organizations hold a significant importance as they are deemed to provide holistic and new ways to ensure participatory local governance. Therefore, their role against the backdrop of their involvement in mobilizing citizens’ involvement and influencing decision‐making in Pakistan calls for further research. This paper aims to fill this gap. Using qualitative research methods, the current paper appraises the role of CSOs in mobilizing public involvement in the decision‐making process of local government institutions of Punjab, Pakistan. The paper finds that the effectiveness of CSOs is very low due to various institutional and political constraints. Motivations for CSOs seeking citizen involvement have been instrumental in nature rather than motivated by participatory principles.