Economic Development Strategy (EDS) -Faisalabad
Within the 3rd Schedule of Punjab Local Government Act 2019, the function of ‘Economic & Value Chain Development’ tops the list of 35-functions devolved to local governments. United Nations Development Programme funded the task of capacity building in the realm of economic development at the city level and Faisalabad became its starting point.
The project is the outcome of high civic engagement with multiple local stakeholders from both public and private sectors in the city. Faisalabad Development Authority (FDA) and Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI) have led the support efforts for identification and preparation of initiatives under the ambit of “Local Economic Development (LED)” for Faisalabad. LED serves as a collaboration approach among local stakeholders such as municipalities, local agencies, businesses, academia and civil society, for the planning and implementing economic development initiatives. Any LED initiative cannot be sustained without the involvement of these local players.
As an executing agency, the Urban Unit was tasked with bringing the stakeholders onboard to research, design and implement LED projects to be based upon evidence-linked research and city stakeholders’ input. The Urban Unit adopted a multipronged approach. At one end, it engaged local government for the setting-up of Economic Development Unit (EDU). And on the other side, it facilitated key city stakeholders to gather on a single platform as a Growth Coalition for their city. Our current project pertains to helping cities in creating Growth Coalition for their economic development.
In collaboration with UNDP, the Urban Unit has organized number of facilitated workshops cum stakeholders’ consultations on preparing Economic Development Strategy (EDS) for Faisalabad. Hosts for these sessions included Metropolitan Corporation Faisalabad, Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Government College University Faisalabad and Pakistan Textile Exporters Association. Besides these sessions, the Urban Unit conducted various in-person interviews with parliamentarians, high government officials and leading businessmen for gauging the dynamics of the local economy. An Economic Development Strategy of Faisalabad, developed by the Urban Unit, based on local data, analysis and research, was presented for endorsement by the city stakeholders in a well-attended last session of the project.