This paper is the story of a nation-wide advocacy effort in Pakistan, which is building on political space, opened up by the government devolution measures. The People's Assemblies process was initiated in 1998 to provide a platform for normally excluded voices to debate and to be heard in shaping politics and decision making. Taken forward by a nation-wide coalition of civil society organisations, a process of open debate on critical issues of governance was held in 40 locations across Pakistan. The paper describes this advocacy effort and goes on to discuss its strengths and successes, as well as its shortcomings.
International Institute for Environment and Development