Change is equal to resistance: the outlook is true for the public sector and more so for the justice sector of Pakistan. In mathematical proportions, the increasing expectations and the decreasing patience on the part of the public are proportional to the increasing inertia and decreasing flexibility on the part of organizations and institutions in the public sector. Strangely enough, despite known characteristic energy of the public sector to upend change, it is burdened with the onus of initiating and sustaining change. Academically, the questions that beg answers are: whether the insiders or beneficiaries of a system could, or would, effect any change? Whether the intellectual element of the change has to be introduced from outside the public sector in the form of leadership and research on hitherto little understood areas of the public life? In any case, the instant write-up will try to state some of the aspects related to change management in justice sector of Pakistan, which may help excite thinking on the subject.
1. Change Management
The first aspect that needs consideration is the propensity to treat the word ‘reform’ and ‘change’ as synonymous to each other. Quintessentially, these two concepts are different in purport and implication. While ‘reform’ sets the tone for overhaul of a system or an organization, the word ‘change’ may not imply wholesale improvement of the system; the former is bombastic, the latter is practical. The Association for Project Management, UK, defines change management as:
“Change management is a structured approach to moving an organisation from the current state to the desired future state.”
For Pakistan’s public policy decision-makers, the first question is to choose between ‘reform’ and ‘change’. If they choose ‘reform’, they may do so by challenging the ‘form’ of the extant system/organizations; conversely, if they opt for ‘change’, they may do so by utilizing talents of the mortals at their disposal, without necessarily changing the ‘form’ of the organizations/system.
2. Justice Sector
In contradistinction to the term ‘social sector’, which consists of health and education, the ‘justice sector’ may comprise all the matters that affect law and order, directly or indirectly. The World Bank, in its “Justice Sector Assessments: A Handbook,” defines justice sector as:
“The institutions that are central to resolving conflicts arising over alleged violations or different interpretations of the rules that societies create to govern members’ behavior; and that, as a consequence, are central to strengthening the normative framework (laws and rules) that shapes public and private actions.”
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