COVID-19: the Foundation’s Response 2020-21

The Foundation has consistently tried to contribute to efforts of preventing the spread of Covid-19. The following provide some highlights: March 2020: The Foundation designed and implemented a public service campaign to help people adopt protective measures against Covid-19. Messages were displayed on billboards and banners across 12 KP districts. This campaign was supported by the European Union by diverting funds from its ongoing project; Citizen Engagement for Responsive & Accountable Governance. March 2020: The…

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Online training: Open Budget Survey 2021, COVID-19 module

Four team members of the Foundation were among 37 researchers from 25 countries who attended an online training on the new, 25-indicator COVID-19 module of the Open Budget Survey which supplements the core OBS questionnaire with an assessment of the transparency of emergency fiscal measures and budgets that governments have used to respond to the many consequences of COVID 19. The module has 26 indicators, multiple parts and 26 questions. Part 1 is about an overview of the Covid-19 module, Part-2 consists of the detail of fiscal policy,…

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Tabdeeli Awam Sey (People-Driven Change) A series of 8 Capital TV talk shows

The Foundation with a team of media experts produced an 8-episode series of talk shows: Tabdeeli Awam Se (People-Driven Change) which were telecast on Capital TV. These shows helped discuss various aspects and experiences from the Foundation’s project: Citizen Engagement for Responsive & Accountability Governance (2017-20) funded by the EU. The programmes covered topics like pro-poor planning, people’s priorities, democracy beyond elections, and citizen-state interaction through mechanisms like khuli kutcheries.

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Inputs into 11 TV shows

CERAG experiences on social accountability shared on Hum TV's popular morning show Subh Say Aagay. Live telecast on 28 August 11:15 am, repeat telecast on Saturday 29 August at 4 pm and Sunday 30 August at 6 pm. Similar appearances were made in 11 more TV shows including: Rising Pakistan, morning show hosted by Mr. Tauseeq Haider on PTV, Do Raaye, talk show hosted by Mr. Asad Rahim Khan on Dawn News, and, Geo Parliament,…

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State of the Rights of the Differently-Abled in KP: Aawaz-II Provincial Consultation & Launch of Aawaz-II’s Digital App: Equal Access

To commemorate the International Day of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Aawaz II organised a provincial consultation on the State of the Rights of the Differently-Abled in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The event highlighted issues faced by the Differently-Abled and also provided opportunities to relevant government representatives to share information on steps taken for promoting the rights and welfare of citizens who are differently-abled. At the event, Aawaz II’s Digital App: Equal Access was also launched. This mobile application is a platform…

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A series of three webinars hosted by Syed Talat Hussain

The webinars were organized around the core theme of making people, budgets and grassroots issues the center of public and policy debate. Special flaps were created and webinars were duly publicized on social media platforms. This generated tremendous interest and feedback. Again this created a new niche in social media work because most of these webinars are either theoretical discussions or too divorced from serious issues. These webinars used CERAG data and integrated them into…

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Sanjhi Koshish, Sanjhi Taraqi (collective efforts for collective development) | 15 Radio Programmes & 11 Public Service Messages

With technical expertise of Uks Research Centre, the Foundation produced and broadcast 15 radio programmes projecting good practices in budget transparency and social accountability from its project: Citizen Engagement for Responsive & Accountable Governance (2017-20), funded by the EU.  The programmes had a nationwide outreach: aired on 14 FM-101 stations of Abbottabad, Peshawar, Kohat, Bannu, Peshawar, D. I. Khan (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Quetta (Balochistan), Karachi, Hyderabad (Sindh), Lahore, Multan, Rawalpindi, (Punjab), Gilgit and Islamabad.  “With the…

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Meeting with KP ACS in Peshawar: Budget Analysis & Social Accountability [P&DD Committee Room]

The Foundation presented its budget analysis and social accountability actions at a meeting chaired by KP’s Additional Chief Secretary, Mr. Shakeel Qadir Khan. Senior officers of the P&D, representatives of the SNG-II Programme, Mr. Ismail Khan, Editor-DAWN and the Foundation staff attended the meeting. The ACS was very appreciative of the Foundation’s data and analysis. He commented that the information generated by the budget analysis is relevant and timely. The social accountability experiences are also…

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Meeting with Mr. Ismail Khan, Editor, DAWN, Peshawar

The Foundation maintains consistent contact with Mr. Ismail Khan, a senior journalist and Editor-DAWN in Peshawar. He is particularly interested in the Foundation’s budget analysis, showing distribution of development funds to districts. Mr. Khan participated in the meeting with the ACS and senior officials of the P&DD in Peshawar on 22 December 2020. Discussing chronically poor districts, he pointed out that some fail to get development benefits despite strong political representation.

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Communicating the Foundation’s Budget Analysis A series of 30 texts

Key messages from the Foundation’s analysis of public budgets were communicated through a series of 30 texts developed in Urdu and English. They were sent to more than 3,000 recipients including CSO partners, government officials, public representatives, journalists, academics, activists, donors, etc., in KP and across Pakistan. The Foundation’s texts were widely appreciated. They were referred as an effective source of public information in an online training on citizen engagement organized by the Sub-National Governance Programme, which in its second phase continues to assist…

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Understanding local government in KP

Lahore/Islamabad Ten activists from Abbottabad, Haripur, Mardan, Nowshera and Peshawar along with two Foundation staff attended a training of trainers on KP’s LG system, role, structure & budget on 5-6 November 2020 in Lahore. Subsequently, on 21 November 2020, planning to share information and understanding in local communities was completed in Islamabad. Trained activists held community-level meetings in November-December 2020 so that people become more familiar with KP’s local government system.

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Meeting with the Deputy Chair-Planning Commission in Islamabad

The Foundation’s budget analysis and social accountability work was shared with Mr. Jehanzeb Khan, Deputy Chair-Planning Commission in a meeting held at his office in Islamabad. Mr. Khan showed great interest in the proposed PFC for KP and shared information on the Planning Commission’s efforts on this with provinces. The Punjab PFC was discussed, work on which was led by Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha (former Punjab Minister of Finance). It was agreed that creative thinking…

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Meeting held in Islamabad with Mr. Murtaza Solangi, Naya Dour (digital platform)

The Foundation’s experiences in budget analysis and social accountability were discussed with Mr. Murtaza Solangi. He took keen interest in them, particularly citizen efforts for improving services like education, health, etc. Mr. Solangi explained that Naya Daur will focus on public interest news. He shared that Naya Daur is keen to collaborate with organizations like the Foundation and would like to sign an MOU.

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Meeting with Mr. Salman Masood in Islamabad, journalist

Mr. Salman Masood, a well-respected journalist, who writes for the New York Times & is the Editor of The Nation was introduced to the Foundation’s budget analysis and social accountability work. He was showed interest in innovations and outreach of the Foundation’s work. Current stories from Swat were compared with those that dominated headlines earlier. Local government, its pros and cons, and its importance in increasing citizen engagement in governance was also reviewed.

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Meeting held in Islamabad with Mr. Mohyuddin Ahmed Wani, Additional Secy, Education

The Foundation’s work on social accountability and its potential in improving the delivery of quality education was discussed with Mr. Mohyuddin Ahmed Wani, Additional Secretary, Education at a meeting in his office in Islamabad on 8 December 2020. Mr. Wani was interested in the social accountability experiences, though it was agreed that citizen involvement, especially in poor areas, often focuses on material issues and not on quality of education. Mr. Wani requested for a brief…

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Meeting with Mr. Fahad Hussain in Islamabad, Editor, Dawn

The Foundation’s budget analysis and social accountability experiences were shared with Mr. Fahad Hussain, Editor, Dawn, at a meeting held on 7 December 2020 in Islamabad. Fahad showed great interest in the Foundation’s work. On the need for greater media attention to increase public debate on institutionalizing social accountability and promoting better planning and PFM, he advised that newspapers look for stories/reports that are current, valid and of public interest.

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Pyaas, a Drama (Long Play)

Stories and characters from the Foundation’s Cerag project (2017-20) were woven to create the script of a drama, Pyaas, which was telecast on ATV. It showed a poor rural family being torn apart due to lack of clean drinking water. The younger of the two brothers and his wife led community action to demand the repair of the local drinking water scheme, which was approved by the local councilor due to its broad-based public backing.…

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COVID-19: the Foundation’s Response | 2nd Round of Humanitarian Assistance

Following the food and non-food items provided in April 2020, the Foundation distributed a second round in October-November 2020, reaching 2,400 families in 12 KP districts: Abbottabad, Battagram, Dera ismail Khan, Haripur, Karak, Kohat, Mardan, Mansehra, Nowshera, Peshawar, Shangla and Swat. The food items included flour, rice, lentils, cooking oil, sugar, tea, etc. -- for one family for a month. The non-food items included soaps for better hand hygiene and sanitary napkins for women. This…

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Khuli Kutchery Cherat, Nowshera

A khuli kutchery (town hall meeting) was organized by the District Administration in compliance with recent provincial government instructions under which each district must organize assigned number of khuli kutcheries (town hall meetings) and revenue darbars (revenue courts). About 300 people participated in the khuli kutchery which was chaired by Nowshera’s Deputy Commissioner (DC), Mir Reza Ozgen. Representatives of all key departments were also present. The Foundation arranged participation of its local CSO partners. For over two hours, the District Administration heard public…

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The Foundation meets its CSO partners in 12 KP districts

While distributing humanitarian assistance to 2,400 poor families in 12 KP district, the Foundation also took the opportunity of meeting its CSO partners. Implementation of social accountability actions was reviewed and the SAP database updated. Analysis of KP’s budget FY2020-21 was also shared. The Foundation also discussed project plans and the flexibility imposed by Covid-19.

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Child Protection in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – Aawaz-II Provincial Consultation

The KP Child Protection & Welfare Act was passed in 2010 by the Provincial Assembly to care, protect, provide maintenance & welfare, train, educate, rehabilitate and reintegrate children at risk in the province. As required by the law an autonomous KP Child Protection & Welfare Commission was established in 2011 and given executive authority to administer and manage child protection matters. Aawaz-II organized a (remote) consultation to shape advocacy pathways to improve the effectiveness of child protection measures in KP. “Staff…

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Pursestrings & Peoples Priorities | The Foundation’s analysis of development funds – KP Budget FY2020-21

The Foundation’s analysis showed that KP’s FY2020-21’s total outlay was Rs.923 billion, slightly more than the preceding year’s Rs.900 billion. Rs.318 billion was allocated for development -- Rs.149 billion for settled districts and Rs.83 billion for merged districts. Analysing the development budget, the Foundation confirmed that in response to Covid-19, the KP government allocated Rs.24.38 billion for Health, representing a whopping increase of 79.20% from the preceding year’s Rs.13.61 billion. According to government, it is the “biggest…

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Meeting with KP’s Finance Minister, Mr. Taimur Khan Jhagra The Foundation presents its Budget Analysis & Social Accountability Actions

The Minister commended the Foundation’s analysis and efforts: “budget transparency is fundamental,” he asserted. Development and current budgets must be linked to assess the full scope of investment/spending. Trends over the period FY2013-14 to FY2020-21 confirming that more than half of the ADP is placed under block allocation underscores the need to reduce block funds. However, delays in departmental input forces Finance to retain block allocations.   Discussing the delayed upgradation of Abbottabad’s DHQ, it…

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Feasibility Study, Community Lead Project

Under the ADB-funded: Building Urban Resilient Communities, a feasibility study for a pilot community lead project was conducted by the Environmental Consultancy & Options (ECO). Due to Covid restrictions, the draft study was completed in July 2020. It was reviewed by Oxfam that is lead implementing partner to ADB, government stakeholders and the Foundation. It was sent to the ADB in January 2021. Once approved, improvements in solid waste management, sewerage and drinking water will be undertaken in…

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“Women Leaders’ Groups-She Can Lead” a Partnership Program in Abbottabad

The three-year (July 2017-June 2020) partnership programme: She Can Lead (SCL) was implemented by the Foundation in collaboration with Oxfam Pakistan, with funding from Australian Aid. Due to COVID-19, the training of Women Leaders Groups (WLGs) from Districts Abbottabad, Haripur & Mansehra only included one representative from each of the 6 WLGs. The training helped participants better understand the need for the involvement of women in politics and governance. Experiences from SCL were also reviewed…

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A series of 3 People’s Assemblies on LG system

Peshawar, Kohat & Islamabad 17, 19 & 31 December 2019 Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s local government elected in 2015 completed its four-year tenure in August 2019. Amendments to the provincial legislation were passed earlier, in April 2019, to introduce a new structure of local government in KP. Local elections were due within 120 days, i.e., by December 2019. However, there is no apparent progress on the anticipated electoral process, as yet. The importance of local governments was…

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Programme Review & Planning (PRP)

The Foundation strives to be a learning organization. It has well-developed internal systems for planning and monitoring including regular PRP meetings in which all staff come together to analyse implementation experiences and explore ways to improve effectiveness & impact. Better teamwork is also an important purpose of the PRP. It generally runs over 2-3 days and is held in a residential setting to encourage team interaction. The 2019 PRP was held on 23-26 December 2019…

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Peoples Assembly on KP Budget FY2019-20

15 November 2019, Jalal Baba Auditorium, Abbottabad Since 2010 the Foundation regularly analyses development priorities in KP’s annual budgets and uses its findings to recommend reforms in the province’s public finance management. The Foundation is also assisting more than 200 CSOs in 12 KP districts to use social accountability for increasing citizen engagement in governance with the intent of improving the delivery of quality public services. To assist CSOs in connecting local social accountability actions with…

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Social Accountability: Democratic Innovations

3-4 October 2019, Islamabad The Foundation brought together its 50 CSO partners from 12 KP districts to draw lessons from their engagements with governments to improve delivery of public services. Strategies to consolidate & extend efforts were also developed. Working in regional -- Central, Hazara, Malakand & Southern -- groups, participants reviewed their social accountability experiences. Lessons were drawn out and prioritized, including the following: •       Collective action & platforms: Working in groups…

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Development plans shaped by & for the Poor – Tehsil Haripur

The Foundation facilitated a pro-poor planning process to improve the provision of social services in poor villages of VCs/NCs of Tehsil Haripur. These were selected by key local activists through well-being ranking held in Haripur on 3 July 2019. This was followed by intensive training of staff and field-based facilitators (FBFs) in participatory methodologies including Participatory Reflection & Action (PRA) and Stimulating, Learning/Listening, Appreciating and Transforming (SALT). This trained team facilitated a series of meetings in 63 villages…

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WLG Training & Networking

Under She Can Lead, implemented with Oxfam and two other NGOs, the Foundation supported a series of activities involving Women Leaders Groups (WLGs) from Districts Abbottabad, Haripur & Mansehra. 27 WLG members, three representatives of women’s and HR groups and 14 staff from Oxfam and the Foundation attended the events. They reviewed SCL’s journey since 2017. Then participants were trained in democratic governance and active citizenship. They discussed the importance of documentation like CNICs. Networking opportunities…

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Mein Rehbar Hoon

The Foundation produced and broadcast a series of eight radio programmes in collaboration with Pakistan Radio on: (a) women’s political participation, (b) voting rights, (c) CNIC, (d) economic opportunities, (e) local government, etc. The programmes featured distinguished speakers like Ms. Khawar Mumtaz, Chairperson, National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW), and, Ms. Nighat Siddiqui, Additional Director General (Gender), Election Commission of Pakistan.

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Khuli Kutchery

The Foundation organized a khuli kutchery in Tehsil Municipal Hall Pabbi in District Nowshera in collaboration with the District Nazim’s office. The event was chaired by the District Nazim and was attended by 121 people, including 47 women. 140 resolutions were prepared for the khuli kutchery, of which about 60 were directly presented by applicants. Of these 32 related to drinking water, including demands for constructing hand pumps and repairing water supply. Calls to construct sewerage lines were also made. Citizens also demanded…

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Khuli Kutchery – Khwazakhela, Swat

The khuli kutchery was held in Model School, Khwazakhela in Swat. The event was jointly hosted by Tehsil Council-Khwazakhela, a Public Contact Committee (consisting of local CSO partners) formed for the khuli kutchery and the Foundation. 115 participants (including 20 women) attended the khuli kutchery, including public applicants, elected & non-elected LAs, PCC members and journalists. The Tehsil Nazim and other senior elected/non-elected duty bearers directly heard issues and needs of local people from nine VCs and issued directives to resolve these issues. 60 public…

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