Innovations in Promoting Citizen Engagement & WPP
Comsats University – Abbottabad Campus
28 September – 4 October 2023
Omar Asghar Khan Foundation facilitated Shirkat Gah-Women’s Resource Centre and Comsats University (Abbottabad Campus) with assistance from the District Election Commission (Abbottabad) to use a creative game that helped students better understand the importance of citizen engagement in democratic governance and electoral processes. Responding with energy and enthusiasm, students grouped in make-believe, fictional political parties prepared their manifestoes and ran a creative election campaign over about five days. Votes were cast and counted and results announced on 4 October 2023 at the closing ceremony. Speaking at the event, the Foundation’s Executive Director, Rashida Dohad said: “Debate and contestation of ideas is at the core of democracy. It helps find solutions to even intractable economic, social and security challenges. But for this citizen engagement and tolerance of dissent are critical.” Dr. Bahadur Nawaz, Head of Department, stressed the need to use such creative ways of learning and understanding. Ms. Fauzia Khan of Shirkat Gah appreciated the participation of students, especially women, but underscored the need for better gender equality in political processes.