Social Inclusion in KP’s Local Government

Aawaz-II Consultation ‘Local government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is significant as it will help build social capital, improve the delivery of public services, and help citizens assert their rights.” Ms. Farida Shaheed, Executive Director, Shirkat Gah & Member-Aawaz-II Provincial Forum emphasised in her key note address at the Aawaz–II consultation on Social Inclusion in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s New Local Government. Better facilities for birth, marriage/divorce registration at the Village/Neighbourhood Council level will reduce gender-based violence and early-age marriage.…

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Gender-responsive budgeting, CEDAW & SDG 5

Punjab Budget FY2021-22 Meeting with Punjab parliamentarians, government officials & CSOs 29 December 2021, Lahore About 35 participants including MPs, government officials, academics and CSO members attended the meeting to review details of the Punjab Budget FY2021-22, analyzed by the Foundation using Shirkat Gah’s assessment of Pakistan’s achievement and obligations with regard to CEDAW & SDG 5. Appreciating the analysis, MPA Uzma Kardar said, “It will help us in legislative oversight & examining expenditures of…

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Gender Responsive Budgeting – A Reference Guide

The Foundation published a Reference Guide on Gender Responsive Budgeting. It has two sections. The first relates to the context of public finance management. It provides basic information on a government budget and its components. It gives details of the budget process/cycle, drawing attention to different entry points for promoting gender-responsive public finance decisions. The second section focuses on GRB, giving its definition, explaining its multiple benefits: inclusive democracy, effective governance and fair public finance…

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CSO Training in Budget Advocacy with IBP

On 30 November 2021, the Foundation and the International Budget Partnership completed a series of three on-line training sessions on budget advocacy. Eight leading CSOs in Pakistan attended the training. Eight leading CSOs in Pakistan attended the training. In 2022, two in-person training events are planned to further develop skills in budget assessment.

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Leadership Training

In the second half of 2021, the Foundation developed leadership and communication skills of nearly 3,000 women and 600 men from local communities in 5 KP districts. The trained leaders became more familiar with gender equality, human & constitutional rights. They also learnt communication and advocacy skills. The trained leaders will help their communities become more socially inclusive and reject all forms of discrimination. These efforts are part of Fempower-Pakistan.

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High Caliber, Committed Staff Required

Omar Asghar Khan Foundation is offering a full time position as Mobilization Office, based in its Abbottabad office, for its Aawaz-II Programme. Ideal candidates will be motivated, willing to extensively travel within Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and able to work collaboratively in a team-oriented environment. For detailed TORs please visit our website: www.oakdf.org.pk Dynamic individuals with a passion to contribute to making society more fair and inclusive are requested to send their applications with a complete CV…

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Social Accountability Updates

Government actions on 321 public demands by local CSOs trained by the Foundation improve the delivery of public services to some of the poorest communities in 5 KP districts (Abbottabad, Haripur, Peshawar, Mardan & Nowshera). The largest number of demands (78) related to water & sanitation, followed by local government (75) and education (63).

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Aawaz-II Consultation on Child Protection in KP

Emphasizing the need for public backing for effective implementation of laws, Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah, KP’s Secretary Social Welfare & Women’s Development, said “Aawaz-II is strategically placed to provide this support through its tiered presence and interventions at the district and sub-district levels.” He was speaking at the Aawaz-II Provincial Consultation on Child Protection. More than 100 civil society activists, journalists and  academics from 11 KP districts including merged areas actively interacted with government officials,…

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Meeting of Haripur’s Area Support Network

At a meeting of Haripur’s ASN, members discussed ways in which local women, especially the more vulnerable, may be assisted in accessing citizenship documents like CNIC, birth registration, etc. and services to improve their conditions and well-being.

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Aawaz-II Provincial Forum’s 6th Meeting

The Provincial Forum reviewed its past year’s work and achievements. This included: (a) bringing all key government and non-government stakeholders together on a platform; (b) creating understanding & visibility of Aawaz-II: its objectives, strategy & institutional structure from villages to the province; and, (c) specific interventions in Aawaz-II themes: GBV, early/forced marriage & child protection as well as cross-cutting focus on vulnerable groups. The meeting also defined key interventions to be taken including follow up…

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Reviewing legislation and planning – Meeting of KP Women Parliamentary Caucus

The Foundation assisted Shirkat Gah in facilitating KP's WPC to review the legislative/planning efforts of its committees and to chart future directions. More than 20 MPs from the ruling PTI and opposition parties: JUI-F, JI and ANP attended the meeting. "The WPC has set impressive examples of working across party lines for the rights of women and the marginalized," commended Mr. Mehmood Jan, Deputy Speaker of KP's Assembly and Patron of the WPC. Dr. Sumera…

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KP Budget FY2021-22: Resources for Vulnerable Groups

A discussion on KP’s Budget FY2021-22 was held a day before it was tabled in the provincial assembly. The consultation was organized by British Council under Aawaz-II in collaboration with the Sub-National Governance-II Programme. Speaking at the event, Dr. Sumera Shams, Chair-KP Women Parliamentary Caucus, stressed the need for gender-responsive budgets and gave details of proposals submitted by the cross-party WPC to the Minister Finance. These include requests for allocations for the District Protection Committees,…

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Gender Responsive Budget Proposals

KP's Finance Minister Taimur Khan Jhagra committed Rs.100 million to increase shelters for survivors and women at risk. He confirmed that the province's budget FY2021-22 will include SDG references to help track achievements against these benchmarks. The Minister also committed resources to improve the operations of the KP Commission on the Status of Women. The Finance Minister was responding to GRB proposals presented by the Chair and member of KP's Women Parliamentary Caucus. They were…

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MOU signed between KP’s Women Parliamentary Caucus & the Foundation

Under the MOU the Foundation and its partners will work closely with KP’s WPC to strengthen democratic institutions; promote gender responsive policies & budgets; and, support people’s well-being. Focus of the cooperation will be: international obligations (especially CEDAW), SDGs, public finance reform including GRB, and, post-legislative scrutiny. Dr. Sumaira Shams, Chair-KP WPC and Ms. Rashida Dohad, Executive Director of the Foundation signed the MOU. Mr. Mehmood Jan, Deputy Speaker-KP Assembly & Patron-KP WPC, office-bearers of…

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3rd Wave: Covid-19 Response

The Foundation provides 1,500 PPE suits, 1,500 N95 masks, 37,500 surgical masks, and 950 sanitizers for frontline health workers & other essential personnel in KP’s Districts Mardan & Nowshera. This was made possible with support from philanthropists & Oxfam.

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Engaging with KP Parliamentarians on Public Budgets, SDGs & International Obligations

Nathiagali, 21-23 March 2021 Responding to a request from the Women Parliamentary Caucus in KP, the Foundation and Shirkat Gah organised a three-day training & dialogue on public finance management, development funds & processes, SDGs, and, international conventions like CEDAW. Mr. Mehmood Jan, Deputy Speaker of the KP Assembly & WPC's Patron, Dr. Sumaira Shams, Chair-WPC and Dr. Riffat Sardar, Chair-KP Commission on the Status of Women played leadership roles in making this engagement possible.…

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Aawaz-II KP 5th Provincial Forum Meeting & Action Planning

29 March 2021, Peshawar The fifth meeting of Aawaz-II Provincial Forum in KP was held on Monday, 29 March 2021 at Peshawar, hosted by the foundation and British Council.  The meeting  also addressed the agenda of Provincial Forum action planning on Aawaz – II core themes of Child Labour, Early/Forced Marriages, and, Gender-based Violence. The discussion framed on understanding the current context of these issues and challenges faced on-ground, while also putting forward key recommendations for counter strategies.  The meeting was chaired by Dr. Riffat Sardar Chair, KPCWS and co-chaired by Mr. Ijaz Khan, Deputy Chief, KP Child Protection & Welfare…

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Aawaz-II Partners National Forum

15-16 March 2021, Islamabad British Council brought together the Foundation and other partners from KP & Punjab to review the completion of Aawaz-II’s first implementation year. Achievements were celebrated, challenges identified and future plans drawn up. The event also helped connect partners into a strong, diverse team.

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Promoting Social Cohesion – Aawaz-II ToTs

23-25 February & 3-5 March 2021, Islamabad 34 participants from seven Khyber Pakhtunkhwa downstream partners of Aawaz-II attended two training of trainers events organized by the British Council with support from the Foundation. The ToTs helped participants to better understand social cohesion and develop skills to promote it. Specifically, the training helped participants: Develop skills to cascade the training with Aawaz Forum members Become familiar of community disharmony stemming from harmful practices Identify triggers, connectors, spoilers…

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Fempower Pakistan Training of Trainers – Leadership

13 female and 14 male activists from 12 CSOs KP’s five districts of Abbottabad, Haripur, Mardan, Nowshera and Peshawar attended a training on Leadership. They became more familiar with diversity and the imperative for inclusion. Human rights were discussed in detail, and participants were assisted in reviewing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and assessing synergy with the Constitution of Pakistan. The training helped participants better understand gender roles, gender division of labour and the root causes of gender discrimination. “The…

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Aawaz-II Consultation on KP Law on Domestic Violence

25 February 2021, Peshawar The Aawaz-II Programme in partnership with the KP Commission on the Status of Women (KPCSW) organized an event to celebrate the passage of the landmark KP Domestic Violence Against Women (Prevention & Protection) Act 2021. Civil society activists, lawyers and journalists participated in the event physically and online. Speaking at the event, Dr. Sumaira Shams, Chairperson of the Women Parliamentary Caucus in the KP Assembly, said “the Government is committed to…

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Fempower Pakistan Leadership TOT

1-4 February 2021, Lahore Shirkat Gah facilitated a Training of Trainers, attended by 20 representatives of the Foundation, Simorgh and Shirkat Gah. The training helped participants become more familiar with the concepts of diversity and inclusion, rights and development, gender, leadership, advocacy and communication. A module of leadership was provided -- as a reference guide for cascading replications with community leaders. Specifically, the training achieved the following objectives: Clarified key concepts:diversity & inclusion Improved knowledge about rights & a social contract Deepened understandingabout gender, division of labour, resources & decision making Helped become familiar with leadership, advocacy & principles of communications Under Fempower Pakistan, Shirkat Gah,…

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Aawaz Aagahi Centers (AACs) – Training of Trainers

Under Aawaz-II, the Foundation assisted the British Council to organize a Training of Trainers, which was attended by 25 staff of district partners in Punjab and KP. The training helped participants become more familiar with the purpose and functions of the Aawaz Aagahi Centre (AAC), and its connections with parallel Aawaz structures. Specifically, the training achieved the following objectives: Clarified objectives, management structures and protocols of AACs Improved knowledge & information on AAC functions: activities…

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Aawaz-II Training of Trainers

To better understand Aawaz-II’s themes of Child Labour, GBV and Early/Forced Marriages, the Foundation assisted the British Council to organize a Training of Trainers. About 20 participants from nine KP districts and the Foundation staff attended an in-depth and engaging training that aimed to: Enhance facilitators’ understanding of Aawaz-II’s focus on inclusion, awareness and behaviour change. Equip forum facilitators with knowledge of Aawaz-II’s thematic areas, enabling them to promote change through Aawaz Forums. Provide master facilitators…

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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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