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Pakistan: Socialising Evidence for Participatory Action (SEPA)

Socialising evidence for participatory action (SEPA) in Pakistan 

 

Socialising evidence has been an integral part of all CIET projects in Pakistan, since the first project in 1996, which was undertaken in collaboration with the Sindh Journalists Network. The following is a summary of SEPA activities in some of the more recent Pakistan projects.
 

Social audit of abuse against women (SAAAW) 2001-2004

 

An explicit aim of the Social audit of abuse against women (SAAAW) was to define an action plan for the Government of Pakistan to help eliminate abuse against women.


 Based on the SAAAW findings, a workshopping process took place in all provinces in the first half of 2004. Provincial Women Development Departments (WDDs) convened working groups of government and non-government stakeholders to consider the findings and develop evidence-based policy recommendations and action plans. Each group met several times over the course of one or two months. The working groups presented summaries of the SAAAW findings and their recommendations in provincial plenary workshops in June 2004. These plenary workshops were well-attended, including by provincial Ministers of Women Development and parliamentarians. Press coverage was effective and constructive, picking up on the positive actions recommended by the workshops to reduce the problem of abuse against women. The detailed discussions and recommendations of the working groups formed an Annex to the main SAAAW report submitted to the Ministry of Women Development in August 2004. The report of the SAAAW workshopping process is available from the Library.
 

Also based on the SAAAW findings, and taking into account the deliberations and recommendations from the workshopping process, CIET developed a communication strategy about SAAAW for the government of Pakistan.  This strategy formed an Annex to the main SAAAW report.

  

Social audit of governance and delivery of public services, 2004-ongoing

 

The social audits of delivery of public services  were designed to measure delivery of public services and citizens’ satisfaction, and to promote evidence-based development initiatives at different levels of government. The ongoing social audit process, from 2004 onwards, included a strengthened element for socialising the evidence.

 

Following the official launch of the report of the second national social audit (2004/2005) in September 2005, CIET disseminated the report and a summary in English and Urdu to stakeholders including: local government representatives, national and provincial government departments, research organizations, donors, media, universities and other relevant organisations and individuals.

                                                                                               

CIET produced calendars and wall planners to present key social audit findings in a compact, practical way. These depicted main social audit findings through maps and charts. CIET distributed these communication instruments down to the union council level of the local governments.

 

Regional meetings to discuss the social audit findings took place across the country in collaboration with provincial local government and rural development departments, between December 2005 and April 2006. District nazims, district naib nazims, district officials and people from civil society including teachers, lawyers, doctors and journalists attended these meetings. Elected members of provincial and national assemblies also participated in their respective regional meetings. Through these meetings, CIET discussed with district officials the findings of their districts in the context of the overall provincial and national findings. CIET strengthened important links and contacts with district representatives in many of these meetings.

 

At the provincial level, CIET collaborated with the provincial departments of local government and rural development to convene provincial meetings to discuss the social audit findings, in all four provinces. These meetings were well-attended by representatives of provincial government departments as well as relevant NGOs and academic institutions. Finance departments in particular expressed interest in using the social audit findings in the future.

 

During 2006, CIET designed and produced a six-episode video docu-drama series based on the findings of the national social audit. The six 10-minute episodes covered the findings on health, education, local government, citizen community boards, public utilities and police & judiciary. The pilot episode about health services received positive feedback from audiences of local government and non-government groups. Full dissemination of the docu-drama series has been paused during the run-up to the 2008 elections, and is now planned for later in 2008 when the social audit process is due to resume. Dissemination may include local TV stations, radio stations and organisations with community outreach activities.

 

CIET has maintained contacts with the media in Pakistan in order to support evidence-based development communication. In late 2005 and early 2006, articles about social audit findings appeared in newspapers including Dawn, the Post and the News on Sunday.
 

In March 2006, CIET held an inaugural meeting of a national media core group of selected journalists from across the country. The role of this group will be further discussed and developed when the social audit process resumes later in 2008.

  


Social audit in Lasbela

 

In Lasbela, CIET has undertaken an intensive process of collecting and using evidence in district-level planning over three social audit cycles in the district.

 

In early 2004, the district government of Lasbela launched the report of its first district social audit. CIET then worked with the district government to organise discussion and workshopping around the findings at district, tehsil,and union council levels. Participants at district and tehsil levels defined action plans during these workshops.  Unfortunately, lack of resources has hindered implementation of evidence-based development initiatives in the district. In meetings at union council level, participants identified some smaller initiatives based on the evidence. Some citizen Community Boards successfully executed some of these initiatives, such as the installation of water hand-pumps.

 

With the support of CIET, the district health department designed and implemented a health education campaign using evidence-led communication tools to increase awareness about the benefits of using latrines and practising good household hygiene, which the evidence showed could reduce the risk of childhood diarrhoea. This Health Education and Learning Programme (HELP) has provided evidence-based training to 25 master trainers who trained 750 health workers and community activists to pass on key evidence about benefits of good household hygiene in the district. This programme received financial support from CIDA.

 

With the support of the district nazim, CIET has worked closely with the press in Lasbela. Local journalists have written about the social audit findings and pressed for action based on this evidence. To promote such evidence-based development journalism, CIET organized media training workshops with local journalists. As a result of this effort, journalists have founded a development journalism forum in the district. CIET has provided institutional support for this forum.

CIET provided media training of district government officers in Lasbela. The establishment of a media cell in the district government was a direct outcome of this training. Inspired by the formation of a district media cell, the district government asked the tehsil governments to form their own media cells.

 

In 2005 CIET completed the second social audit cycle in Lasbela, and has subsequently implemented an evidence-based randomised controlled cluster trial in the district. Findings from the second district social audit cycle suggested that while 9 out of 10 people were aware of the benefits of childhood immunisation, only one child in 10 had received all immunisations. The CIET three-year trial examined the effects of knowledge-transfer about immunisations on household cost-benefit decisions. Results of the trial indicated a doubling of vaccination rates for measles and DPT in the 12-23 month age group in the intervention communities, compared with control communities, after adjusting for clustering and baseline findings. See Household cost-benefit decisions for details.

 

 

Social audit in other focus districts

 

In the focus districts, as a part of the focus district scheme, CIET involved district government representatives from all the three tiers of the local government. CIET collaborated with the district governments to disseminate findings of the social audits.

 

The district government of Khanewal launched the district social audit report in February 2006. The district nazim played a very active part in this process.

 

The Haripur district government launched its social audit report in March 2006, in the presence of elected representatives and officials at district, tehsil and union council levels.