SEPA in Pakistan

District government workers discuss the results of a CIET social audit of governance and public
services in Pakistan.

Socialising evidence has been a key part of every CIET project in Pakistan since 1996. Among these were:

Social audit of abuse against women (2001-2004)

One of the explicit goals of the social audit of abuse against women (SAAW) (–social-audit-of-abuse-against-women/) was to define an action plan for the Government of Pakistan to help prevent and reduce different forms of abuse against women.

In the first half of 2004, after the evidence had been gathered and analysed, a workshopping process took place in all provinces to discuss and recommend solutions. The 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 in a one- or two-month period. The working groups presented summaries of the SAAAW findings and their recommendations in provincial plenary workshops in June 2004. Participants in these workshops were representatives of provincial Ministries of Women’s Development, members of parliament and representatives from NGOs. Detailed discussions and work-group recommendations were compiled in the report that was submitted to the Ministry of Women’s Development at the end of August 2004.

CIET also developed a communication strategy for the Government of Pakistan, based on the SAAAW findings and taking into account the deliberations and recommendations that resulted from the workshopping process.

Social audits of governance and delivery of public services (2004-2009)

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 social audit process that was carried out in Pakistan, starting in 2004, included a strengthened component 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. The calendars depicted main social audit findings through maps and charts. CIET distributed these communication instruments among all levels of government, 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, other 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 relevant to their districts in the context of the overall provincial and national findings. CIET collaborated with provincial local government and rural development departments to organise meetings to discuss the social audit results in all of the country’s four provinces.

During 2006, CIET designed and produced a six-episode video docudrama 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 docudrama series was suspended during the run-up to the 2008 elections.

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.

Social audit in Lasbela

In Lasbela, CIET undertook 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. Although lack of resources has hindered implementation of evidence-based development initiatives in the district, participants in meetings at union council level identified some smaller initiatives based on the evidence and some Citizen Community Boards successfully executed some of these initiatives, such as the installation of water hand-pumps.

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 founded a development journalism forum in the district. Also, CIET provided media training for 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 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 that vaccination rates for measles and DPT in the 12-23 month age group in the intervention communities were double those in the control communities, after adjusting for clustering and baseline findings. See Household cost-benefit decisions for details.