The Art of Communication

Institute of Communication Studies, University of Punjab Collaborates with Mishal Pakistan to Develop Media Credibility Index

Posted by on 18 Jul, 2013

Institute of Communication Studies (ICS), University of Punjab Collaborates with Mishal Pakistan to develop Media Credibility Index, an initiative to create new frameworks and methodologies to measure current trends and indices on media ethics, journalism standards, media credibility and rankings to be measured on international benchmarks.

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Posted by on 26 Sep, 2014

Publication: Pakistan News Release Date: 26-09-2014 Web links:  http://www.pakistannewsreleases.com/pakistan-highest-infant-mortality-rate-world-iqbal-detho/ Shikarpur, September...

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PreCall – 4th intl. conference on M4D – Dakar, Senegal – 8-9 April 2014

Posted by on 19 Mar, 2013

This conference is the fourth in the M4D biennial series following the inaugural conference in Karlstad, Sweden in 2008. The 2nd conference was in Kampala, Uganda in 2010 and the...

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Posted by on 14 Mar, 2015

Future socio-economic wellbeing can only be ensured if business entities, government intuitions, media and communities work towards creating shared values. Islamabad, PK – 14...

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All Stakeholders Need to Join Hands to Improve Quality of Life in Pakistan


Future socio-economic wellbeing can only be ensured if business entities, government intuitions, media and communities work towards creating shared values.

Islamabad, PK – 14 March 2015 – Creating value for the citizens by engaging communities in the process of business, transparency and accountability was discussed today at a roundtable dialogue at Marriott hotel. Islamabad organized by AGAHI. The roundtable discussion on how organizations can create value for their stakeholders focused on the future of corporate social responsibility and public relations in Pakistan. The dialogue brought together the journalists’ community and the corporate sector to explore the scope of Creating Shared Value (CSV) in promoting socio-cultural norms, protection of socio-geographic environment and ethic-driven business practices, sharing government responsibilities, and ensuring transparency in managerial practices in Pakistan. The speakers and the participants shared the challenges their organizations faced ensuring the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Public Relations (PR) vision while meeting the profit bottom line.

Puruesh Chaudhary, Founder & President AGAHI, said that the dynamics within which the businesses are operating in are evolving at an incredible pace; drivers of change being innovation and technology. The philosophy that is re-determining the functions of communications for socio-economic and improvements in human condition is a collective responsibility of all stakeholders. She further added that, “creating shared value as a separate category for the Agahi Awards – Beyond 2015 is a reason to highlight journalistic efforts for assembling information and knowledge on corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship, dignity, interfaith, and media ethics.”

All profitable businesses are conducted in an environment, which impacts the entire value chain processes, caring for customers and other stakeholders is a good business practice, said Waheed Hamid, Director Communications at Fauji Fertilizers Company Limited (FFC). He further said, collaboration between public and private businesses could do wonders for the community. Public Relations is no more a relationship enhancement exercise, it is more of an understanding of others point of view and realigning business strategy for mutual gains for not only the businesses but also for the society they operate in.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR), is also called referred to as corporate conscience, corporate citizenship or sustainable responsible business. This is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. CSR policy functions as a self-regulatory mechanism whereby a business monitors and ensures its active compliance with the spirit of the law, ethical standards and international norms.

Creating shared value (CSV) is a business concept first introduced by Prof. Michael E. Porter, a leading authority on competitive strategy and head of the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School, and Mark R. Kramer, Kennedy School at Harvard University and co-founder of FSG.

“The future prosperity for society lies in creating common shared values for all stakeholders collectively, businesses and government need to cater and ensure socio-economic dividends for their respective communities and clientele”, said Amir Jahangir, Young Global Leader World Economic Forum.

Senior strategic communication expert, Hina Akhtar said that, many see CSR as a PR tool but if you look at it from a broader perspective, CSR is a commitment to operate as a responsible business entity, whereas a business’s primary objective is to gain financial profits, a responsible organization measures its success beyond these financial gains.

Colonel (R) Waheed Hamid, Director Communications Fauji Fertilizers Company (LTD), Hina Akhtar, Chief Executive Officer, Gold String Communications, Imran Sheikh, Educationist, Executive Vice President JS Bank, Dr. Ansir Ali Rajput Educationist and Amir Jahangir, Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum shared their views the benefits and challenges of engaging communities and other stakeholders for good business practices. A large number of business and economic journalists also attended the round table discussion.

AGAHI is a not for profit organization established in Islamabad in 2011 under the Society Registration Act 1860. Its primary function is to create non-paid communication strategies, content intelligence structures, development collaterals and tools for diverse sectors and organizations. AGAHI encourages and advises individuals and institutions in pursuing and supporting initiatives to improve the state of development in Pakistan. It works on developmental frameworks facilitating information and knowledge sharing platforms on understanding challenges in global perspective. Its research work mainly focuses on national and international security, ICT, competitiveness, human capital development, and governance. AGAHI in association with several leading national and international partners focuses on creating shared spaces for interactive learning, collaborative thinking, and knowledge sharing. AGAHI is at the forefront of devising foresight research and future scenarios work in Pakistan.

This year AGAHI, celebrates AGAHI AWARDS – Beyond 2015 by recognizing best reporting practices on categories such as: Business & Economy (Competitiveness), Creating Shared Value, Disaster and Catastrophe, Education, Gender, Health, Youth Empowerment, Human Rights, Infotainment, Innovation Journalism, Judiciary, Millennium Development Goals, Journalism for Peace, Photo Journalism, Entrepreneurship, Sports, Energy, Water, Agriculture, Environment, Foreign Policy, Foresight and Futures.

– END -

2.8 million children between the age of 5 and 16 remain out of school in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa despite Rs. 73,685 million budget.


Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Meeting
Education is the best tool to ensure long term ‘rule of law’ in Pakistan, conclude participants at the
education governance roundtable.

Peshawar, PK – January 22, 2015 - “The PTI led coalition provincial government has worked hard to ensure transparency of education governance through the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Right to Information Act 2013″, said Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani, Minister for Information, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,  while chairing the Education Governance Roundtable at the Peshawar Press Club. “We declared education emergency in the province, started an education campaign and brought 0.35 million students back to school”, he further said.

“The Right to Information Act passed by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial assembly in 2013, has further strengthened the constitutional rights of citizens, empowering them to hold government officials accountable”, said, Puruesh Chaudhary, Director Mishal Pakistan, while facilitating the group discussion. Education is the key to cultivate peace and rule of law in society, she added.

The Provincial Meeting on Education Governance convened in Peshawar today to discuss the current state of education in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The roundtable discussion took place among key stakeholders from the education sector, the dialogue aimed to highlight the importance of government and media partnership in enhancing accountability. The provincial meeting was organized by Mishal Pakistan in collaboration with ILM Ideas (a 3 year UKaid funded program).

The objective of ILM-o-AGAHI initiative is to improve accountability and media coverage of priority education issues and build consensus on education policies by engaging stakeholders, including media and policy makers.

The ruling party in the Khyber PakthunkhwaPakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) manifesto advocates budget allocation of 5% of GDP for education. The Economic Survey of Pakistan (2013-2014) states that the enrollment rate has improved to 91% in the year 2012 to 2013 as compared to 89% in 2011 to 2012 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

Zahir Shah, Senior Journalist, while moderating the discussion highlighted that in past, said that the education institutional structure in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has suffered a lot due to the regional conflicts, further worsening educational indicators in the province and adjoining areas. The way forward to the province is to address the community needs and upgrade the standards of the lost infrastructure along with the capacity building of the teachers and other human resources.

Media and government both have ignored education; we should design a curriculum that will unite the entire nation, said Nasir Hussain, former president Peshawar press club.

The participants also argued about the government’s methodology to engage the same development partners in education sector reforms and curricular development, who have failed to deliver for the past several years.

Curriculum definitely requires due attention but meanwhile the government has improved enrollment and has focused on merit based selection of teachers, said, Azam Khan, District Education Officer, Peshawar. He stressed on the importance of education to improve the collective consciousness of the society. He further said that the government has made education a priority and is working towards improving the quality standards at the primary and the secondary level.

Asif Malik, Assistant Registrar COMSATS University Islamabad, said that education is like linchpin in the development of nations, without which the house of cards falls. In a country like Pakistan, the house has already fallen due to lack of seriousness towards most pressing issues of Pakistan.

Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani, Information Minister to Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Muhammad Arif, Deputy Director Elementary and Secondary Education, Azam Khan, District Education Officer Peshawar, Zahir Shah, senior journalist Khyber Pakthunkhwa, Nasir Hussain, former president press club and representatives of the non-governmental organizations and the journalist community attended the roundtable dialogue.

Mishal Pakistan with academicians and researchers produced a literature review in 2014 assessing an overarching complexity and trivial underlying causes that has subjugated the communities to an idealistic narrative on education. The study witnesses “Education Governance and Accountability” as the most underreported area in media. While the literature reviewed does speak volume of increasing public spending on education little does it discuss the possible Educational Governance models. This underreporting further positions the growing need for a dialogue to essentially build mechanisms that streamlines the transparency and utility of existing budgetary allocation for primary and secondary education.

Mishal Pakistan is the partner institute of the Center for International Media Ethics and the Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Networks of the World Economic Forum. Mishal assists the forum in creating soft-data on Pakistan, identifying Pakistan’s competitiveness challenges including primary health & education and higher education. Agahi Awards, an annual series of journalism awards in Pakistan, is an initiative of Mishal Pakistan and AGAHI, developed under the umbrella of the Credibility Lab creating an appreciation methodology for ethical and quality content. The theme of this year’s Agahi awards is also going to be ‘Education’.

40,000 Ghost Teachers and 5,200 Ghost Schools remain unaddressed in Sindh despite Rs. 145 Billion budget.


60% schools remain without drinking water facility, 40% without electricity, and 35% without any boundary walls. Over 40,000 ghost teachers and 5,229 ghost schools loiter unaddressed in Sindh despite allocation of Rs. 145.02 billion budget for education.

The Provincial Meeting on Education Governance convened in Karachi today to discuss the current state of education in Sindh. The roundtable discussion took place among the key stakeholders of in the education sector. The participants highlighted the importance of government and media partnership to enhance accountability. The meeting was organized by Mishal Pakistan in collaboration with ILM Ideas (a 3 year UKaid funded program).
The objective of ILM-o-AGAHI initiative is to improve accountability and media coverage of priority education issues and build consensus on education policies by engaging stakeholders, including media and policy makers.
Fazlullah Pechuho, Secretary Education to the Government of Sindh, Aamir Latif, President Press Club Karachi, and representatives of the non-governmental organizations and the journalist community attended the roundtable dialogue.
Puruesh Chaudhary, Director Mishal Pakistan, facilitating the group discussion said that, “education is a neglected theme in Pakistan, while the government has not given education sector a priority, media has also failed to safeguard the rights of the citizen to universal education”. Education reporting lacks the accountability perspective, she further said.
‘During Pervez Musharraf’s tenure schools used to be constructed without any need assessment, this has resulted in an uneven distribution of institutions across the province’, said Dr. Fazlullah Pechehu, Secretary Education, Government of Sindh. He also stressed on the importance of constructive role of journalism in monitoring government’s work in the education sector. He further added that the system of accountability is there but it is defective. He also said that the merit-based recruitment of teachers is essential to improve the education sector. He also informed that his department has got the approval of the cabinet for public and private partnership for schools in Sindh.
Aamir Latif, senior journalist, while moderating the discussion highlighted that in past, the most incompetent individuals used to join police department or the teaching sector, which has led to the current state of education in Sindh.
Mishal Pakistan with academicians and researchers produced a literature review in 2014 assessing an overarching complexity and trivial underlying causes that has subjugated the communities to an idealistic narrative on education. The study witnesses “Education Governance and Accountability” as the most underreported area in media. While the literature reviewed does speak volume of increasing public spending on education little does it discuss the possible Educational Governance models. This underreporting further positions the growing need for a dialogue to essentially build mechanisms that streamlines the transparency and utility of existing budgetary allocation for primary and secondary education.
Mishal Pakistan is the partner institute of the Center for International Media Ethics and the Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Networks of the World Economic Forum. Mishal assists the forum in creating soft-data on Pakistan, identifying Pakistan’s competitiveness challenges including primary health & education and higher education. Agahi Awards, an annual series of awards for journalism in Pakistan, is another initiative of Mishal Pakistan, developed under the umbrella of the Credibility Lab at Mishal for creating an appreciation methodology for ethical and quality content. The theme of this year’s Agahi awards is also going to be ‘Education’.

Quality Education Still a Challenge in Punjab


A public school, just a few kilometers away from Prime Minister’s Model Town Home remains in deteriorating condition since 1973, Education Governance Roundtable, Punjab.

Lahore, PK – January 15, 2015 – Provincial Meeting on Education Governance convened today in Lahore, to discuss the importance of Government and Media Partnership to Enhance Accountability. The meeting aimed at generating a discussion among major education stakeholders about the current state of education governance in the province. The ILM-o-AGAHI Education Governance Roundtable was organized by Mishal Pakistan in collaboration with Ilm Ideas (a 3 year UKaid funded program).

The objective of the ILM-O-AGAHI initiative is to improve accountability and media coverage of priority education issues and build consensus on education policies by engaging various stakeholders, including media and policy makers.

Qaiser Rashid, Deputy Secretary Education (Schools), Engineer Qamar-ul-Islam, Chairman Standing Committee on Education and Dr. Hafiz Muhammad Iqbal, Former Dean Faculty Education Punjab University along with representatives from the non-governmental organizations and the journalist community attended the roundtable dialogue.

Puruesh Chaudhary, Director Mishal Pakistan, facilitating the group discussion said, While the authenticity of data and information are essential to policy development, the use of technology can not only ensure accountability but also assess the performance of the provincial education departments in Pakistan.

“The government plans to ensure sustainability and allocate more funds in education sector in coming years”, said Qaiser Rashid, Deputy Secretary Education (Schools). He also said that the teachers and students’ attendance is highest in the region but quality remains a challenge for the Punjab government. The government is also spending Rs. 4 billion on free textbooks in Punjab and is giving a stipend of Rs. 2000 every month to every female student on 80% attendance.

Engineer Qamar-ul-Islam, Chairman Standing Committee on Education, Punjab Assembly,  said that teachers’ attendance in Punjab is 90% and even the 10% absents are informed in advance. Education budget shouldn’t include teachers’ salaries in non-developmental budget. Qamar-ul-Islam further states that in future 10% disadvantaged kids will be admitted to all the schools including private schools by law. To ensure 100% attendance, Chairman Standing Committee on Education said that parents who will not send their kids to school would not be allowed to benefit from any community service initiative like Benazir Income Support etc. Chairman Standing Committee on Education then asked journalists to give input on the state of education and said that despite sending formal invitations to journalists in 2014 the department did not received anything from the journalists community.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Hafiz Muhammad Iqbal, former Dean of the education faculty of the Punjab University said, “building a sustainable system of accountability is the most critical factor for improving the education standards in Punjab”. He further said that the Punjab Government is only paying attention to the initiatives that can be counted and showed to public, however the quality of education remains unaddressed.

Mishal Pakistan with academicians and researchers produced a literature review in 2014 assessing an overarching complexity and trivial underlying causes that has subjugated the communities to an idealistic narrative on education. The study witnesses “Education Governance and Accountability” as the most underreported area in the media. While the literature reviewed does speak volume of increasing public spending on education little does it discuss the possible Educational Governance Models. This underreporting further positions the growing need for a dialogue to essentially build mechanisms that streamlines the transparency and utility of existing budgetary allocation for primary and secondary education.

Mishal Pakistan is the partner institute of the Center for International Media Ethics and the Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Networks of the World Economic Forum. Mishal assists the forum in creating soft-data on Pakistan, identifying Pakistan’s competitiveness challenges including primary health & education and higher education.

Poor data, lack of resources, & capacity; major constraints in implementing an effective Education Policy


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Quetta, PK – January 12, 2015 – Provincial Meeting on Education Governance held at Quetta Press Club; underscored the importance of Government and Media Partnership to Enhance Accountability. The meeting aimed at bringing major education stakeholders on the same platform to discuss the current state of education governance in the province. The meeting was organized by Mishal Pakistan in collaboration with ILM Ideas.

The objective of ILM-O-AGAHI initiative is to improve accountability and media coverage of priority education issues and build consensus on education policies by engaging various stakeholders, including media and policy makers. Sardar Raza Bareech, Education Advisor to the Chief Minister of Balochistan, Abdullah Jan Balochistan Information Secretary, Raza Rehman President Quetta Press Club, representatives from the non-governmental organizations and the journalist community attended the roundtable dialogue.

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Abdullah Jan Secretary Information Balochistan, said that the journalists should develop a culture and set precedence by seeking public information through the use of the Freedom of Information Act. He elaborated that the utility of funds within the education sector needs a watchdog; that can assess the impact of the contribution made by the Government of Balochistan in improving the state of education in the province.

 

 

Negative criticism will be counter-productive which does not contribute towards good governance, said Sardar Bareech, Education Advisor to Chief Minister of Balochistan. He further added that the Government of Balochistan will introduce new technology in the education sector which will code students and teachers, an effective and efficient monitoring tool which will enable the Government to scrutinize performance, creating space for introspection.

 

 

 

Ali Shah, Bureau Chief DawnNews TV, moderating the discussion raised a pertinent challenge for the journalist community covering events rather than issues. He highlighted the need for independent initiatives; giving more voices to the community.

Mishal Pakistan with academicians and researchers produced a literature review in 2014 assessing an overarching complexity and trivial underlying causes that has subjugated the communities to an idealistic narrative on education. The study witnesses “Education Governance and Accountability” as the most underreported area in the media. While the literature reviewed does speak volume of increasing public spending on education little does it discuss the possible Educational Governance Models. This underreporting further positions the growing need for a dialogue to essentially build mechanisms that streamlines the transparency and utility of existing budgetary allocation for primary and secondary education. 

Mishal Pakistan is the partner institute of the Center for International Media Ethics and the Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Networks of the World Economic Forum. Mishal assists the forum in creating soft-data on Pakistan, identifying Pakistan’s competitiveness challenges including primary health & education and higher education.

 

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Pakistan at 141 Among 142 Countries on the Global Gender Gap Report 2014 of the World Economic Forum.


Pakistan at 141 Among 142 Countries on the Global Gender Gap Report 2014 of the World Economic Forum.

Islamabad, PK – 29 October, 2014 - In nine years of measuring the global gender gap, the world has seen only a small improvement in equality for women in the workplace. According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2014, launched by the World Economic Forum, the gender gap for economic participation and opportunity now stands at 60% worldwide, having closed by 4% from 56% in 2006 when the Forum first started measuring it. Based on this trajectory, with all else remaining equal, it will take 81 years for the world to close this gap completely.
The ninth edition of the report finds that, among the 142 countries measured, Pakistan has been ranked at 141 and occupies the last place in the regional ranking. The country score has been fluctuated over the past nine years, ending with a slight improvement compared to 2006.
On the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex Pakistan has experienced one of the highest negative percentage change relative to its 2006 score. Yet it has achieved one of the highest percentage change relative to its own 2006 score on the Educational Attainment subindex – even the score still falls below 2014 world average on that subindex. Pakistan ranks 141st on the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex this year. It is one of the ten lowest-performing countries on all indicators of this subindex with the exception of Wage equality for similar work. Pakistan is one of the three countries with the lowest percentage of firms with female participation in ownership. Finally, the country ranks 119th on the Health and Survival subindex and 85th on the Political Empowerment subindex.
Amir Jahangir, Chief Executive Officer of Mishal Pakistan, a partner institute of the Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Networks, World Economic Forum, said, “as compared to 2013, Pakistan’s indicators have not changed much, instead other countries have shown improvements. Gender parity and socio-economic empowerment has not been a priority for governments in Pakistan.” “The fact that, there is not a single female full minister either in federal or any of the provincial governments, is an alarming situation”, he further added.

Pakistan’s Performance on the Global Gender Gap Index of the World Economic Forum

On the global front, the gender gap is narrowest in terms of health and survival. This gap stands at 96% globally, with 35 countries having closed the gap entirely. This includes three countries that have closed the gap in the past 12 months. The educational attainment gap is the next narrowest, standing at 94% globally. Here, 25 countries have closed the gap entirely. While the gender gap for economic participation and opportunity lags stubbornly behind, the gap for political empowerment, the fourth pillar measured, remains wider still, standing at just 21%, although this area has seen the most improvement since 2006.
With no one country having closed its overall gender gap, Nordic nations remain the most gender-equal societies in the world. Last year’s leading four nations – Iceland (1), Finland (2), Norway (3) and Sweden (4) – are joined by Denmark, which climbs from eighth place to fifth. Elsewhere in the top 10 there is considerable movement, with Nicaragua climbing four places to sixth, Rwanda entering the index for the first time at seventh, Ireland falling to eighth, the Philippines declining four places to ninth and Belgium climbing one place to tenth.
Further up the index, the United States climbs three places to 20 in 2014, after narrowing its wage gap and improving the number of women in parliamentary and ministerial level positions. Among the BRICS grouping, the highest-placed nation is South Africa (18), supported by strong scores on political participation. Brazil is next at 71, followed by Russia (75), China (87) and India (114).
Nine years of data from the Global Gender Gap Report – first published in 2006 – reveal the pattern of change around the world relative to countries’ own past performance and in relation to each other.
“Much of the progress on gender equality over the last 10 years has come from more women entering politics and the workforce. While more women and more men have joined the workforce over the last decade, more women than men entered the labour force in 49 countries. These are far-reaching changes – for economies and national cultures, however it is clear that much work still remains to be done, and that the pace of change must in some areas be accelerated, ” said Saadia Zahidi, Head of the Gender Parity Programme at the World Economic Forum and lead author of the report.
Progress has not been even across the four pillars of economy, politics, health and education. On educational attainment and health and survival, although many countries have already reached parity, the trend is actually reversing in some parts of the world. In fact, nearly 30% of the countries covered have wider education gaps than they did nine years ago, and over 40% of countries have wider health and survival gaps than they did nine years ago.
“Achieving gender equality is obviously necessary for economic reasons. Only those economies who have full access to all their talent will remain competitive and will prosper. But even more important, gender equality is a matter of justice. As a humanity, we also have the obligation to ensure a balanced set of values,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.
The Global Gender Gap Index ranks 142 countries on the gap between women and men on health, education, economic and political indicators. It aims to understand whether countries are distributing their resources and opportunities equitably between women and men, irrespective of their overall income levels. The report measures the size of the gender inequality gap in four areas:
•    Economic participation and opportunity – salaries, participation and leadership
•    Education – access to basic and higher levels of education
•    Political empowerment – representation in decision-making structures
•    Health and survival – life expectancy and sex ratio
Index scores can be interpreted as the percentage of the gap that has been closed between women and men, and allow countries to compare their current performance relative to their past performance. In addition, the rankings allow for comparisons between countries. Thirteen out of the 14 variables used to create the index are from publicly available hard data indicators from international organizations such as the International Labour Organization, the United Nations Development Programme and the World Health Organization.
The World Economic Forum is an international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation in the spirit of global citizenship. It engages with business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.
Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is independent, impartial and not tied to any interests. It cooperates closely with all leading international organizations.

Global Dignity Day; Underprivileged Children Gathered in Islamabad to Celebrate Human Dignity


Islamabad, PK – October 16, 2014 - To establish and recognize the right of every human being to lead a dignified life, the third Wednesday of October is celebrated as Global Dignity Day in all parts of the world. Global Dignity Day is a non-profit, non-partisan and non-political initiative taken by the Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum.

In order to educate the children about the concept and importance of human dignity, the children of Mashal Model School and Master Ayub’s Street School joined together to celebrate the Global Dignity Day in Islamabad at the street school of Master Ayub located at Hill Road in F-6/3, organized by Right To Play.

Mashal Model School is an initiative of Ms. Zeba Hussain, providing education and guidance to the street children in Bari Imam at the periphery of Islamabad. There are over 500 children enrolled at the school who regularly participate in play based learning activities guided by Right To Play’s trained Coach.

Master Ayub’s school is another groundbreaking initiative to provide education of under-privileged children living in Bastis around F-6. Been recently awarded the Pride of Performance by the Government of Pakistan, Master Ayub is an inspiration in a country where 25 million children are still out of school. He is teaching voluntarily for the past 27 years and thousands of children have received free education from this humble yet legendary initiative.

At the celebration of Global Dignity, children wrote letters to themselves in which they resolved to work for protecting their personal dignity and that of others. The purpose of celebrating this day is to educate and inspire, children and youth in particular, about the concept and importance of human dignity. Every human being regardless of race, culture or social background has the right to protect his or her dignity. This years’ theme is ‘dignity is every child’s right to go to school’. Right To Play, an international humanitarian organization takes the lead in celebrating Dignity Day in schools in Pakistan in all of its project areas in Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Islamabad.

Right To Play collaborated with Mr. Amir Jahangir, the country chair for Global Dignity in Pakistan. Jahangir is also a Young Global Leader (YGL) of the World Economic Forum as well and Chief Executive Officer of Mishal Pakistan as well. In his message, Jahangir said, “Dignity is simply defined as, right to a better life is every child’s right; dignity for self and dignity for others is the basic right to every child”.

“The purpose to commemorate the Global Dignity Day is to sensitize society to respect the dignity of every human. Right To Play endorses the five principles devised by Global Dignity. Right To Play believes that dignity is a human right and we are celebrating this day across Pakistan to aware children to treat themselves and others the importance of dignity”, said Iqbal Jatoi, the Country Manager of Right To Play, Pakistan.

Johann Olav Koss, the 4 times Olympic Gold Medalist and Founder of Right To Play has sent a special message for Global Dignity Day 2014 “Dignity is having the opportunity to fulfill your potential, Dignity is the right to go to school, Its knowing how to protect yourself from disease, It gives you the confidence to say NO, It creates personal boundaries, Its having the freedom to be yourself, to live in peace. All it takes is one child to positively influence your community, because children are the change makers of the world”.

In 10 districts of Sindh and KP and also in Islamabad, more than 40,000 children and youth are participating in Global Dignity sessions which started in Right To Play partner schools from October 13 and will continue till October 18. Right To Play’s leaders and coaches will facilitate sessions on dignity in classrooms and encourage children to share inspiring stories. Lead by the Junior Leaders of Right To Play, the students share dignity principles, perform role-plays and tableaus manifesting the need of human dignity, and also express their thoughts through drawings and songs.

Dignity events are also taking place in Right To Play partner schools in Mardan, Mansehra, Peshawar in KP and Thatta, Umer Kot, Khairpur, Ghotki and Karachi in Sindh and in Islamabad as well, where large number of children, teachers and parents, and civil society members are participating.

Right To Play is the leading international humanitarian and development organization using sport and play as tools to effect behavior and social change. Our trained Coaches and community leaders implement our programs which are designed to develop basic life skills, prevent diseases, teach conflict resolution and instill hope in children affected by war, poverty and disease. Right To Play implements programs in 20 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America. Right To Play is currently working with more than 200,000 children in 11 districts of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan. Right To Play has trained over 400 local youth as coaches to work in Right To Play’s partner schools in the country.

About Global Dignity:

Global Dignity is an independent, non-profit, non-political initiative focused on empowering people with dignity. Established in 2006 by Young Global Leaders; H.R.H. Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant and Professor Pekka Himanen, the initiative inspires respect, self-esteem and tolerance of diversity and promotes the idea that every human being has the universal right to lead a dignified life. Global Dignity has developed a course on dignity, including five dignity principles, which is taught in schools around the world on October 15th – Global Dignity Day. In 2014, students in more than 40 countries will participate in Global Dignity Day.

PAKISTAN FACES HEALTH EMERGENCY


ISLAMABAD, OCTOBER 14; Pakistan is facing health emergency as 352,000 children die every year before reaching the age of five. The country has the highest rate of first day new born and still birth deaths in the world and lead to deaths of 28,000 mothers every year.  Yet health is the most under reported sector in Pakistani media.

The role of media in highlighting health issues is often affected due to lack of information. It is time that the media should take up this issue and report it with such consistency that it pressurizes the policy makers to focus on their responsibility.

This was the crux of discussion at the two-day health reporters training workshop held in Islamabad. The workshop was conducted by Save the children in collaboration with Mishal Pakistan.

Chief Executive Officer of Mishal Pakistan, Amir Jahangir mentioned that Pakistan’s health budget is still the lowest and under 1 per cent which is the lowest in the region and the world. 80 per cent of the budget accounts for salaries and existing costs. Pakistan medical association claims that corruption and mismanagement is rampant in the health sector. According to PMA the health situation cannot improve unless the budget is enhanced to at least 8 per cent.

The government embroiled in current political issues is giving almost no attention to the child mortality and mother mortality issues which require immediate attention.

Lead trainer and senior journalist Mubashir Zaidi told the workshop participants that most of the health targets, government of Pakistan committed at the international level under Millennium Development Goals No 4 & 5 for 2015, are certain to be missed. Instead most of the targets that were to be achieved by next year now been put in Vision 2025. Although most political parties in their manifestos mention health as their priority but the moment they come to power, the health sector remains neglected.

After 18th Amendment health is now a provincial responsibility but the centre still supervises vaccination campaign and other major health initiatives. The lack of clarity on the devolution of health sector has led to confusion which was evident in last year’s measles deaths in Sindh. Lack of vaccination, poor health facilities and water and sanitation issues are compounding the problems as health workers throughout the country are currently battling to curtail polio which is reaching to a record level this year.

Awareness about breastfeeding remains a low priority area for the government as well as the media. Breastfeeding has increased at a snail pace in the last five years i.e .6 % while bottled milk has sharply risen to over 12% raising concerns over the health authorities efforts to promote breastfeeding.

The reporters need to join hands with civil society and adopt innovative ways to bring health issues in focus in the media before it gets too late.

Dr. Samina Naeem Khalid, Assistant Professor, Department of Maternal, Neonatal & Child Health, Health Services Academy told the workshop that a coordinated effort from all stakeholders can drastically reduce child mortality.

Investigative journalist Umar Cheema said human profiling of health stories coupled with investigative journalism can bring back the issue in the mainstream media.

Marriyum Aurangzeb, MNA and Chairperson Parliamentary Taskforce on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) said that media can play vital role in helping the provincial and the federal government in highlighting challenges that still confronts the country in meeting the MDGs target. She also distributed the certificated among the participants of workshop.