Inspired by the Global Pulse 2010 of USAID, Mishal outlines the media’s capacity building initiatives and areas in Pakistan:

Inspired by the Global Pulse 2010 of USAID, Mishal outlines the media’s capacity building initiatives and areas in Pakistan:
The 10 of the greatest challenges facing the world identified by the Global Pulse initiative of the United States Agency for International Development gives a clear outlook for the areas where media needs to concentrate.

Unfortunately the capacity of the media in Pakistan is limited by its exposure to international development initiatives and lack of trainings in the media sector to address the challenges in the right perspective. Therefore Mishal has also identified the 10 greatest challenges to be the basic outline for media capacity building and to identify the best journalists and media professionals in Pakistan, who not only understands the issues but also can inspire others in the industry to set benchmarks for creating more public focus on the issues.

The Global Pulse 2010 was a hosted online event using IBM’s award-winning Innovation Jam TM solution. Similar to the collaborative spirit of musical ‘jamming,’ participants gathered online to collaborate on ideas around real societal issues, build on each other’s contributions, find shared solutions — or simply connect. The Web 2.0 platform provided for a meaningful brainstorming environment where groups of individuals ranging from a few hundred — to hundreds of thousands —joined in. Based on the concept of crowd-sourcing (also knows as “wisdom of crowds”), the Jam platform was especially adept at bringing communities together to discuss social issues.

Global Pulse 2010 was an online “virtual” event. Registration was free and participants joined from any computer with internet access. The event was live over the span of 3 days: Monday, March 29th to Wednesday, March 31st. Each topic area had recognized leaders in the related fields of interest facilitating the conversations. What was truly unique about this event is that it gave people with innovative ideas the chance to voice their opinion, learn from one another, and speak directly with those who have the desire and resources to take action.

Global Pulse 2010 was a successful, 3 day on-line conversation about 10 of the greatest challenges facing the global community. Statistics about the participation illustrate the broad geographic reach and diversity of the participants.

  • Nearly 7000 participants logged into the event during the 3 days in March 2010
  • 57% of participants were from outside the US
  • 155 countries were represented
  • The gender of participants was balanced over the entire event 51% female/49% male, and yet certain forums attracted very different gender profiles (details in the forum summaries)
  • 47% of participants were under age 35

The 10 greatest challenges facing the world are:

1. Inspiring a New Generation
Developing Global Citizens of the 21st Century

What does global citizenship mean, and how can individuals, particularly youth, become responsible global citizens?

What are youth in the community and country doing as global citizens?

A citizen is a person recognized to be a member of a community. In today’s globalized world, we have the opportunity to participate as citizens on local, national and international levels.

What responsibilities does this opportunity bring?

What skill, tools or systems can help you become a responsible global citizen?

At any age, encouraging and supporting responsible global citizenship improves multiple sectors of our societies, both social and economic. However, the large youth population found in many countries draws particular attention to the challenge of giving these youth the skills, tools or systems they may need to successfully participate as citizens.

Currently, there are approximately 1.77 billion youth in a world that’s more closely connected than ever before. Youth aged 10-24 represent 30% or more of the population of many developing countries, and people under 20 years of age make up about 25% of the US population.

The capacity building initiative will focus on: what is going well in local communities that could be leveraged in other parts of the country to brainstorm ways to: problem solve challenges facing youth in communities, increase opportunities for youth community engagement, and leverage what is going right in their communities.

2. Empowering Women and Girls
Making equality a reality

How can we help give women and girls the opportunity to reach their full potential?

While women and girls have made major strides in achieving progress in many sectors, their contributions to society and the community are often ignored. They continue to face social and systematic barriers which constrain the life choices open to them. How can we empower more women and girls?

The capacity building initiative will focus on: Women and girls have made major strides in achieving progress in recent years. However, they still trail significantly behind men in areas such as economic and political participation. Women and girls continue to face challenges such as violence, early marriage, high rates of HIV/AIDS infections, access to credit, land ownership, fair pay for formal employment, and food security and nutritional problems. Improving the lives of women and girls is better for our society as a whole. An empowered woman or girl can make significant contributions to her family, community and nation’s economy.

3. Enabling the Essential Education
What everyone should learn to succeed in the 21st century

How can educational programs within and outside of school improve so students of all ages can succeed in the 21st Century?

Many agree that education is key to a healthy society and economy. How education should change, expand, or improve for individuals in a country to succeed in the future? Are there ways to improve access to educational programs, increase their quality, or make them more relevant to future careers?

Trends in technology, economics, and politics have increased the demand for workers with post-secondary education or training, yet over 75 million children around the world do not have access to primary school and some 776 million adults lack basic literacy skills (

The capacity building initiative will focus on: With so many nations struggling to provide primary and secondary education, what should formal and non-formal education programs teach to meet the growing demand for highly skilled labor? How can education become more relevant so students succeed in the 21st century? In addition to making education relevant, Pakistan needs to improve access to educational programs as well as program quality.

4. Building Stronger Partnerships

Explore new ways to promote partnerships between societies, citizens, community organizations, and businesses as a means of creating sustainable solutions to shared development priorities

How can we better use partnerships to maximize progress towards our common goals?

Numerous actors impact development, including official donors, corporations, non-profit organizations, universities and others. Strategic alliances between these entities can lead to development impacts that exceed what can be achieved by those entities working alone, but sometimes face significant obstacles. What are examples of best practices and innovative ideas that you have seen in your country for leveraging the collective value of a diverse set of development actors towards global peace and prosperity?

The capacity building initiative will focus on: Alliances allow government organizations to leverage the resources of a variety of stakeholders and maximize positive development outcomes. Through these partnerships, government organizations can facilitate access to broader financing options, assist in skill and knowledge development, and apply its extensive knowledge of country environments to help reduce the risks of investing in some of the world’s poorest countries. Partners, in turn, can offer resources in innumerable forms, from computer equipment to coffee roasting expertise to distribution networks and strong community relationships. Potential partners include foundations, private businesses, trade associations, international organizations, other donor governments, colleges and universities, NGOs, faith-based organizations, U.S. cities and states, civic groups, Diaspora groups, host country governments, regional organizations, and more.

While the potential for positive development impact through partnership can be high, identifying strategic partners and establishing effective relationships can require a significant investment of time and other resources. This forum aimed to take a broad examination of partnership experiences that may reveal keys to strong and efficient development partnerships.

5. Exercising Political and Civil Rights
Understanding rights, increasing citizens participation and expanding accountability

How do individuals in your country view their rights, roles, and responsibilities as a citizen? What are the barriers citizens face to active participation? What support is needed to best support these efforts?
How do the media view Pakistan’s political and civil engagement? What tools would increase citizen participation in Pakistan? What do citizens need to support their goals and aspirations in these areas? What roles do citizens of play in accountability of public funds?

The capacity building initiative will focus on: Citizens can play a critical role in economic, social, and political life. Active participation with government on transparency, accountability, openness has shown results, however, they do not always have the capacity or opportunity to fulfill those civic functions.

6. Promoting Global Health

Connecting and empowering individuals and communities to take charge over their own health and well-being

What are some examples of innovative and successful practices, approaches and partnerships that could be replicated and scaled up across the globe to improve health?

Today’s health challenges are profound and complex. Improving global health necessitates enhancing the health of individuals and communities worldwide. What are some of the best practices that are being utilized around the globe to help empower individuals and communities to improve their own health and well-being? What are the lessons we can learn from each other that will enable us to improve the health of our respective communities, and our global family?

What works well and how can we do more of it?

The capacity building initiative will focus on: The underlying factors that influence individual and community health transcends geographic boundaries and cultures. Across the globe, strong health systems that provide quality primary health care and preventive services are keys to improving the health of individuals and communities, particularly the health of women and children. Proactive prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of infectious and non-infectious diseases are known to save lives.

Adequate numbers of well trained health care providers, community health workers and other health professionals who comprise the health workforce are the foundation of health systems, as is the research that advances the science of medicine and public health. If the global health challenges are universal, perhaps so are the solutions.

7. Advancing Entrepreneurship, Trade & Economic Opportunity
Find new ways to advance entrepreneurship, job creation, and economic opportunity

What can we do as global citizens to promote entrepreneurship, and create jobs within your country, and stimulate trade between countries?

The entrepreneurial spirit drives increased productivity and sustained economic growth. It is crucial to reducing and eventually eliminating extreme poverty, and an essential part of the solution to almost all other development challenges. What are the key factors in promoting business creation and growth? What stakeholders are essential to the process? What can they contribute?

Commercial relationships are what draw us together as human beings, and trade is the primary form of commercial communication. People would still trade if governments did not exist, if standing militaries were be disbanded, and even in the absence of a common language, culture, or currency. The issue is, how can we empower people so that they can participate in these commercial relationships? How can we help entrepreneurs create businesses and jobs? How can we create enough wealth so that everyone can participate in the global economy? What are the legal, economic, technological, and cultural issues that must be addressed?

The capacity building initiative will focus on: Entrepreneurs and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are key drivers of economic growth and job creation throughout the developing world. SMEs present opportunities to increase growth, create jobs, and support the development of civil society. However, entrepreneurs and SMEs in developing countries face unique opportunities and challenges to starting and growing their businesses. What are the opportunities and challenges to starting or growing an SME in Pakistan? What role do policies, regulations, corruption and the rule of law play in encouraging or discouraging entrepreneurship and job creation? How can youth, women and the Diaspora become more involved in entrepreneurship expansion? What do the media see as the role of the U.S. and other Foreign Government in promoting entrepreneurship, job growth and economic opportunity in Pakistan?

8. Fostering Science, Technology & Innovation
Discover new ways to support societies and build capacity by leveraging science and technology

How do we use the power of scientific and technological collaboration to strengthen developing societies by growing new crops, promoting health, harnessing new sources of energy, connecting and educating and protecting fragile environments with countries around the world?
Food security, climate change, and global health require knowledge and application of scientific and technological advances and innovations in agriculture, health, water and environmental practice. Beyond these basic needs, information and communication technology offers a way to connect us for a greater good- how should science, technology and innovation continue to shape our world?
The capacity building initiative will focus on: Science and technology are tools that can help us solve our global challenges. Advances in science and technology will be critical to addressing the plethora of practical social, economic, and environmental challenges expected to face the developing world in the coming decades. These challenges range from improving food and water security, to meeting the challenges posed by climate change such as severe droughts or sea-level rise, to creating economic growth to support growing populations.

In addition to these challenges, scientific and technological (S&T) innovation is key to building knowledge-based economies. Economists have attributed more than half of the gains in GDP and up to 85% of gains in per capita income over the past several decades to S&T innovations. Adequate numbers of trained scientists, engineers and innovators plugged into a system that supports entrepreneurship will be critical to building economies and capacity in the developing world.

9. Supporting a Sustainable Planet
Exchange lessons learned on how to address global climate change

What are some of the innovative programs that a country is exploring that are addressing climate change?

How Pakistan has incorporated or considered climate change in addressing other challenges (health, hazards preparedness, agriculture)? What are some examples of innovative practices, approaches and partnerships that could be leveraged across the globe to deal with climate change?

As climate change has increasingly appeared in news stories, international negotiations, and our collective consciousness, our understanding of it has evolved and matured. We have come to see that the impact of climate change cannot be captured solely by images of homeless polar bears, but that we must also look to human impacts: on conflict, access to water, agriculture, and natural hazards. And thus, that our responses to it must be as complex and human as the problem. How are people and groups shifting their focus to address climate change in innovative and unexpected ways?

The capacity building initiative will focus on: Nearly 300 million people’s lives are disrupted each year by climate-induced events and the majority of those live in poor countries. It is our responsibility to think innovatively. How do we do this? We start by acknowledging that climate change is inherently systemic and cross-cutting, infused through the panoply of problems that we face – hunger, poverty, natural disaster, conflict, water scarcity, infrastructure, sanitation, etc. This differentiates climate change from many issues we know and understand, for there is no clear cause and effect. It is not concrete, discrete, or even necessarily tangible in a way we are able to grasp.

Instead, it is pervasive, an added and acute stress on already stressed systems – particularly those in the developing world. It is a contributing factor to greater water scarcity, which can alter migration patterns and force cultural conflict amidst an already tenuous ethnic and religious balance. It is an added vulnerability on crops that are already vulnerable, an influence on new and booming pest populations. It is an influence on increased mosquito bite frequency, and thus the malaria and dengue fever, already a problem that may result.

10. Pursuing Grand Challenges
Identifying the “grand challenges” of the next decade

The capacity building initiative will focus on: What is the new frontier in 21st century development? What is similar to the “Space Race”? What challenges organizations or individuals in Pakistan expect to face in the next decade? Over the next decade, what are we going to see as the biggest challenges around internet freedom, access to information, and connectivity with people around the world?

1 Comment

  • I have replied in another email but please read my Blog and pass it on if you are not the same reader.

    It seems that many years ago I had already identified what needs to be done as my thinking is aligned with the 10 biggest challenges but I would put at No. 1 The elimination of poverty from our planet. There are enough resources if we manage the over-population by educating the poor where babies come from and the consequences of having too many children. So I would also add Ecucation as a top priority in addressing these challenges! Regards George

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