Tuesday September 27, 2022

Roll out of Ehsaas governance and integrity policy and observatory begins

By Our Correspondent
November 16, 2019

Islamabad: The Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division Friday began implementation of the Ehsaas Governance and Integrity Policy, which was formally approved by the Cabinet and launched earlier this week. The purpose of the policy is to build systems that discourage corruption, and promote efficiency, transparency and accountability for results and compliance with rules.

Dr. Sania Nishtar convened a meeting attended by the Principal Accounting Officers and ancillary organizations of the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD) namely the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, and Trust for Voluntary Organizations. The meeting discussed a roadmap for implementation of the new policy and addressed questions around making it as robust as possible.

“By tackling corruption and promoting accountability at every level, the Governance and Integrity Policy will ensure that resources go to those who need them the most,” said Dr. Sania Nishtar, who is Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Nets and also Chairperson of BISP. “This roadmap is the first step in delivering the policy, which we will continue to improve on over time,” she said.

All organizations at the table agreed to take ownership of the Ehsaas Governance and Integrity Policy and Ehsaas Governance and Integrity Observatory. Taking the agenda forward, it was decided that all ancillary organizations under PASSD will jointly develop a tracking mechanism to ensure policy compliance, collaborate on best practices, and present the report to their respective Board of Directors on the Governance and Integrity Policy at least once a year.

In another related development, 45 country heads and representatives from 25 development partners, UN agencies and international organizations working across Pakistan joined forces to support the roll-out of the Ehsaas poverty alleviation programme on Friday.

Meeting for the first time, the Ehsaas Development Partnership Group discussed the terms of reference of their newly established group, which aims to provide integrated, coherent and aligned technical support and strategic advice for implementation of the Ehsaas strategy.

“Ehsaas aims to lift millions of people in Pakistan out of poverty and to achieve this aim, we must ensure full coordination across stakeholders and partners in Pakistan, including UN agencies and bilateral and multilateral organizations, which is exactly what the Ehsaas Development Partnership Group is designed to do,” said Dr. Sania.

Interested agencies are encouraged to nominate one senior representative who will act as a focal point for the group. For starters, there will be a stocktaking exercise to establish ‘who is doing what’ across the country so that technical support can be better aligned.