Thursday January 27, 2022

Govt urged to partner with CSOs in development

January 17, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The government should engage private sector for completing the development projects and consider civil society organisations (CSOs) as partners for the development of the country, experts said on Saturday.

These views were expressed by speakers including representatives from the government and leading voices of civil society in Pakistan at a webinar on The State of Civil Society in Pakistan jointly organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy (PCP).

Syeda Adeela Bokhari, Joint Secretary INGOs/NGOs, Economic Affairs Division (EAD), told the participants that EAD was responsible for regulating only those INGOs which received financial contribution from the foreign countries and donors.

“To ensure the accountability and financial transparency of the INGOs/NGOs, the ministry has devised a new draft policy which will be implemented after the formal approval from the Federal Cabinet,” Bokhari informed the audience.

Besides, she added that a web portal was being created to facilitate online applications for registration of INGOs/NGOs with the EAD.

She said the new policy suggested curtailing time to 60 days for completion of the registration process, while a record number of MoUs have been finalised during the last quarter. Concluding her remarks, Bokhari stressed on greater accountability and transparency in the sector.

Dr Attiya Inayatullah, former parliamentarian and Chairperson of the PCP’s research committee, highlighted the role of civil society organisations in the development of country and democracy. “CSOs in Pakistan are facing challenges at multiple fronts. Hence, we need unity of purpose among government, private sector, and civil society as the third sector,” Inayatullah said.

She said to bring a social change and to achieve the goal of sustainable development, the vibrant role of CSOs was the need of the hour. Shahnaz Wazir Ali, President ZABIST, said the government should not be just a regulator, but rather a facilitator to the CSOs to make them an equal partner in the development and social uplifting.