Pakistan: Skills Training in Evidence-Based Planning, 2005

In September 2005, CIET concluded an intensive, eight-week course geared to building evidence-based planning skills for local governance in Pakistan. The course included analysis of data from CIET research on public service delivery and local governance nationally and in focus districts in all four provinces. This was the first such training offered to members of government and civil society in Pakistan.

CIET implemented the course – together with the University of Peshawar – as part of a five-year national social audit it is carrying out to track governance and delivery of public services under devolution and to support the involvement of communities in planning. The recently released report of the 2004/5 first follow-up social audit, comparing the findings with the baseline social audit of 2001/2 is available from the Library.

Skills transfer is important to ensure sustainability of the social audit process in Pakistan after the end of the five-year project in 2009. To help build a solid base of skills in social audit methods and evidence-based planning, CIET is running an eight-week master’s level course in evidence based planning three times during the five-year social audit programme. The first course took place in two modules, in February and September 2005.

In partnership with the Department of Geography, Urban and Regional Planning of the University of Peshawar, CIET offered the course to 25 participants, including trainees from the government of each focus district; from provincial local government departments; from the University of Peshawar; from Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur; and members of civil society working with the CIET team in Pakistan. International participants came from Kenya, South Africa and Canada.

The first module in February 2005 covered theoretical and practical aspects of epidemiology, statistics, social audit and evidence-based planning. Participants later completed a one-week mandatory field placement attached to CIET field teams. The final module in September 2005 focused on socializing evidence for participatory action, GIS techniques and practical analysis. Prof Neil Andersson, CIET executive director, conducted the course, supported by Prof Anne Cockcroft, CIET senior research fellow and country programme manager for CIET in Pakistan; Prof Sergio Paredes, from CIETmexico and the University of Guerrero; Mr Steve Mitchell, CIET GIS coordinator; Mr Jorge Laucirica, CIET communications specialist, and Dr Khalid Omer, national coordinator for CIET in Pakistan.

Dr Haroon Rashid, Dean of the Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Peshawar, was the chief guest at the course closing ceremony, on 24 September 2005. He praised the course and noted the need to strengthen links between academia, government institutions and civil society organizations.

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