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Program Steering Committee


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Program Steering Committee Meeting

 

December 15, 2009

 

Subject: Meeting of the GEN Program Steering Committee

Venue:   During the Pakistan-Norway Forum / GEN

             1st International Conference on Governance

             held from 13-15 December 2009 at Islamabad

Date:     15th December, 2009

Time:     1000 - 1200 hrs

 

   In addition to the focal persons of formal member organizations of GEN, selected delegates of non-member organizations participating in the Conference attended the meeting as per list of participants.

 

Agenda:

 

(1)  Overview of Network activities

(2)  Framework for GEN work:

  • Opening of membership

  • Structures/functioning of Steering Committee

  • Review of program sub-committees chair 7 membership

(3)  Policy Framework for development of governance education programs

(4)   Annual Work Plan 2010

 

    Mr. Daniyal Aziz, Advisor GINI while giving overview of the Network objectives and activities said that:

  1. for opening of network membership to new organizations, two options  could be exercised. Firstly the entire universe of colleges and universities could be invited which may not be advisable in view of limited available financial and administrative resources during initial stages of the program. Second option would be to follow up on the institutions that have shown interest;
     

  2. one of the screening criteria for new membership should be acceptance of the goals and objectives pursued by existing network members;
     

  3. the expansion in network would also have to involve reaching out to government authorities, particularly at the provincial levels. We must start by advocating and highlighting the benefits that would accrue from network membership; and
     

  4. according to GINI research, the broad majority of CSS candidates take the examination after their Bachelors which should receive due focus for strengthening governance education. There is also evidence to suggest significant demand at the college and undergraduate level. Therefore the Universities cannot become the sole focus of program activities. At this nascent stage GEN must constantly try new avenues for achieving its primary objectives.

   Brig (R) Mohammad Saleem, Consultant GINI informed the participants that a Post-Conference Book containing papers presented during various sessions of the GEN Conference-2009 would be published for which GINI would be approaching the national and international speakers for submission of their detailed papers within 6 weeks.

 

    The participants of the meeting gave following views:

  1. The colleges should be subordinated in representation within the network. It would be over-ambitious to plan coverage of all colleges, as the situation is more complicated and disconnected at that level. Some sort of regional arrangement involving the Boards would have to be reached for preliminary awareness-raising. A small sub-committee should be formed and charged with this task.
     

  2. Presently, GINI membership is limited to Punjab, and only to Karachi within Sindh, despite the fact that demand in the student body is already high in big cities. It is the small towns where demand needs to be created. That change is difficult without a complementary change in FPSC policy, which in turn is rooted in their philosophy of inducting civil servants with a generalist approach to public service. It is unrealistic to expect changes in this philosophy.
     

  3. All public universities who offer public administration programs should be allowed to join GEN. MPA programs are competing with MBAs. This situation needs to be changed by strengthening MPA programs.
     

  4. Instead of a mushroom growth of public administration departments across Pakistani universities, we should focus on 1 or 2 universities, harvest a small pool of elite graduates, and place them in the right positions to “get the ball rolling”.
     

  5. A membership fee should be instituted to allow GEN to be self-sustainable.
     

  6. Broadly, GEN should work on two parallel streams; one focusing  on governance education at the Intermediate, Bachelors and Masters levels; and the second on executive education for civil servants and other governance stakeholders.
     

  7. We should not attempt to design a ‘one-size-fits-all’, generic governance program, because that would be self-defeating. We must have a broad outline allowing the implementing organizations to do the rest, through a bottom-up approach. The concepts, words, thoughts have to be concrete. Colleges cannot design such courses and so our primary focus should remain the Universities.
     

  8. Governance must be defined and then introduced into Masters, Bachelors, and intermediate level syllabi.
     

  9. We must not replicate foreign models of teaching and evolve our own indigenous, home-grown public administration model. The experiences of other countries are limited in their application to Pakistan.

    Dr. Arne Tesli, Senior Researcher, Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research (NIBR), Oslo in his remarks said that we must decide what is possible given the constraints of time and budget. The inclusion of faculty study tours to Norway should be explored. Prof. Tom Christensen, Department of Political Science, University of Oslo opined that many of the debates in Pakistan are similar to the ones at their end and that some Norwegian experiences would be relevant to Pakistan. Among them, it is most important that we secure recruitment channels for our program graduates. Basic governance training at earlier levels would bolster demand at post-graduate levels. Governance is not a mainstream discipline, in the sense that not many university departments even carry the name across the world. It may be better to try and strengthen public administration, as the lead actor of the change we are trying to bring about, rather than reinvent the wheel. It is not possible for universities of all sizes to have equally strong public administration programs and we should work with the ones that are recognized as the best and could dovetail with the curriculum development experiences of other countries.

 

    Dr. Saeed Shafqat, Chairperson Annual Conference Sub-committee suggested that the program sub-committees need to be regrouped and revamped based on the interest level of existing as well as future members. He also emphasized that members need to engage more meaningfully on the online blog for various program activities.

 

    Draft Work Plan-2010 was considered and it was decided that the Work Plan for next year would be finalized in the light of deliberations of experts consultative workshop on the nomenclature/content of governance education programs/courses and inputs from NIBR.

Program Steering Committee
 

Meeting - May 31,
2010
                   (Pictures)

Meeting - April 24,
2009
                   (Pictures)

Meeting - Dec 15,
2009
                  (Pictures)
List of Participants