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Technology-based governance is on a fast track in Pakistan : Dr. Umar Saif

Lahore : Technology-based governance reforms on fast track basis are yielding encouraging results through improvement of services, monitoring and maintaining transparency. Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) chairman Dr. Umar Saif said during a talk on conference on Pakistan’s public-sector institutions at Wilson Center, says a message received here today from Washington DC.

While briefing the audience on ‘How Technology is Transforming Governance in Pakistan’ he elaborated three projects of PITB i.e eVaccs, School monitoring and e-stamp papers — as examples of how technology is transforming governance.

He further said that technology-based governance was helping in evidence based decision making on the basis of open data and public scrutiny while minimizing interaction with the government. e Vaccs for anti-polio campaign was being administered through 3750 mobile vaccinators through Smart Monitoring & Health project under Health department using mobiles and tablets to improve monitoring and data collection including individual child tracking with the help of satellite imagery, which has shown increase both in coverage and attendance, he added.

Referring to free, open and real time access to data about school education, Dr. Umar Saif informed that real-time, geo-tagged data was being collected by using computer tablets by 1143 monitoring officers, involving the community, visiting schools for gathering details about student enrollment, attendance and teachers presence.

He stated that a number of projects of various departments i.e Revenue, Judiciary, Police, Land Management Authority have been automated through technology while e-Stamping project has shown significant success in shortest span of six months by selling Judicial and non-Judicial Stamp papers worth Rs. 12 billion, eliminating the chances of fake documents and forgery.

The event was attended by over 150 participants, including DC think-tanks, World Bank, IMF, diplomats, professors and legislators. The use of tech in Pakistan’s largely populated province Punjab was applauded by the participants and Punjab was called not just a regional leader but a global example of how technology is transforming governance. Participants from the World Bank and Woodrow Wilson center proposed to extend these programs. Dr. Saif will also speak at an event jointly organized by the Hudson Institute and the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) on Thursday 12thJanuary on “how Pakistan is fighting corruption and terrorism using tech”, especially regarding the citizen feedback program which the World Bank has already replicated in Romania and Albania.

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