ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr. Sania Nishtar chaired the final meeting on the upcoming Ehsaas Private Sector Engagement Policy (EPSEP) at the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD) in Islamabad on Wednesday.
The objective of the EPSEP is to engage and facilitate non-government stakeholders to leverage their technical, financial, entrepreneurship and outreach support to amplify impact of Ehsaas.
The policy highlights the types of support, the engagement model for each type of support, and the safeguards put in place to address risks of partnerships that may form under the agreement.
The EPSEP is applicable to five groups including private sector organizations (PSOs), non-government organizations, foundations, academia, and individuals.
The policy covers the engagement process, governance, and monitoring and evaluation mechanism for different engagement types.
Over time, Ehsaas expects that the implementation of this policy and creation of partnerships with private sector will diversify Ehsaas’ partner base. Pakistan scores very high in philanthropic giving.
According to ‘10th Edition of World Giving Index (WGI)’ report published in October 2019 by Charities Aid Foundation, Pakistan has been ranked as the 91st most generous country out of 144 nations.
Estimates reveal that more than Rs 300 billion is channeled to welfare, annually. However, up until now, the government and welfare organizations have worked in silos.
The private sector involvement and engagement in development agenda of Pakistan, is of significance and much can be achieved through complimenting and supplementing each other’s poverty reduction and social protection agenda.
“Ehsaas envisages nine kind of interactions and engagement with the private sector- contractual engagement according to PPRA rules; mobilizing the private sector through Solution Challenge approach; private sector participation in technical committees; role of private sector in infrastructure public private partnerships; true public-private partnerships where the private sector contributes resources; harnessing technical input of volunteer arrangements; soliciting financial contributions; receiving in-kind contributions; and engagement through corporate social responsibility initiatives”, Dr. Sania said in a press statement.
Alongside, a pledge to Ehsaas process is also being devised where private sector will be able to make commitments. These commitments will have to be aligned with one or more of the seven goals of Ehsaas in terms of the criteria of a commitment; action steps of a commitment should be clearly defined in terms of solution, outcome, timeframe, and desired impact; commitment should have qualitative and quantitative goals that can be monitored and tracked over a period of time; commitment should be economically and technically viable, with additional credibility if it is a proven intervention; and commitment will be assessed for long-term viability while maintaining the product/service quality and delivery.
“Ensuring integrity and transparency, the EPSEP is premised on effective conflict-of-interest management”, said Dr. Sania.