Good governance: ‘Unavailability of information leads to under development’
KARACHI: It is high time we bring reforms for access of information, because unavailability of information is the real cause of under development, said chairperson and founding member of Strengthening Participatory Organisation (SPO) Javed Jabbar.
He was speaking at a seminar titled ‘Enhancing Capacities for Transparent and Accountable Local Governance Project’ on Tuesday. The session was organised by SPO, in which speakers discussed the Citizen’s Voice project. The seminar was attended by government officials, NGOs and community based organisations (CBOs) from Malir, Thatta and Badin, along with political workers of the three districts.
Acknowledging services of CBOs, Jabbar said the project is envisioned to build capacity of politicians and CBOs in the field of Freedom of Information (FOI), district budget tracking, advocacy and lobbying for practicing Sindh FOI Act 2006.
Talking about the project, SPO programme specialist Raheema Panhwar said under the project, SPO identified and interacted with 30 CBOs and 60 politicians from various parties and also conducted baseline assessment through group discussions.
SPO programme officer Saleem Abbasi expressed concern that a majority of government officials and local politicians do not even know about Sindh FOI Act 2006.
Abbasi said positive stories have now started to emerge due to the efforts and work of CBOs. According to him, 35-year-old Bakhtawar Qadir, resident of Thatta, has been successful in reviving a Girls Middle School in Abdul Qadri Lashari village by probing the case of ghost teachers.
Marvi Abida from one of the CBOs said with the help of FOI Act 2006, she has been successful in securing a public park only for women two days a week in Badin. Representing the provincial ombudsman, Muhammad Ali Shah said SPO is playing the role of a bridge between the provincial ombudsman and the complainants.