First Multi-stakeholders Forum August 2004, Gulmit
Brig (R) Hisamullah Beg SI(M)
The AKDN Introduction to the civil society program reads: “In an era of rising expectations and unmet needs in the developing world, the civil society sector plays an essential role in the provision of social services, the protection of the marginalised, the delivery of development programmes and the promotion of good governance. Its work is especially critical where governments are weak or non-performing, as in situations of failed democracies or post-conflict reconciliation and reconstruction.
For over 30 years, the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) has led the civil society strengthening initiatives of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) across all thematic areas (health, education and rural development) and regions in which it works. To broaden the impact of these activities, the civil society programme has now been formally extended to encompass all the AKDN agencies. The scope of the programme has also been widened in order to increase the positive impact of a wide array of organisations that have a presence in public life, including faith-based and charitable organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), labour unions, professional associations and foundations, village and women’s groups, neighbourhood self-help groups, social movements, business associations, microcredit organisations, coalitions and advocacy groups.”
With this background it was felt that as a futuristic course, Hunza needs a fresh approach towards achieving a balanced society. Accordingly AKRSP in collaboration with KADO hosted the first multi-stakeholder forum in Hunza during 23-24 August 2004. The purpose was to initiate a public deliberation on the major development issues involving diverse groups and stakeholders in Hunza so that a common approach and a framework for collective action could be developed to address long-term development challenges in the valley.
CONCEPT AND WORKING METHODOLOGY
The diversity and divergence of views on development requires a neutral platform for key stakeholders. Designed as a flexible and neutral platform for all stakeholders, HDF provides an opportunity to representatives drawn from Government and broad spectrum of civil society organizations, including AKDN agencies, voluntary community institutions, public sector agencies, business associations, Political parties, and Religious sects etc. to discuss and plan future development. In its scheduled meetings the Forum encourages open discussion on issues and opportunities leading to a shared commitment of the stakeholders towards common goals and ideas on how to move forward, while on the internet it seeks feed-back from all concerned “Hunzukutz” anywhere else and integrating these views towards developing a common vision through an open, transparent, inclusive and accountable mechanism. It fully recognizes that people and local institutions are the ultimate drivers of the development process in Hunza.
It also aims to help evolve a society which believes in moving forward on the principles of Meritocracy for which it is essential to have a working democracy, good governance and Pluralism which means people of diverse backgrounds and interests, organizations of varying types and goals coming together for different forms of creative expression, which are valuable and deserving of support by government and society as a whole. For Complete write up click here: hdf