Get involved now!
It is said that a Policy is a guiding principle that influences decisions and defines a plan of action. While developing policy one has to keep in mind all alternatives that are available. The choice or selection of programs and spending priorities is made based on their impact. So, as I understand it, a Policy leads to proactive decision-making as opposed to reactive decision-making.
The vision for any Policy should be a long term one. Does this mean that the Policy, once defined, should be carved in stone? No, in this day and age, I would expect it to be a live document that is revisited and reviewed frequently and amended whenever necessary.
Being part of a policy making process is a great responsibility and it should not be taken lightly. Wide stakeholder involvement is also imperative if the policy is to impact on the broader economic and social development activity of a country. An ICT policy would therefore impact on the ICT sector as well as on ICT inn education, health, urban and rural development and on the enhancement of business and entrepreneurial activity.
Policies are formally put in place by governments so perhaps one could argue that the business sector and civil society have no role to play. WRONG! A broad range of stakeholders need to provide input into the policy making process. A policy can only be successfully drafted and implemented with the active involvement of all parties. The government only needs to create an environment for this to happen.
Pakistan has started the process right. Participants from Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad gathered at the kick-off meeting which was organized by the Ministry of IT & Telecom and PSEB in Lahore on Monday.
Representing the government were the Federal Secretary IT Mr. Hifzur Rahman, Acting MD PSEB Talib Baloch, Parliamentary Secretary IT Mr. Shaukatullah, Project Director Muhammad Anwer, Mr. Ammar Jaffri Project Director FIA, Mr. Muhammar Amir Malik Director ICT PTA and Mr. Salman Khalid Project Director SMEDA. The private sector comprised IT practitioners and other representatives from business and civil society.
It was a productive and interactive session where a lot of ideas were shared. One of the suggestions was that the policy should not be limited to IT because Communication technologies have become very much a part of the IT scenario and hence ICT is the term that should be used. Convergence of technologies needs to be kept in mind when drafting a policy for the sector. If you have views on the subject, speak up now.
The public space wiki has been set up on the following address:
We are following the development process that was suggested and approved on 1st of September 2008 during the Lahore Meeting. It is available at::
The ICT Policy 2.0 Vision Draft is available for editing and comments at:
The ICT Policy 2.0 Overarching Principles are available for editing and
A list of Stakeholders of the ICT Policy 2.0 have been listed and is
available for editing and comments at:
An open group has been setup at: http://www.new.facebook.com/group.php?gid=30136677675
Anyone in Pakistan or from outside Pakistan who wishes to contribute to the process is invited to join the wiki, leave comments on Facebook or send an email to:
Get involved now and contribute towards the development of a policy that could impact positively on all of us if we help move it in the right direction.
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