Islamabad – August 9, 2019: The first meeting of Ehsaas Communications Committee was held today in the Prime Minister’s Secretariat to discuss the communications strategic planning process, identify communications needs and priorities for Ehsaas Program and define key respective areas of execution for different organizations involved in the implementation of Ehsaas Program under the umbrella of Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD). Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation chaired the meeting. In its first meeting, participants discussed the key elements of the Ehsaas communications strategy that is in its final stages of being developed. “The core objective of the strategy is to apprise potential beneficiaries about ways of accessing benefits”, Dr. Nishtar emphasized.
The committee has been constituted with representation from all organizations involved in the execution of Ehsaas under PASSD.The meeting was attended by Shaista Sohail, Secretary PASSD,Capt. (R) Asadullah Khan, Additional Secretary, Dr. Arsalan Khalid, Focal Person to the PM on Digital Media, representatives of the ministry of Information and Broadcasting, provincial representatives and communication focal persons from agencies that are involved in implementing Ehsaas.
The committee took important communication related decisions with regard to the stakeholders. It was decided in the meeting that in order to ensure effective participation from provinces and in Ehsaas communications, the committee will be expanded.
Dr. Nishtar urged the committee to manage the publicity, communications and media activities of the Ehsaas on print, electronic and social media as a way to share information among opinion makers, influencers and masses and to coordinate outreach and advocacy activities as a way to connect with general public, deprived communities, scholars, researchers, decision-makers, and others among the general public with a main focus on the graduation of poor and marginalized with dignity and respect. Dr. Nishtar urged that “the most cost-effective means of communication should be adopted, and that digital means should be the mainstay of the communication strategy”. She further added “there are many government agencies that can offer communication services free of cost which should be leveraged to the maximum”.
PM’s focal person on digital media, Arslan Khalid briefed the committee about ways of leveraging social media better and a plan was charted to pool technical capabilities to make better use of existing platforms. Dr. Khalid said that “Ehsaas is the most comprehensive poverty alleviation program produced by the present government of Pakistan and it is important that its communication strategy exhibits that. Further, he emphasized that digital media is the most cost-effective media tool to reach out the target audience and for this purpose, Ehsaas should have full support from all concerned government departments”. The Ehsaas communication committee meeting will be convened regularly every week on Wednesday morning in the Prime Minister’s Secretariat under the chair of Dr. Nishtar.