People’s inclusion in policymaking to ensure transparent governance

ISLAMABAD: The government of Pakistan has included the citizens of the country in the policymaking process by establishing the Champions of Reforms Network, WealthPK reports.
The initiative, the first of its kind, is considered a major step forward toward inclusive, responsive and transparent governance in the country. It will give a sense of ownership to people about the policies and their enforcement.
Dr Adnan Rafique, a political scientist and public policy analyst of the Planning Commission, told WealthPK that the participation of people in policymaking and public service design manifests the fact that citizens in a democracy have both rights and duties. Democratic governance offers citizens the opportunity to play a major role in shaping their society.
“In Pakistan, most of the population consists of youths. When young people are not given the chance to take part in the formal and institutionalised political process, they feel disempowered because they tend to believe that their voices are not going to be heard,” said Dr Adnan.
He said that usually, a trust deficit among young people prevents them from participating in the political process. As a result, a lack of trust generates a vicious cycle that impacts governance and the functioning of institutions as well as their ability to address economic instability.
He said that the initiative would strengthen coordination between people and state institutions. “This is a sound investment for better policymaking and good governance for the country. It will allow the government to tap new sources of policy-relevant ideas, information, and resources when it makes decisions,” he added.
Inclusive political participation is not only a fundamental political and democratic right of the people but also crucial to building stable and peaceful societies and devising policies that respond to the specific needs of the young generation. It is essential that young people are engaged in the formal political process and have a say in formulating today’s and tomorrow’s politics.
Academia can also play a vital role in developing and designing a practical policy. However, these academic comprehension and talents remain lacking.
Dr Adnan said that if academics are genuinely interested in improving society, their research should be aimed at following the issues of their surroundings, society, industry and the world in general. “This way, they will be able to contribute significantly to shaping public perceptions and consequently reforming policy agendas indirectly,” he added.
Taking serious steps for full implementation of this initiative will be a great step for Pakistan.
According to the information available with WealthPK, the Champions of Reforms Network will contribute to the development of Pakistan’s long-term economic and development policies by providing suggestions, feedback and advice to the relevant ministry.
People will provide critical appraisal and expert feedback on various proposals and become part of the national development process through voluntary action in partnership with the ministry.
“By participating in this initiative, COR will gain unprecedented access to policymaking mechanisms and processes within the ministry and will have an opportunity to play a unique role in shaping Pakistan’s future,” Dr Adnan told WealthPK.