Islamabad: (March 27, 2018): The 1st National Forum on Philanthropy in Pakistan was hosted by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) jointly with Pakistan Center for Philanthropy (PCP) and Global Donors Forum (GDF) at the Commission Secretariat here on Tuesday.
The theme of this forum was “Conventional to Strategic: A New Paradigm in Giving” held with an aim to celebrate the achievements of PCP since 2001 and join heads to bring improvement in philanthropic operations of PCP.
Dr. Ishrat Hussain, former Governor, State Bank of Pakistan and Mr. Tariq Mahmmod Pasha, Chairman, Federal Board of Revenue were chief guests of the opening and closing ceremonies respectively. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman, HEC, Mr. Zaffar A. Khan, Chairman of the Board, PCP, Ms. Shazia Maqsood Amjad, Executive Director, PCP, Dr. Tariq H. Cheema, Convener, Global Donors Forum and a large number of Vice Chancellors and representatives of donor organisations were present.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC stated HEC is honoured to be part of Pakistan’s 1st National Forum on Philanthropy. He said the Government is extending remarkable financial support to higher education sector in the form of enhanced budget. However, he added, philanthropists need to come forward to serve education, especially higher education, and health sectors. “Education and health sectors need proper attention of philanthropic organisations, be it in the form of individual contributions or corporate charity endeavours,” he emphasised. He assured that HEC will provide all-out assistance to philanthropic activities of donor organisations. He revealed that HEC has taken a number of measures based on hand-holding of the underprivileged. He informed the audience that HEC will soon launch ‘Change-Maker’ concept, under which funds will be raised to work on various themes. “HEC believes in using the energy of youth in positive direction,” he stated. He added that HEC, with the help of Muslim countries like Turkey, Malaysia and Iran, is considering to provide scholarships to students of less developed countries. As many as 4000 scholarships will be awarded every year under this initiative, he pledged. “Let’s keep hope alive and work for humanity to make this world a heaven,” the Chairman concluded.
Addressing the forum, Dr. Ishrat Hussain remarked that philanthropy in Pakistan has three supporting instruments including state, market and community. He said the state allocates resources to various sectors while performing the responsibility of ensuring equitable resource distribution. He maintained that the philanthropic organisations have a great role in filling gaps by taking care of people deprived of necessary facilities. He stressed the need for enabling the underprivileged segments of society to create their own assets. He said philanthropic organisations need to help out-of-school children acquire education. Investment in provision of skills including vocational and technical training makes a big difference, the underlined. He urged the charity bodies to pay due attention to micro financing, as creating know-how of small businesses among the poor is a significant task. He also pointed out areas where philanthropic organisations need to invest.
Dr. Ishrat Hussain urged the civil society and philanthropic organisations to assist small charity organisations to develop ethical standards of conduct, scale up their operations and ensure impact-oriented results of philanthropic activities. He emphasised the importance of financial sustainability measures to maintain pace of philanthropic activities of an organisation. He also underscored the need for ensuring accountability and transparency in philanthropic services.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Tariq Pasha admired PCP for providing certification facilities to non-government organisations and successfully institutionalising philanthropy in Pakistan. He assured PCP of continuous technical support from FBR in connection with certification of philanthropic organisations. “PCP and FBR are in close coordination,” he said, adding that enhanced coordination is needed to ensure transparency in certification process.
In his welcome address, Mr. Zaffar A. Khan said PCP works with a simple, but focused mission to provide a conducive environment to philanthropic organisations to deliver. He observed that Pakistani society is generous in giving charity, however there is a long way to go. He highlighted the problems PCP faces in its operations due to resource limitation and massive growth of population.
The forum deliberated on three key thematic areas including, ‘Enabling Legal, Policy and Regulatory Environment for Institutional Philanthropy’, ‘Setting New Standards of Informed and Institutionalised Giving’, and ‘Corporate Philanthropy as Catalyst for Human Development’. The speakers who expressed their view on the key topics included Dr. Sohail H. Naqvi, Vice Chancellor, Lahore University of Management Sciences; Dr. Tariq Hassan, Chairman, Audit Oversight Board; Ms. Mehvish Mumtaz, Director Research, Centre for Asian Philanthropy and Soceity; Dr. Sania Nishtar, Founder, Heartfile; Dr. Farhan Bukhari, financial analyst; Malik Ahmad Jalal, CEO, Aman Foundation; Ms. Ayesha Khan, CEO, Hashoo Foundation; Sardar Yasir Ilyas, CEO, Centaurus Group and other notables.
At the end, Mr. Tariq Mahmood Pasha distributed shields among the winners of 11th Corporate Philanthropy Awards from both the public and private sectors.
Higher Education Commission, Pakistan