I have worked for over ten years in the arena of Development Communication and Program Management in both Australia and Pakistan. Most recently, whilst working for Center for Communication Programs, Pakistan, I was the Team Lead for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) funded, Support to Local Governance program. The program aimed to strengthen the local government system by contributing to a trust-based state-citizen relationship and build capacities for service delivery based on people’s needs.
Thematically speaking, my program management background includes public health, local governance, education, rights-based media, human rights, and sustainable environment. Since I specialise in project implementation, particularly Social and Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) models for program delivery, I have been granted leadership roles in major donor-funded projects.
I was first introduced to Social and Behaviour Change Communication with a DFID funded project, Empowerment, Voice and Accountability for Better Health and Nutrition, built primarily around maternal and child health services. Under this project, I led the development of a curriculum called Stories that Matter: Communication for Social and Behaviour Change, which is the first of its kind in the South Asian region. The development and implementation of this curriculum became a case study due to its successful implementation across ten universities in Pakistan within a short span of time. Consequently, the scope also changed from being a sub-category to a major component, with its own stream of funding by UK Aid. Stories that Matter’s success story was also selected to be presented at the 2018 International Social and Behaviour Change Communication Summit in Bali. Within communications and management, I also have extensive experience in conducting and organising capacity building workshops, in particular for government departments, academia and journalists.
I am grateful for having had the opportunity to work in uncharted territory in Pakistan’s development sector, as I also led and managed the implementation of Health Bulletins on two popular TV News channels - an unprecedented intervention in the country.
In addition to the above, I have a broad portfolio involving Monitoring and Evaluation, and a large body of work entailing advocacy campaigns on human rights issues and managing environmental and media awards programs at the United Nations Association of Australia. Given my creative background in Communication Design and an academic one in International Relations, my outlook within the development sector has always been unique. My core expertise are:
- Implementation of specialised programs;
- Advocacy and awareness building campaigns;
- Development of strategic communication materials;
- Qualitative and quantitative research analysis;
- Financial and general administration.
In addition to the above, my writing skills include, technical reports, media reports, briefing papers, newspaper articles, blogs etc. I have also worked extensively on research papers such as literature reviews for needs analysis and position papers. On the creative side, I have had the pleasure of working on script writing for theatre based on behaviour change communication models. It is important to mention that I started my career as a sub-editor for one of the leading newspapers in Pakistan. Thus, early on in my career I was trained to proofread and look out for details, a skill which has been most useful to me throughout my career and higher education. Having worked closely with international teams and government departments in Pakistan, and with invaluable experience of working in Australia, I am certain that I would swiftly fit in any leadership role for Development Communication and Program Implementation.
My career's trajectory now demands that I step out of the local NGO setting and challenge myself in a global setting. Thus, I am looking for an exciting role outside of Pakistan, where I can use my acquired skills and knowledge.