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  • Wednesday, July 8, 2020

  • Business

  • INIT

The ongoing work on the INIT’s research study pertaining towards People with Disabilities (PWDs) enticed interest from the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). Which is the regional development arm of the United Nations for the Asia-Pacific region and comprises of 53 Member States and 9 Associate Members, with a geographical scope that stretches from Turkey in the west to the Pacific island nation of Kiribati in the east, and from the Russian Federation in the north to New Zealand in the south, the region is home to 4.1 billion people, or two thirds of the world’s population.

INIT and UNESCAP share a membership overlap of around 15-member states. Based on these common areas of interest meetings were held in December 2017, in Islamabad, Pakistan between Mr. Johnathan Wong, Mr. Tahir Naeem and Dr. Akber Gardezi. Different avenues of collaboration were discussed, and it was decided that INIT could facilitate in the formation of policies for the inclusion of the disabled.

Currently the subsequent discussions have led to the development of a background note to showcase policies and issues related to inclusive technology and innovation. The note developed by INIT links to UNESCAP’s work on inclusive technologies for people with disabilities to the regional commitments made under the regional Incheon Strategy to “Make the Right Real” for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific.

The focus is on Goal 3 of the Incheon strategy, which aims to “Enhance access to the physical environment, public transportation, knowledge, information and communication”, and has specific targets:

· Enhance the accessibility and usability of information and communications services

· Halve the proportion of persons with disabilities who need but do not have appropriate assistive devices or products

The mid-point review on the status of implementation of Goal 3 indicates that accessibility of knowledge, information and communications technology and associated services should be addressed more explicitly and comprehensively in policies and programmes. It also shows that persons with disabilities have limited access to assistive devices in their daily life.

The background note prepared by INIT based upon the data collected from the ongoing study would form a precursor for discussions in the forthcoming meeting of policy experts being organized by UNESCAP in August 2018

  • Wednesday, July 8, 2020

  • Business

  • INIT

The INIT participated in the 1st Vice Chancellors Forum 2012 held on June 11 – 12, 2012 at Islamabad Pakistan. The 2-Day Vice Chancellor’s Forum was convened on the theme of “Higher Education in the Islamic World: Challenges and Opportunities”. The event was jointly organized by the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology; the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO); Higher Education Commission, Pakistan and the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of Pakistan.

A part of the event included a special exhibition of programs and activities of higher education institutions, S&T/R&D organizations in Pakistan. The INIT participated in the two-day event and presented / briefed about its programs and activities to the VC Forum participants arrived from over 150 higher education institutions in the Islamic world. A dedicated exhibition stall maintained by the INIT provided an excellent opportunity to showcase the activities it performed during the preceding years as well as also briefed the participants about the opportunities available under its different programs.

  • Wednesday, July 8, 2020

  • Business

  • INIT

The INIT also participated in the 2nd Vice Chancellors Forum 2013 held on September 23 – 24, 2013 at Islamabad Pakistan. The 2-Day Vice Chancellor’s Forum was convened on the theme of “Universities in the Islamic World: Challenges of Internationalization”. The event was jointly organized by the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology; the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO); Higher Education Commission, Pakistan and the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of Pakistan.

 

Taking cognizance of the interest of the participants of the 1st VC Forum held in 2012, the INIT actively predicated in the special exhibition of VC Forum 2013 wherein programs and activities of higher education institutions, S&T/R&D organizations in Pakistan were presented. The INIT participated in the two day event and presented / briefed about its programs and activities to the VC Forum participants arrived from over 300 higher education institutions in the Islamic world. A dedicated exhibition stall maintained by the INIT provided an excellent opportunity to showcase the activities it performed during the preceding years as well as also briefed the participants about the opportunities available under its different programs.

  • Wednesday, July 8, 2020

  • CUI

  • INIT

The INIT also participated in the 3rd Vice Chancellors Forum 2015 held on February 23 – 24, 2015 at Islamabad Pakistan. The 2-Day Vice Chancellor’s Forum was convened on the theme of “Universities in the Islamic World: Facing Global Challenges”. The event was jointly organized by the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad; the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of Pakistan; the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) and the Federation of the Universities of the Islamic World (FUIW), Morocco.

 

Taking cognizance of the interest of the participants of the 1st VC Forum held in 2012, and the 2nd VC Forum held in 2013, the INIT actively predicated in the special exhibition of VC Forum 2015 wherein programs and activities of higher education institutions, Science and Technology/Research and Development organizations in Pakistan were presented. The INIT participated in the two day event and presented / briefed about its programs and activities to the VC Forum participants arrived from over 150 higher education institutions in the Islamic world. A dedicated exhibition stall maintained by the INIT provided an excellent opportunity to showcase the activities it performed during the preceding years as well as also briefed the participants about the opportunities available under its different programs.

  • Wednesday, July 8, 2020

  • CUI

  • INIT

The INIT was approached by Department of International Development (DFID), Pakistan in pursuit of developing a five-year Country Development Strategy for Pakistan. The aim was to conduct a diagnostic looking at Pakistan’s current digital priorities and future. The INIT team comprising of Mr. Tahir Naeem and Dr. Akber Gardezi visited the DFID Pakistan office and briefed the executive management of DFID on the digital priorities of Pakistan and the support required for the next five years.

 

The INIT team appreciated the DFID’s focus on technology as a way through which Pakistan’s development can be enhanced. The INIT further suggested an approach focusing primarily on some of the most marginalized groups i.e. people with disabilities, women and girls, those living in rural areas, and refugees. As in many countries there have been ICT initiatives that focused on education or health, but rarely an integrated and holistic approach was adopted for the needs of the marginalized communities. Hence, it was suggested to focus on a holistic digital approach for the needs of these communities as being part of the upcoming strategy.

 

Whilst discussions entailed, it was also suggested that DFID could make a significant impact in Pakistan in helping the government address the needs of vast numbers of people with disabilities in the country through the use of digital technologies.

 

INIT also expressed concerns about many of the ways in which ICTs have been used in development issues on the past in the field of education. One of the concerns discussed in detail was the lack of credible data and it was proposed that the new DFID’s ICT-education hub could be used to gather evidence. As the real concern about the lack of reliable evidence about what works in ICT for development leads to downgrading the quality of Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) in the sector.

 

The remarks by INIT were appreciated by the attending members of the DFID team and triggered an interactive Question and Answer session at the end.

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