Establishment of WASH MIS-CELL 2012-13
On recommendation and financial support of UNICEF-PAK, the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan had established WASH MIS Cell under a UNICEF-PAK assisted program of WASH GB through an agreement i.e. Letter of Understanding (LoU) signed between UNICE-PAK and Local Government GB.
The Management Information system (MIS) Cell formally started its interventions in Gilgit-Baltistan soon after the agreement in January 2012. The main objective of this cell was to interconnect/integrate all the Water & Sanitation programs with the Federal and Provincial tiers electronically in order to provide Complete, Accurate, Relevant, Timely, Reliable, Efficient and Economical information to Planners, Researchers and all other line departments for Good Governance and Better Decision-Making
Initially, seven staff were recruited against the vacancies of Deputy Director, Programmer, Data Analyst, Office Assistant, Data Entry Operators, Hardware Technician and Naib Qasid. Once the WASH MIS-CELL fully established with required electronic equipment, furniture & fixtures and the WASH MIS staff are onboard, the WASH MIS-CELL started its functions.
After establishment, the WASH MIS-CELL intervened into the UNICEF-PAK assisted project and successfully executed the following activities:
- Establishment of Water & Sanitation, Management Information System (W&S, MIS) FY 2012.
- Provision for safe drinking water (roughing filtration plant) FY 2011-12.
- 69 Nos. Flood Damaged Water Supply Schemes in Gilgit Baltistan. 2011-12.
- 33 Nos. Flood Damaged Water Supply Scheme in Diamer. 2011-12.
- 08 Nos. Flood Emergency Water Supply Schemes in Diamer. 2011-12.
- Rehabilitation of 08 Nos. WSS in 3 Districts of Gilgit Region 2013-14.
- Construction of 25Nos.Twin cabin latrines in Primary Schools of 3 Districts 2014.
- Data collection of water/supply schemes from District Ghizer & Skardu 2011-12.
- Data collection of water/supply schemes from District Gilgit 2011-12.
- Data collection of water/supply schemes from Districts.
- Astore and Hunza-Nagar 2013-14.
- Data collection of water/supply schemes from all Districts of Gilgit-Baltistan in 2014-2015.
- Establishment of Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) Unit in LG & RD Directorate Gilgit Region, under GB-ADP, assisted the project, “ Establishment of WASH UNITS in P&DD and LG & RDD”.
Establishment of WASH Unit 2015-16
With the technical assistance of UNICEF-PAK the Draft Strategies com Policies regarding Clean-Drinking Water, Adequate Sanitation and Behavior Change Communication (BCC) were prepared by the P& DD during 2011-12 according to the National Policy Guidelines with the coordination of line department/partner NGO’s and consultation of Political leader as well as GB community via conducting workshops in all 7-district of GB.
Both the UNICEF-PAK and P&DD were agreed that the P&DD will obtain approval of the Strategies com Policies from the GB cabinet but due to financial constraints the P&DD couldn’t get approval from the said competent forum.
In the meantime, the project “Establishment of WASH Unit in P&DD and LG & RDD” was initiated /reflected in the
GB ADP to accomplish the Policies/Strategy and to prepare an Umbrella PC-1 on Clean-Drinking Water, Adequate Sanitation and BCC. However, the project couldn’t be approved for three years due to unavoidable circumstances. Finally, the project approved on February 09, 2015 as per LoU signed between LG & RDD & UNICEF-PAK and funds have been released.
WASH unit offices have been established in LG & RD department and WASH staff under the supervision of a Project Director have been on board and necessary machinery, equipment and furniture/fixtures have been purchased.
The WASH unit staff started its operations with zeal and zest in the erstwhile office set up but this time more innovation and renovation brought in. resultantly, a more dynamic, elegant and professional office setup was established with the state of the art official facilities to meet the contemporary challenges in the field of development and progress. The tools like GPS, Abney level and Range Finders were incorporated in the field work for more effectiveness, efficiency, precision and accuracy.
The main purpose of the Project was to develop institutional framework and duties and responsibilities for the 100% provision of safe drinking water, sanitation for all and behaviour change communications for the mega projects. Besides, the WASH Unit was also responsible for drafting and updating the policies of Safe drinking water, sanitation and Behavior Change Communication and has to be approved by the Gilgit-Baltistan Cabinet.
In September 2016 Chief Minister GB visited LG & RD Department and formally inaugurated WASH unit and Software database system “LG&RD ADP Smart Manager”. In his speech after inauguration ceremony Chief Minister GB expressed his satisfaction over the performance and service being delivered by the department, especially by WASH Unit, under the leadership of Project Director WASH and the Secretary Local Government, Mr. Asif Ullah Khan. He also commended the establishment of WASH unit and lauded the efforts being made by WASH unit staff. He expressed his pleasure on well furnished, neat and clean environment of office and termed the department a role model for the public institution for all other government departments.
The project Director Mr Ijlal Hussain, WASH while presenting the Water & Sanitation Policies and BCC Strategy at conference room LG & RD, expressed his resolve in making the project sustainable and progress oriented. He briefed the CM about his vision of raising funds from various donor agencies to implement the plan of the provision of 100% coverage of safe drinking water and sanitation facilities in Gilgit-Baltistan up to 2030 as per Sustainable Development Goal#6 of United Nations. After his presentation, PD WASH presented before Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan, the draft Policies/strategies of Safe drinking water, sanitation and Behavior Change Communication. Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan endorsed the importance of the policies and wowed to approve them in near future.
On practical grounds, for the provision of safe drinking water to the Gilgit-Baltistan community the WASH unit has developed safe drinking water guidelines which would define criteria under which water supply schemes will be established. For implementing those guidelines WASH Unit convened a meeting with all Deputy Directors of LG & RDD Gilgit-Baltistan from all districts of Gilgit-Baltistan. During the meeting PD WASH, Mr Ijlal Hussain highlighted the importance of Safe Drinking Water Guidelines before the participants of the meeting and elaborated that about 90% of the diseases in Pakistan are water borne. If the water supply schemes are designed and monitored keeping in view the said Guidelines the
water-borne diseases could be controlled to large extent, thus a huge amount of money could be saved from government exchequer which would have been incurred by health sector in fighting those diseases. All DDs endorsed the importance of the guidelines and promised to implement in their respective districts. In this context, the WASH unit has upgraded the existing Water Testing Laboratory in LG & RD Directorate Complex Jutial Gilgit. In this perspective, the WASH unit is working in the capacity building of the Water experts working under LG & RD Department in both Skardu and Gilgit regions. The water experts will assist in the selection of the source of water supply schemes and ensure the provision of safe drinking water by implementing the safe drinking water guidelines.
Recently a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is signed between the Local Government & Rural Development (LG & RD) and the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) for strengthening collaboration between Local Support Organizations and the LG & RD and local bodies to reduce negative impacts of poverty through active and effective participation of communities in development activities and creating opportunities for public-private and civil society partnerships to execute projects and programs for the equal benefit of the communities living in the jurisdiction of the Local Government and Rural Development.
Speaking on the occasion Mr Muzaffar Uddin, General Manager AKRSP, termed the MoU between AKRSP and LG & RDD as a giant leap in the development of Gilgit-Baltistan for it synergies the efforts of both development and public sector. He said that this will provide a framework to gear development initiatives towards grass root level. ‘By undertaking such initiatives the people of GB are creating a model for development that can be replicated in other provinces of Pakistan” he stated. He assured that AKDN would support the government in all possible terms. It will ensure that all Government programmes reach to the poor segments of society.
The Secretary LG & RDD Gilgit-Baltistan, Mr Asif Ullah Khan said that social sector cannot achieve its vision and development goals alone. “For the long run results, Government and social sector have to work together. The MoU between AKRSP and LG & RDD will complement to supplement the vision” he said. He emphasized that to achieve development targets organizations must have vision, planning, execution and evaluation. This would help out from top to bottom in the development process. Mr Asifullah Khan highlighted the need for capacity development. In order to capacitate all potential officials of LG & RDD, the Government is going to initiate a School of Rural Development; He especially thanked AKRSP for penning the MoU and ensured cooperation from the Government.
While addressing the participants, the Project Director WASH, Mr Ijlal Hussain appreciates the initiative and termed it another milestone towards the development and prosperity of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan. He highlighted the sectors where such partnerships could deliver more results especially Water, Sanitation, Health and Hygiene area, in which AKRSP can play a significant role with its existing resources, networks of LSOs and expertise in the field of social work. “The AKRSP and WASH Unit LG & RDD may work together on Provision of Safe Drinking Water, Sanitation and Behavior Change Communication (BCC)”, he proposed. He wished that if the LG & RDD and AKRSP succeed in breaking the ice in the provision of safe drinking water to the maximum population of Gilgit-Baltistan, it would be a major breakthrough in the socio-economic development of the region. The joint venture of both LG & RDD and AKRSP would further strengthen the resolve of both the institutions in the capacity building of the community and Rural Development and termed it a silver lining for the desperate and downtrodden people of the society.
In the light of the concept of the School of Local Governance, the Local Government and Rural Development Department Gilgit-Baltistan planned a capacity building program to develop the technical skills of the Engineering staff of the department in order to strengthen the technical section on modern trends.
Computer-Based Information System
LG&RD ADP Smart Manager
The LG & RD Department Gilgit-Baltistan had been delivering public services especially in the Rural Areas of Gilgit-Baltistan in different sectors e.g. Irrigation, Communication, Soil Conservation, Physical Planning & Housing and Health & Sanitation. Over the years the LG & RD development projects became in more public demand and need, the record keeping using manual system became more complex and tedious.
Soon after the intervention of WASH Unit in the LG & RD department, the WASH Unit pointed out the need of a Computer –Based Information System (CBIS) to keep such a massive record of the department to provide Complete, Accurate, Relevant, Timely, Reliable, Efficient and Economical information to the concerned Officers, for Good Governance and Better Decision-Making.
Some of the setbacks which led the department to develop a computerized system are detailed below.
- Data was constantly being duplicated. This was time-consuming and resources were being wasted (For example, the use of stationary).
- Some of the data entered were redundant as there was no repetition check as with a computer.
- The office space had to be increased as more space was needed to store filing cabinets as the amount of paper increased.
- Lack of security as data was stored in filing cabinets. Without the knowledge of record keeping, unauthorized users may have had access to confidential information.
- Data was only being accessed by one employee at a time. This was time-consuming. Hence, this led to the department being unproductive.
- Data was constantly being misplaced. This jeopardized the department’s future.
- In some instances, it took a long period to locate the relevant data as and when needed. It may put the department’s reputation at high risk.
- Risk of data being destroyed due to natural disasters, age, etc.
The WASH Unit, in this regard, developed a CBIS to replace the existing traditional file system in order to overcome the problems faced by the department using the manual system.
In September 2016 the Chief Minister GB visited WASH Unit, LG & RD Department and formally launch the Computer-Based Information System (CBIS) “LG&RD ADP Smart Manager”.
The “LG & RD ADP Smart Manager” would help in monitoring of development projects throughout the Gilgit-Baltistan and control the duplication of schemes via GIS-based analyzer. Furthermore, the system would also help in finding the coverage in specific areas.
While in a briefing to the Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan during his visit the Deputy Director WASH Unit, Syed Karrar Hussain highlighted the importance of newly developed Management Information System (MIS) “LG & RD ADP Smart Manager”. He further elaborated that, “LG & RD ADP Smart Manager” would help in monitoring and tracking the LG & RD development projects throughout Gilgit-Baltistan via Complete, Accurate, Relevant, Timely, Reliable, Efficient and Economical information integrated with the form of database. He said that the software system would also facilitate in sorting out duplication of schemes and pave the way for finding the coverage in specific areas. Moreover, he explained that the LG & RD is going to launch the website of LG & RD GB in which the data regarding ADPs, the status of various development schemes and other information of public interest would be uploaded. DD WASH further stated that the WASH Unit had gathered data of development schemes in all districts and furnished a statistical report for better dissemination of information to all stakeholders and decision makers.
Human Resource Information System
Another initiative of Human Resource Management Information System has also been undertaken by WASH unit which will deal with the human resource matters of LG & RD department Gilgit-Baltistan e.g. complete service timeline of an incumbent form his joining to his retirement, complete record of LG & RD employees and their capacity building etc. will be dealt through this initiative. The recent consolidation of contingent paid staff in LG & RD Department under regular and development heads have been finalized under the same initiative. Moreover, a biometric facility has also been installed in LG & RD Directorate Complex Jutial Gilgit in order to ensure the attendance of staff and improve the service delivery of the department.