Stockholm-based Pakistani wants to help KPK Govt for Polio Eradication But to No Avail
Dear Mr. Malik,
Thank you very much for taking the time to speak to me on the phone today. Since you said you will post this on your blog, I thought I might add some more details to this.
I spent more than 2 hours today calling various PTI leaders, but none of them answered their phones nor did they return my call. I understand that they are busy but then everyone is busy. It is a Sunday evening in Stockholm and I am taking out time from my leisure to try and help them and above all help Pakistan with all the resources I could gather.
My resources are : 2 PhD Professors at Stockholm University, Various MS degree holder researchers (including myself) and a campaign manager to the former Chancellor of Austria. It has take a huge effort in convincing these people to work on a campaign in Pakistan because of all the wrong headlines Pakistan usually makes.
In 2013, I heard about the PTI Government in KP launching a healthcare initiative called Sehat Ka Insaf, I spoke about it to colleagues at Stockholm University and convinced a number of them to work with me so that we can help Pakistan improve the delivery of this campaign. In October 2014, I began contacting various PTI officials (my email to them is attached below) via phone and email and telling them that we would like to help them for FREE.
The broad idea is to analyze the campaign (of which they haven’t told us anything) and then go ask the audiences/targets/stakeholders of the campaign weather they participated in it. If they did, we would ask them what could be done to improve future campaigns. If they did not participate then we would try to identify barriers to participation (different actors would have different forms of participation e.g. Staff vs Patients vs The Family as a consumer: my statements are very broad since even after three months of chasing various people, we have zero information on what the campaign was all about). Our report would be advisory which would appreciate the efforts of the PTI Govt. and tell them how to turn a great campaign into something even greater. We understand that Pakistan and in particular KP is going through difficult times (difficult being an understatement) and any effort towards improving public health can only be lauded.
One month ago, I spoke to Dr. Mazari, who promised that she will ask Shahram Khan, Minister of Health in the KP Govt. to contact me in 2 or 3 days, She kept her word and Mr. Khan rang me on the 18th of December (2 days after the horrific events at APS in Peshawar). He listened to me and was delighted at the idea of a Swedish company endorsing their work and helping them out. I asked Mr. Khan that it would be nice if he could give us logistics and access to the campaign material. We agreed that the campaign will be funded by us as we would like to keep our independence as researchers. I asked Mr. Khan how we will proceed with this, he said “you have my number, save it and someone from my staff will contact you; people who have worked on the campaign”. After almost a month not only has nobody contacted me but Mr. Khan has not answered the numerous phone calls that I have made to him.
As already mentioned, today I tried numerous times to get hold of various people, who at some point of time or the other had promised me that they will personally looked into arranging things for me. After hitting my head against a brick wall several times, I cannot emphasize my disillusionment with “the party of change”. Throughout the last three months, various PTI leaders have asked me to write emails to them, telling them what I wanted. I complied only to find out that it takes 2 months for PTI officials to reply to them.
This is the text of my email to PTI Officials :
Dear Mr. Yousafzai
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me on the telephone earlier.
I am writing to you from a Swedish Human Development Think Tank and Consultancy in Stockholm, we are interested in studying the “sehat ka insaf” campaign and its impact on maternity and infants health run by the PTI government in the KP Province of Pakistan. I have been trying to gain access to campaign material used for this campaign for over a month now. I hope you appreciate the time, effort and resources that go into organizing such a research initiative and convincing colleagues to invest their energies into such a project.
Finally, last week I spoke to the health minister of KP Mr. Shahram Khan who was delighted to hear about our work and told us that someone associated with the campaign will contact us but since then no such contact has been made. I have tried numerous time to reach him and other PTI official with little success.
As researcher and manager overseeing this project, I had planned to visit Pakistan around the 10th of January which I now have to postpone till we receive some campaign material from you in order for us to decide what direction to take our research in. At the moment, we are discussion which of the following two areas we will look at :
1) Strategic communication used throughout the campaign
2) The implementation/execution of the campaign.
In order for us to get a better idea of the “sehat ka insaf” campaign, we would like PTI’s cooperation in gaining access to the various elements of the campaign as so far we have only heard the name and nothing else. I hope that you will appreciate that this a good opportunity for you to get endorsement from a European Think Tank while at the same time get our help to improve future campaigns.
We are interested in among other things :
What research was undertaken to put together the campaign?
What promotional material was used ?
Who are the targets of the campaign? (families, husbands or only women)
What promotional channels are being used for the dissemination of your message?
What success criteria(s) have you identified?
What incentives were offered for participation? Or What barriers to participation were removed?
We can then put together a research question and move forward on this issue.
It is important to mention here that the above stated are broad areas of interests to us and by January we may have a few more questions to ask you, as is usual in any semi-structured interview/research. We will then measure the impact of the campaign upon your intended target group identified by you and report back to you on our findings and recommendations.
We look forward to hearing from you on how to proceed with this project.
Sadly nobody has provided us with any information whatsoever on “Sehat ka Insaf”. Through you, I would like to reach out to any Public Authority in Pakistan that is interested in our free services to improve the well being of Pakistanis. If PTI does not want to cooperate then we are open to any health projects run by any political party. We have the welfare of humanity at heart which goes above political affiliations. My phone number is at the end of my email and I am open to hearing from anyone wishing to get in touch with us.
Stockholm Institute of Human Development Research