Champions of Reforms: An unprecedented network harnessing expertise for policy reforms

ISLAMABAD-The Champions of Reforms (CoR) network, established by the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, is proving beneficial in empowering experts for inclusive governance and preparing lasting policy reforms in diverse fields.
This innovative initiative brings together hundreds of professionals from diverse backgrounds to contribute their expertise towards concrete, long-lasting governance reforms in the country, said a news release on Sunday. Through collaboration and knowledge-sharing, the CoR network aims to make the policy-making process citizen-centric, transparent, and demand-driven, fostering a culture of inclusivity and accountability. The CoR network boasts a wide range of professionals, including academics, development experts, engineers, IT professionals and doctors. 
By uniting these diverse voices, the initiative harnesses the consolidated knowledge and expertise of the private sector, ensuring critical feedback and advice are incorporated into policy decisions. This collaborative approach marks a historic moment in Pakistan’s governance history, as it directly involves its citizens in the decision-making process. Through the CoR network, experts actively participate in roundtable consultations and meetings covering various sectors. According to Dr Adnan Rafiq, Member Governance and Innovation at Planning Commission said, “Over the past five months, fifteen sessions have been held, providing a platform for open and constructive discussions among experts, policymakers, and stakeholders.” These discussions have addressed crucial topics such as rural area census, urban water resource management, digitisation of development projects, and initiatives for youth empowerment and women’s empowerment. By fostering dialogue and exchange, the CoR network contributes to informed decision-making processes. The CoR network plays a vital role in holding the government accountable to the public. By actively engaging with policymakers and providing feedback, the CoR members ensure that initiatives are implemented with responsiveness and transparency. This accountability mechanism strengthens the connection between citizens and the government, fostering a culture of trust and collaboration. In addition to the CoR network, the ministry has established the Governance Innovation Lab (GIL) to facilitate transparent governance through civic engagement. 
Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal emphasised the importance of community support and expertise to sustain governance reforms beyond changes in government. By encouraging public and private sectors to collaborate, the CoR initiative builds a platform for envisioning the future of Pakistan and driving collective progress. Fahad, CEO of Mohtaram and a member of CoR, has commended the initiative, saying “It is the first time I have seen a platform where public and private sectors are coming together to think about the future of Pakistan”. Dr Samina Awan, a professor at AIOU and another CoR member, hailed the initiative as a step towards participation, consistency, and a visionary approach for the coming years. The CoR network stands as a powerful testament to the government’s commitment to inclusive governance. By engaging experts from various fields, facilitating roundtable discussions, and promoting accountability, this initiative fosters a culture of collaboration and knowledge-sharing. With the CoR network at its core, Pakistan embarks on a transformative journey towards lasting policy reforms that prioritise the needs and aspirations of its citizens.

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