SUBAI particularly encourages thematic and participatory inter-assembly events which have the added-value of facilitating the building of linkages between Assemblies and provide a platform for peer to peer exchanges and sharing of ideas.
Inter Provincial visit to the Punjab Assembly:
SUBAI organized a two-day interprovincial exchange visit to the Provincial Assembly of Punjab in Lahore. Delegations comprising of Members and Secretariat staff from the Provincial Assembly of Balochistan and Legislative Assemblies of Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir visited the Punjab Assembly on 9 and 10 August 2017. The visiting delegations included the Deputy Speakers of Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
The event provided Honourable Members of the Assemblies and Secretariat staff with an opportunity and platform to discuss the localization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and International Human Rights treaties. The visit included a visit to perhaps the best Parliamentary Library in Pakistan which the Delegations found most helpful. In addition the event also helped to build interaction and linkages between the Members and Secretariat staff from the Provincial and Legislative Assemblies, so they could share their experiences and success stories to maximize the spread of knowledge.
The participants committed to continue their dialogue and establish formal relationships with each other to further discuss ideas for improving parliamentary practices. The Honourable Speaker of Punjab Assembly presented souvenirs to all participants. Some of the key outcomes from this exchange visit was that the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly, after learning about the concept of “Zero Hour” have already moved to incorporate that provision into their Assembly Rules of Procedure.
Inter provincial visit to the Sindh Assembly:
During September 2017, a successful two-day interprovincial knowledge sharing workshop was held for Members and Secretariat staff of the Provincial Assembly of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Karachi. Participants were sensitized about the status and implementation of human rights treaties and SDGs, as well as the importance of technology/e-Parliament initiatives for improved Assembly business operations.
Discussions focused on the extent to which National and Provincial structures and mechanisms were robust enough for the implementation of international treaties and human rights obligations to which Pakistan is a signatory. The event also provided the opportunity to share experiences between the two Assemblies regarding advancement in the use of technology in parliamentary proceedings. SUBAI collaborated with UNDP who provided support through the deployment of their own SDG Specialist to deliver the SDG session during the event.
As a result of this knowledge shared during the workshop, the SDG task force in the Sindh Assembly is now working actively to improve and streamline its Terms of Reference to enable it to function more effectively.
In addition as part of the broader efforts to increase accessibility and transparency, SUBAI has commenced work to respond to a direct request for assistance from the Sindh Assembly in developing a Communication and Media Strategy for the Assembly. Focus group discussions with the key Sindh Assembly staff members, plus individual discussions with Sindh MPAs and meetings with journalists who cover the business of the Provincial Assembly will help inform the content of the communication and media strategy. The Sindh Assembly will explore the opportunity to visit Peshawar to appreciate the value of e-Parliament innovations.
A total of 29 Members & Secretariat staff from the Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assemblies attended the event. The Honourable Deputy Speaker, Syeda Shehla Raza, Provincial Minister for Social Welfare Ms. Shamim Mumtaz, Provincial Minister for Minority Affairs, Provincial Minister for Health, and Chairperson of the Sindh Task Force were among the participants.