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What does it take to be a citizen engagement specialist?

It begins with the first impression: The role of citizen engagement in the context of public administration and human development has evolved forever. It remains no longer a behind-the-scenes function merely confined to churning out press releases and distributing periodic newsletters. Today, it has become the most critical and defining element working at the core of development campaigns and public reforms. A qualified candidate must be a strategist, writer, speaker and most importantly relationship builder. These are the expertise I aspire to bring along to the discussion table (served with tea preferably). Now let's talk about writing our success story together...

Academic profile

Jan 2009Dec 2011

Masters, International Relations

Department of International Relations, Peshawar University

Some of the main topics studied include: History of International Relations, Factors of International Relations, Foreign Policy Analysis, Foreign Policy of Pakistan, Pakistan in World Affairs, Public International Law, International Economic Relations, Strategic & War Studies, International Politics of South Asia, International Relations & Middle East

Oct 2004Mar 2007

Masters, Business Administration in Marketing

Institute of Management Sciences, Peshawar University

Completed MBA with a scholastic honors of 3.5 GPA in the following courses: Marketing Management, Advertising & Marketing Communications, Brand Management, Strategic Management, Consumer Behavior, Marketing Research & Analysis, Sales Management, Business Communication

Advanced certification

Utilising Media for Project Visibility and Outreach (2014), GIZ Training Services, Bangkok (Thailand)

Public Private Partnerships (2014), GTC Training Group, Dubai (United Arab Emirates)

Citizen Participation & Accountability (2013), Academy for Local Governance, Hague (Netherlands)

Knowledge Management (2012), IMA International Training Academy, Brighton (United Kingdom)

Workshop Moderation and Facilitation Techniques (2012), Denkmodell, Islamabad (Pakistan)

Professional career

Apr 2015Present

Senior Strategic Communication Specialist

EU - Community Driven Local Development Programme

Providing the technical assistance lead to the Finance Department of the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the implementation of the government's communication strategy to foster the Community-Driven Local Development Policy.

Key achievement: Integrated strategic communication and citizen engagement as important functions within the government's planning and development mechanisms for the CDLD Policy implementation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Apr 2011Mar 2015

Communication and Civic Education Advisor

GIZ - Support to Good Governance Programme 

Worked as the core team member of the Support to Good Governance Programme to strengthen the communication management of the Local Government and Rural Development Department of the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to steer a sustainable and constructive state-society dialogue.

Key achievement: Enabled the department in the formulation of its first ever government-specific communication strategy for the awareness campaigning during the 2015 local government elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Mar 2009Mar 2011

Liaison and Media Relations Manager

USAID - FATA Capacity Building Program

Managed the internal and external communication of the FATA Secretariat Media Cell with independent journalists, media houses, development researchers, information officers of government departments and communication specialists in other USAID funded projects in FATA. Also, developed campaigns and launched initiatives for public awareness and citizen engagement in the tribal areas of Pakistan

Key achievement: One of the founding members of the Directorate of Information FATA, we managed the PR strategy of FATA Secretariat when the law and order situation was under international spotlight. 

Apr 2007Feb 2009

Senior Creative and Communication Manager

Channel 7 Communications (Creative Department)

Worked as the team lead across the development sector portfolio of Channel 7 Communications by organising concept development, creative writing, graphic visualisation, process coordination and team management activities. Was tasked to lead the design and deployment of "social sector " media and communication projects.

Key achievement: During my tenure, we successfully pitched for development communication projects and managed to win several new clients, including, UNDP, USAID, British Council, DFID and EU.

Aug 2002Aug 2004

Communication Officer

Gem Tec Engineering Services (Communication Unit)

Executing competitive marketing campaigns as a support measure towards delivery of cutting-edge services to public and private sector clients. Communication Unit played an important role in sustaining the business continuity of Gem Tec through creative marketing and branding initiatives.

Key achievement: In the first year of the formation of the Communication Unit, the overall sales of the company grew by 30 percent as reported by the third party survey audit. 

Consultancy experience

  • Media management for Swat Sports Festival (2014), Provincial Disaster Management Authority (USAID)
  • Impact assessment (2014), FATA Rural Livelihoods & Community Infrastructure Project (MDTF-PCNA)
  • Communique newsletter (2013), Economic Revitalisation of KP & FATA Project (MDTF-PCNA)
  • Project outreach campaign (2013), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Emergency Roads Project (MDTF-PCNA)
  • Concept development for project launching (2012), FATA Urban Centers Project (MDTF-PCNA)

Skill portfolio

Strategy formulation

Formulation of communication strategy with implementation plans and measurable indicators

Material development

Development of creative and effective information material (content + design) for awareness creation

Media management

Building and managing strong working relationship with media groups and individuals for support

Citizen engagement

Utilising the right mix of communication methods and tools to reach out to target citizen groups