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What does it take to be a development communication specialist?

It begins with the first impression and of course with a passion of contributing in a positive way to the society. The role of communication in the context of public administration and human development has evolved tremendously. It remains no longer a behind-the-scenes function merely confined to churning out press releases and distributing periodic newsletters. Today, it has become one of the most critical and defining elements working at the core of governance reforms and public initiatives. A qualified candidate must be a thinker, writer, speaker and most importantly relationship builder. These are the expertise I aspire to bring along to the discussion table (and with tea preferably). Now let's see how we can communicate together...

Academic profile

Jan 2009Dec 2011

Masters, International Relations

Department of International Relations, Peshawar University

Some of the main topics studied include: International Relations for Development, Key Factors of International Relations, Foreign Policy Analysis, Foreign Policy of Pakistan, Pakistan in World Affairs, Public International Law, International Economic Relations, International Politics of South Asia

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

Strategic Communication for Public Participation and Citizen Engagement, European Union, Islamabad (Pakistan)

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

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa - Community Driven Local Development Programme

Providing technical assistance lead to the Local Government, Elections and Rural Development 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 achievements: Prepared the long term government communication strategy (2015-2020) with specific reference to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa CDLD Programme, formally endorsed by the Senior Minister Local Government. Initiated a broad range of public outreach and citizen engagement activities under the strategy. Launched media campaigns with a focus on social change, community mobilisation and inclusive participation. Also, designed capacity building activities for the government officials on communication related topics for the sustainability of the communication strategy implementation.

Jan 2016Dec 2017

Communication and Outreach Specialist

World Bank - Youth Empowerment Initiatives in Pakistan

As a key member of the consulting specialists team deployed by the World Bank Washington Office in Pakistan, I am working with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Technology Board to provide communication support for their projects and initiatives aimed at youth empowerment in the province.

Key achievements: Prepared a one-year action plan for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa IT Board to launch communication and outreach activities in partnership with the World Bank. Enabled extensive outreach to the World Bank and Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa joint initiatives including, Youth Employment Program, Civic Innovation Fellowship Program, Digital Youth Summit and the KP TechChats. Handed over the continuity of youth empowerment initiatives to the newly hired Outreach Team of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa IT Board. Also, provided capacity building support to the new team to ensure the sustainability of ongoing activities.

Apr 2011Mar 2015

Communication and Civic Education Advisor

German Development Cooperation - 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 achievements: Enabled the department in the formulation of its first ever communication strategy for visibility,  awareness and outreach  during the 2015 local government elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Also, led the communication specific output of the Administrative Reform Component across a wide range of activities such as publication of success stories, production of video films, launching of the official website and capacity building of local government officials on media management and public relations. Supported the department in fostering its working with the use of information and communication technologies

Mar 2009Mar 2011

Liaison and Media Relations Manager

U.S. Agency for International Development - 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 achievements: 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. Joined the strategic communication working group to contribute to the development of the first-ever communication strategy for peace building in Pakistan. Designed activities and managed their implementation as a technical assistance measure to the FATA Secretariat to strengthen the government's narrative. Also, launched print and electronic campaigns through the available media networks to reach out to the citizens primarily in the tribal areas of Pakistan.

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 achievements: Established the Social Marketing Department for Channel 7 Communications with a focus on projects falling under the Communication for Development (C4D) category. During my tenure, we successfully pitched for development communication projects and managed to win several new clients, including, United Nations Development Programme, US Agency for International Development, British Council, Department for International Development and the European Union. Successfully conducted the UNDP's extensive national elections campaign in 2008. 

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 achievements: 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. Represented Gem Tec at trade exhibitions and industrial fairs across Pakistan offering the range of products and services to potential clients. Designed a business growth plan for Gem Tec including company profile, sales brochures, event material and marketing packages to target large and medium size industrial units in Pakistan for engineering services. 

Consultancy experience

Development of the KP Citizen's Budget 2018-19 for public engagement, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Finance Department

Video to highlight youth empowerment initiatives in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (2016), KP IT Board (World Bank) 

Birth registration awareness and mobilisation campaigns (2015 & 2016), FATA Secretariat (UNICEF)

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

Strategic communication

Developing communication strategies for government image building and public outreach

Citizen engagement

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

Media management

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

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

Professional references

Adnan Khan (Media Advisor, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)

+92 321 519 5517          [email protected]

Muhammad Khaliq (Additional Secretary, Chief Minister Secretariat Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)

+92 300 5740912 

Ansarullah Khilji (Deputy DirectorInformation Department Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)

+92 314 914 1515          [email protected]