6th Floor,

Arfa Software Technology Park, Lahore

P (042) - 111-111-ITU (488)

Dr. Abiha Zahra
Assistant Professor
PhD- Public Administration, KU Leuven, Belgium

Public sector reforms, Organizations, Public policy and Performance management


Dr. Abiha Zahra is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Governance and Global Studies, Information Technology University. She has obtained her PhD in Public Administration from KU Leuven, Belgium as an IRO doctoral scholar. Her research revolved around structural reforms and performance management systems in the State Organizations of Pakistan. She has developed a Pakistan State Administration Database (a longitudinal data base to study life cycle changes of state organizations in Pakistan). She has also worked in the Department of Political Sciences, University of Oslo, Norway to explore the role of political and administrative state actors in reforms. She has worked for a European project, COBRA (Comparative Public Organization Data Base for Research and Analysis – network) on the Governance and Management of Public sector organizations around the world with her team’s work focused on Pakistan.

Prior to joining the Information Technology University, she has served as an Assistant professor at University of Management &Technology and as a Lecturer at University of Central Punjab. She is still working as a distant research fellow with Public Governance Institute, KU Leuven, Belgium while preparing the forthcoming book on Public sector reforms in Pakistan.

Dr. Zahra obtained her MPhil (Management Sciences) with roll of honor from Institute of Administrative Sciences, University of the Punjab and MBA (HR) with silver medal from COMSATS University Islamabad.

  • Zahra, A. and Bouckaert, G. (2020), "Will what is measured be used? An analysis of performance management systems in Pakistani state organizations", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.
  • Zahra, A. and Bouckaert, G. (2020), "Adjusting Structures and Procedures". Developments in Administration (Accepted for publication, issue will be published online soon)
  • Zahra, A. (2020), ‘Structural Reforms and Performance Management Systems: An exploratory analysis of State Organizations in Pakistan”. KU Leuven Public Governance Institute, Leuven, Belgium. ISBN: 9789075376623.
  • Zahra, A. (2017). “Information Communication Technology and HRM: A case study of Azgard-9 Pakistan”, UCP Management Review, Journal of Business & Management, Vol. 1 Issue 1, pp. 82-104.
  • Zahra, A. and Jadoon, M Z. (2016) "Autonomy of public agencies in Pakistan: does structure matter?", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 29 Issue: 6, pp.565-581,
  • Zahra, Abiha. (2018). "Adjusting Structures for Resilience". International Institute of Administrative Sciences IIAS Congress Tunis, Tunisia, 25-29 June.
  • Zahra, Abiha. (2018). "Structural Changes in the State Organizations". International Conference on Governance, Management and HR: Strategic Directions, Lahore, Pakistan. 19-21 March.
  • Zahra, Abiha (2017). "Task and Autonomy of Public sector agencies in Pakistan: A picture from a non-western country", International Research Society for Public Management (IRSPM), Budapest, Hungary. 19-21st April.
  • Abiha Zahra. (2014). “Business Graduates Employability: Insights from Telecom sector of Pakistan”, International Conference on Emerging Trends in Management (ICETM). October 16, Muhammad Ali Jinnah University, Islamabad, Pakistan
  • Abiha Zahra. (2013). “ICT and HRM: Management perceptions about the changing scenario”, International Conference on Business and Management (ICOBM). February 26-27, University of Management and Technology (UMT) Lahore, Pakistan.
  • Joint Doctoral Seminar with Public Governance Institute, KU Leuven, IDHEAP – Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration and AIX-MARSEILLE UNIVERSITY, France (2018).
  • Seminar on Public Sector Reforms for Erasmus Mundus POINEER Masters students (2019).
  • Seminar on Public Organizations and their life cycle in Department of Political Sciences, University of Oslo (2019).
  • Zahra, A. (2020). ''Seminar on Public Sector Reforms in Pakistan''. Co-organized by Public Governance Institute, KU Leuven & Institute of Administrative Sciences, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan, 4th February.

  • Research Foundation Flanders, Belgium (FWO)funding for short term stay in University of Oslo, Norway
  • Research Grant for seminar in Pakistan by ASL (Academische Stichting Leuven)
  • Winner of UNDP, Government of Pakistan and Accountability Lab’s Sustainable Development Goal SDG 16 Innovation Challenge (2018). The idea for involving youth in policy making.
  • Accountapreneur in Accountability Lab Pakistan’s incubator working on SDG awareness
  • Recipient of Research Foundation Flanders, Belgium (FWO) funding for long term stay in Pakistan (3 months) for PhD data collection.
  • Received Inter Faculty Research Council’s IRO fellowship for PhD at KU Leuven