SDG Tech Lab to develop scalable tools & improve governance – Dr. Niaz VC, ITU
The establishment of SDG -Tech Lab’s main objective is to develop and implement scalable tools for an overall improvement in state-citizen interaction and governance to positively impact policy making. Dr. Niaz Ahmad Akhtar Vice Chancellor Information Technology University (ITU) the Punjab said while addressing the launching ceremony of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Lab at ITU here today.
He said that integration of social issues, use of technology and management systems would benefit all the stakeholders by identifying the common problems, providing solutions to finally convert them into business. The Lab established at ITU’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences in collaboration with United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Pakistan would enable effective interaction between citizens and the government and it would also be helpful for policy makers, he added.
Dr. Akhtar lauded the ITU faculty and termed them as hub of intellectual brains together with quality human resources of a dynamic institution, capable to provide out of box technological solutions to achieve sustainable development goals for Pakistan through innovative tools coupled with internationally recognized research, he stated.
Mr. Ignacio Artaza, Country Director, UNDP Pakistan stressed the need to democratize the ideas to help all segments of society through innovative solutions. ITU was the first educational institution in Pakistan to have assistance from UNDP in this discipline, he added.
Ms. Lina Mousa Representative, UNFPA Pakistan hoped that SDG Lab would ensure to engage academia for development in various walks of life.
Dr. Akmal Hussain Dean, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, ITU stated that through this platform, new policy innovations could get expanded from a provincial level to national level.
Dr. Izza Aftab Director SDG Tech Lab, Head of Economics Department, School of Humanities and Social Sciences said that this think tank would hold series of workshops to explore exciting new synergies and the use of data to enhance public services effectively and explore monitoring and evaluation through the lens of SDG indicators. The forum would help to devise technological solutions identified at top level across Pakistan said Shakeel Ahmad Chief Development Policy Unit and Assistant Country Director, UNDP Pakistan.
Earlier, in a workshop first of its kind the representatives of SDG Units of the Federal, Baluchistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Gilgit-Baltistan and Punjab stressed the need to promote awareness to make the concept household for a range of stakeholders at all levels by harnessing technology for SDGs to deal with agriculture, health, education, deforestation water management, to manage waste water from various provinces, use of land, climate by using satellite imagery,