INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON GOVERNANCE, MANAGEMENT & HUMAN RESOURCES: STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS
Venue: Pearl Continental Hotel Lahore
PhD Colloquium – Pre-Conference Event – 19th March, 2018
Venue: Institute of Administrative Sciences
Hosted by: Institute of Administrative Sciences (IAS) IN COLLABORATION WITH PUNJAB ECONOMIC RESEARCH INSTITUTE (PERI)
Institute of Administrative Sciences (IAS) – University of the Punjab in collaboration with Punjab Economic Research Institute (PERI) organized a two-day International conference on “Governance, Management & Human Resources: Strategic Directions’ with CPEC as an integral theme on 20th-21st March 2018 at Pearl Continental Lahore. The conference precluded a full day PhD Colloquium on 19th March 2018 at IAS PU, providing an opportunity to PhD Students in the fields of governance, management & human resources to share and discuss their thesis ideas and preliminary research.
The conference was inaugurated on 20th March 2018 at Pearl Continental, Lahore. Prof. Dr. Nasira Jabeen – Dean Faculty of Economics & Management Sciences (FEMS) and Director Institute of Administrative Sciences (IAS) presented a welcome note to the conference participants including national and international academicians and scholars, corporate professionals and civil society representatives. Dr. Jabeen highlighted the significance of the academic conference from one of the pioneering, prestigious & historical institutes of University of the Punjab providing state-of-the-art education in Public Administration & Management. She shared that the purpose of conducting the conference is to bring to limelight the research done by scholars on governance models, reforms and best practices in the fields of management & human resources. Dr. Jabeen shared the salient features of the day’s activity with worthy guests and participants. Dr. Nasira Jabeen thanked all the collaborative partners including Punjab Economic Research Institute (PERI), Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC), Higher Education Commission (HEC) and to Dr. Zakria Zakar – Vice Chancellor University of the Punjab for supporting the initiatve. Prof. Dr. Zakria Zakar, in his address, welcomed the international delegates & academicians to the conference. He highly appreciated the initiative of the conference that is of prime importance for the cross fertilization of ideas, connecting the global community and the investment in Human Resources that contribute to the development of economy and society.
Dr. Muhammad Nizzamduin – Chairman Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) congratulated IAS & PERI to conduct a conference with relevant subject matter of high significance. He shared with the audience that the papers and theme of the conference is very much aligned with the vision 2025 and vision 2030 of Government of the Punjab. The researches done by the scholars are of high impact but they should be translated into public policy making as well. Dr. Mumtaz Anwar also highlighted the significance of the conference and thanked all the collaborative partners to make it possible to conduct the conference.
The welcome addresses were followed by a keynote address by Prof. Tom Christensen on Comparative University Governance Reforms – Perspectives & Experiences. Prof. Tom Christensen is Professor at the Department of Political Science, University of Oslo. His research interests lie in the field of comparative public sector reforms and New Public Management. Prof. Christensen has participated in a number of international conferences, research projects and actively publishes in top research journals. Prof. Tom’s keynote reflected new public management reforms where he talked about role of reputation management in terms of branding of universities and their social embeddedness. He talked about degree of autonomy and role of universities in knowledge economy. Prof. Evan Berman delivered the keynote on Innovations in Public Sector Reforms in Asia and its Implications for HR.
A total of 72 research papers were selected out of 200 abstracts received for presentation at the conference. The inaugural session was followed by parallel tracks of research papers being presented on the conference theme by a large number of researchers from all over Pakistan and abroad. Parallel research tracks on governance & public management, organizational behavior and human resource management and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), were each chaired by Prof. Dr. Abuzar Wajidi, Dr. Syed Tahir Hijazi, Prof. Yanki Hartijasti, and Dr. Muhammad Avais Tahir, Prof. Tom Christensen, Prof. Evan Berman, Dr. Syed Amjad Ali Saqib and Dr. Mumtaz Anwar. Prominent International and national speakers included; Prof. Tom Christensen from University of Oslo, Norway, Prof. Evan Berman from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, Prof. Dr. Zafar Iqbal Jadoon from University of Houston, USA, Dr. Nadeem ul Haque – Pakistani Economist from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Prof. Geert Bouckaert from International Institute of Administrative Sciences (IIAS), Belgium, Dr. Nezir Akyesilmen from Selcuk University, Turkey, Dr. Shahid Rashid – Deputy Director Center of Excellence for China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Ministry of Planning, Development & Reform, GOP, Ms. Jennifer Ellis from Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) & Dr. Yanki Hartijasti from Indonesia representing a global perspective from four world continents. A Panel discussion conducted on Diversity & Inclusion among Mr. Zahid Mubarik – Member Board of directors – The Center for Global Inclusion, USA and Mr. Farhan Aziz Khawaja – Secretary Services Punjab attracted many participants from academia and civil society. The discussion went quite participative. It was highlighted that 52% of the population of Pakistan is female that is evident in the educational institutes but this is not translated as such at the workplace. This is a matter of high concern because the educated female population is not becoming the part of the workforce, thus not contributing to the economic development of the country. The concepts like glass ceiling, unconscious biasness and global diversity & inclusion benchmark were discussed. It was further highlighted that while considering the gender diversity, mostly it is talked about only for women, whereas we should include minorities and transgenders for the same. Also, people from diverse backgrounds should also be catered while inculcating a diverse culture in organizations. Mr. Zahid Mubarik stressed on the concept of inclusion alongwith diversity. Inclusion is making the diverse groups as part of the same organization while providing them with their customized needs. For instance, while recruiting women, the organizations should look after the needs of working mothers and provide daycare centers for them to work productively. Similarly, while hiring people from different cultures and religions, the organization should take care about their rituals and other necessities e.g. meals. Mr. Farhan Aziz Khawaja shared some constitutional and legal policy making on the very subject. Dr. Nasira Jabeen also shared her thoughts while addressing the audience. She shared about the barriers women face at workplace at individual, organizational and systematic level.
Day two of the conference was initiated with keynote addresses by Prof. Geert Bouckaert on level of public management, by Prof. Dr. Nezir Akyeslimen on Cyber governance and cyber security, and by Prof. Dr. Zafar Iqbal Jadoon on Dialogic perspective on public management reforms in developing countries where he presented a case of Pakistan. Dr. Jadoon stressed on the perspective that to bring change and reforms, we need to shift from diagnostic perspective to dialogic perspective. He shared that to have reforms implemented, we should focus on four aspects, (i) Context of problem and context based solution, (ii) Culture and reconstruction of concepts, theories and models, (iii) Conversation (Dialogue) and (iv) Transformation Perspective. Towards the end of his talk, he encouraged the academicians to voice their concerns and be heard outside the boundaries of their own institutes.
Another round of parallel tracks of paper presentations was held where sessions were chaired by Dr. Mansoor Kundi, Dr. Zahid Riaz, Dr. Saubia Ramzan, Dr. Ali Sajid, Dr. Aisha Azhar, Dr. Farida Faisal and Dr. Hafiz Zafar Ahmad.
At the conference, IAS organized a workshop in collaboration with Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU); whose representatives; Ms. Jennifer Ellis and Mr. Tarrance Ryder conducted a workshop for Registrars and HR officials at universities of Pakistan with key emphasis on repositioning the role of HR in higher education universities in Pakistan. Mr. Muhammad Ahsan Achakzai from Quetta University also joined to present the current higher education environment in Pakistan, what are the provincial practices and what measures can be taken to improve the situation. Teachers/staff evaluation methods and effectiveness were discussed and was linked with the value of education being imparted to the students and its further link to the HR Practices at HE. Registrars and officials from various universities attended the workshop and shared their local practices which were then compared against the global best practices. The missing links in higher education community were highlighted from the audience and served as an area of further discussion and research by ACU in Pakistan. One of the key learning was that distance education is a challenge in Pakistan due to non-availability of technology on a wider scale. The initiative of the workshop was highly appreciated by the participants and it was however suggested to conduct it on a much larger level to gain more understanding about the challenges and the local solutions that can be made in light of global best practices.
When it is about the strategic directions of governance, management and human resources of the country, the economic and human development is the foremost concern. The prospects and challenges of the project: “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)” were widely talked about and discussed at the Panel discussion specially planned for CPEC at day to of the conference. Panelists included Dr. Shahid Rashid – Executive Director, Center of Excellence of CPEC, PIDE Islamabad, Dr. Ijaz Nabi – Country Director – International Growth Center (IGC) and faculty member at LUMS and Mr. Ahsan Khawar. Panel was moderated by Muhammad Usman Khan. Dr. Shahid Rashid advocated in his talk that CPEC is providing agricultural development and poverty alleviation to Pakistan by creating more employment opportunities. It will also give a boost to the tourism industry of Pakistan. Dr. Ijaz Nabi highlighted the geographical significance of Pakistan as a country and how it can benefit China and Pakistan both resulting in strengthening of our east and west corridors. Mr. Muhammad Usman Khan also presented to the audience the major concerns alongwith benefits of CPEC that is environmental concern due to manufacturing industry. Therefore, we look forward to more strategic industries to uplift the socio-economic development and reforms in the country.
A Sufi Night and Gala Dinner were also organized for day 1 of the conference that provided an opportunity to our international guests to know about the rich culture and heritage of Pakistan. They enjoyed the classical and sufi music presented by former graduates of IAS and professional singers Haseeb-ul-Hassan and Roheen Sadiq. Another musical band, Bol Bant was also engaged to perform at the musical night that is comprised of university students and have remarkable talents as instrumentalists and vocalists. One of the sitarist from the band, Muhammad Effendi is a student of IAS and he has performed nationally and internationally.
At the closing ceremony, Dr. Nadeem-ul- Haque – Former Chairperson Planning Commission of Pakistan, presented a highly informative plenary address on “Governance & Management in the 21st Century”. He shared that in order to have our government compete with the global standards, we have to impart the latest technology in our systems and we have to re-think on the kind of education we have to impart to our generations now. He gave food for thought on human intelligence versus artificial intelligence and gave a point of concern to the audience to develop local solutions in light of global knowledge to uplift the development of the country.
Dr. Mumtaz Anwar shared a note of thanks to the collaborative partners followed by a conference report and note of thanks by Prof. Dr. Nasira Jabeen to all the sponsors and supportive partners. The conference initiative was supported by the Higher Education Commission, Punjab Higher Education Commission, University of the Punjab, Punjab Economic Research Institute, including alumni of the Institute and several others. The official sponsors of the event include Signature Pens, Partyhouse, Unity Estates, Allied Book Company, Pak Book Company, Oxford University Press, and few alumni including Mr. Tariq Munir, Mr. Shahid Lone, Mr. Dawood Hassan Rumi, Mr. Omar Farooq. She appreciated the efforts of the conference committee who worked so hard to conduct the conference including but not limited to the Conference Coordinators; Dr. Yaamina Salman and Dr. Amani Moazzam and official host for the ceremony; Dr. Sidra Irfan, Ms. Zulaikhan Mahmood – Research Scholar. The efforts of adjunct faculty members, Dr. Shahid Zia and Mr. Asad Nadeem Awan were highly appreciated. Administrative team included Col. Muzzafar Ali, Mr. Shahzad Ahmad Siddiqui, Ms. Rifat Umbreen Afzal, Ms. Tashfeen Fatima, Ms. Sameen Zaki, Mr. Muhammad Saqlain, Ms. Maria Aslam, Ms. Saima Manzoor, Mr. Muhammad Azhar, Mr. Muhammad Kashif and Mr. Vikram Francis. Towards the end, shields and certificates were awarded to the team members and student volunteers in recognition of their immense efforts. IAS intends to conduct another international conference in 2019 with a larger canvas and benefitting a larger audience.