Karachi (Muhammad Yasir) The Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy (PCP) today held the Pakistan Philanthropy Forum 20019 at IBA Karachi, under the theme of ‘Unlocking Philanthropy’s Potential: The Power of Partnerships’. The Forum convened donors, social investors, social and tech entrepreneurs, multilateral agencies, policymakers, government and business leaders, and visionaries from across the world to offer pragmatic insight and constructive responses to pressing global challenges. Panelists and speakers examined how philanthropy works most productively when it supplements the welfare agenda of the state.
In his welcome address, Mr. Zaffar A. Khan, Chairman, PCP Board of Directors said, that Pakistan is a giving country even though we rate poorly as tax payers. This sentiment to give to the needy is a national strength that needs to be further encouraged and to the extent possible channelized to build credible institutions that can then leverage the giving by creating high end social impact. He mentioned that civil society has stepped forward and has been using philanthropy to build some outstanding NGOs. Such CSOs are to be lauded and encouraged. PCP supports the rules and regulations that bring good governance but would also like to say that rules and regulations designed to thwart the bad actors should not at the same time damage or restrict the good ones.
Mr. Michael Mapstone, Director of International, Charities Aid Foundation, UK, opined that governments shall ensure that civil society organizations are regulated in a fair, consistent and open way. On the other side organizations shall ensure good governance and be honest about impact to win build public trust. He was of the view that traditional forms of giving shall be recognized and further built upon.
Comparing regulation globally is challenging as local context differs from country to country said Tim Hopkins of Charities Commission, UK. He was speaking at Pakistan Philanthropy Forum which held today at IBA Karachi. He further said that virtually all countries have various forms of regulation of CSOs. There is no right answer as to what works best, its all dependant on the risks for each jurisdiction. He said that we are seeing more of an appetite for ‘self-regulatory’ bodies where conduct and behavioural standards are set and accredited.
Richard Hawkes, Chief Executive Officer, British Asian Trust UK highlighted the importance of social finance and regarded it as an efficient way to finance and manage development goals, especially for programmes that i) can produce measurable outcomes, ii) can produce outcomes in a short period of time, iii) have previous evidence of success, and iv) located in an appropriate political and legal environment.
PCP also launched its survey on corporate philanthropy, followed by an awards distribution ceremony. Those who won the awards included Pakistan Petroleum Ltd, Oil & Gas Development Company Ltd, Fatima Fertilizer, Pakistan Services Ltd, Treet Corporation Ltd, Mehran Sugar Mills Ltd, Yunus Textile Mills Ltd, Liberty Mills Ltd, Resham Textile Industries Ltd, Burma Oil Mills Limited, Barrett Hodgson Pakistan (Pvt.) Ltd, Shirazi Investments (Pvt.) Ltd, and H & H Exchange Company (Pvt.) Ltd.
Mr Syed Babar Ali, Chief Guest, hailed the contributions of the corporate sector in the development of the country. He was speaking as a chief guest at the corporate philanthropy awards ceremony. He mentioned philanthropic contributions towards provision of education and health services to the poor in the country. He was of the view that it is the duty of the business community to give back to the society in whatever way possible. He urged the corporate sector to come forward and help bring improvements in the lives of the marginalised sections of the society.
Ms. Shazia Maqsood Amjad, Executive Director PCP shared with the audience that corporate philanthropy has been on the rise since 2000 when PCP first documented it- it has increased 33 times since 2002. She informed that according to PCP’s latest report philanthropic contributions by the corporate sector has increased to over 10 billion per annum. The event was marked as an important milestone in advancing PCP’s mission to promote indigenous philanthropy for social development in Pakistan.