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 Job Description:

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Senior Expert (Short Term): Training on Effective Parliamentary Reporting  

Project Background and Objectives

The SUBAI project purpose is to advance the functioning of Pakistan Parliamentary Institutions, in particular Pakistan Provincial Assemblies (PAs) and Legislative Assemblies (LAs), through effective legislation, strengthened policy and budget, oversight and enhanced representation.

 

The project has the following three Result areas to be achieved:

Result 1 – Strengthened Institutional development process and frameworks of Provincial Assemblies and better equipped elected representatives, selected committees and other parliamentary bodies.

Result 2 – Strengthened Assemblies’ Secretariats at provincial level.

Result 3 – Improved transparency and accessibility of Provincial Assemblies.

 

The main focus of the programme is the Pakistan four Provincial and two Legislative Assemblies. Hence, the activities will be carried out in the four provincial capitals (Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta) and two states (Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan).

Target groups

       Members of Provincial and Legislative Assemblies  

       Secretariats of Provincial and Legislative Assemblies

       Committees and other established Parliamentary bodies and their staff, as appropriate.

       Pakistani Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS)

       Media outlets/journalists.

       Lawyers' fora, bar associations, researchers, civil society organisations, think-tanks, Academic institutions and others.

Assignment Background

Post 18th Constitutional amendment, with additional subjects and powers devolved now to the provinces; the role of Provincial and Legislative Assemblies has become more important. However, unlike the Federal Parliament, provincial legislatures have only recently started to receive noticeable slot in the primetime news; which unfortunately, mostly focuses on issues of political nature including heated House debates between the opposition and treasury benches. Occasionally, news regarding passage of some Bills of public importance also make it to the media, but majority of these are linked with burning issues that are under extreme public criticism and being discussed on television or social media at that very moment. Several debates, committee proceedings and legislative reviews from Provincial and Legislative Assemblies are ignored and never reported in the media which indirectly creates a sense amongst public that their representatives are not performing or safeguarding the interests of voters for which they have been elected.

 

To address this disconnect between the public and the legislature there is need for enhancing outreach of the Assemblies through effective parliamentary reporting, which at one time, used to be one of the most distinguished and important segments in the print media. With new journalists entering the market and inexperienced reporters being assigned for parliamentary reporting in provinces, it is essential that they develop a working knowledge of the legislatures, its rules of procedure as well as the rights and privileges of the Members to present a fair and accurate account of the deliberations without bias.

 

 

 

Objectives

The overall objective of the consultancy is to train young media professionals assigned to the reporting of Provincial and Legislative Assemblies; to be familiar with the broader constitutional provisions that govern the conduct of legislatures in relation to parliamentary sessions, quorum, voting, parliamentary committees, standing orders, petitions, public access and participation, as well as domain; powers and privileges of the House and Members. Through this training, SUBAI hopes to support in educating a select number of reporters from electronic and print media on effective parliamentary reporting standards from AJK and GB. Another objective of this training is to enable a transparent and informed coverage of the parliamentary work by the reporters with constructive criticism on its performance, that can further help educate the public.

Specific Tasks

The expert/s will plan and conduct training for select journalists from different electronic and print media outlets assigned for reporting to their respective Legislative Assemblies. The participants will also include nominated Secretariat officials from the media and PR department of each legislature, who serve as a bridge between the reporters and Assembly, officially disseminating information through press releases; and managing media engagement of leadership.

 The training will be designed with a two-way approach to:  

       Facilitate reporters in developing basic parliamentary knowledge;

       Understanding the Do’s and DON’Ts of parliamentary reporting in the light of international standards and best practices;

       Identifying priority areas of focus while reporting House proceedings and Committee meetings;

       Evolving an informed and better working relationship with PR and Media Cell (and vice versa for secretariat officials);

       Developing, improved internal communication strategies and tools for parliamentary reporters and Media wing of Assembly Secretariats; and,

       A comprehensive event report.

Reporting

The expert will report to the SUBAI Deputy Team Leader through the Strategic Coordination Adviser/Key Experts; and will work closely with him and other team members of the project.





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