On Monday, December 2nd, Maleeka Bokhari, Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Law and Justice delivered the opening keynote speech at a panel discussion on, “Multi-Stakeholder Approach for Innovation in Delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

The event was a combined effort by Code for Pakistan, Jazz, and OPEN Islamabad. Telcos like Jazz, are undertaking initiatives by bringing innovative products and digital solutions to masses. As part of its mission to help the Government of Pakistan achieve the SDG targets, Jazz is working on several projects including the Jazz Smart Schools Program – a smart, digitally driven leaning solution that overtakes the usual learning methodology in public schools, and the National Incubation Center.

The panel is a precursor to the upcoming SDG Hackathon 2019 on the 6th, 7th and 8th of December, and the Women SDG Challenge Cup 2019 on 8th December, initiatives by Jazz in partnership with Code for Pakistan and OPEN Islamabad, to be held at the National Incubation Center Islamabad.

“It’s heartening to see young people engaged in the process of delivering the SDGs. I strongly believe young people are agents of change,” said Ms. Bokhari.

Ms. Bokhari spoke about how the Pakistan Citizen Portal is an example of the use of innovation and technology to better serve citizens, as well as the Mera Bacha Alert app launched by the KP government recently to help recover missing children.

She also talked about how the Ministry is innovating to deliver SDGs 5 and 16.

“At the Ministry of Law and Justice, we’re using innovation to achieve SDG 16, by codifying and making laws available online, on a website and app. Another example is the Ministry’s collaboration with SOC Films and the European Union to spread awareness about and explain what the law says regarding honor killings,” by leveraging the reach of social media, said Ms. Bokhari.

She appreciated the Hackathon initiative as a way to engage youth, foster innovation and support the government in delivering the SDG targets.

Ms. Bokhari’s keynote was followed by opening remarks from Aisha Sarwari, Head of Communications and Sustainability, Jazz, and then a panel discussion. The panel was moderated by Muzamil Hassan, and speakers included Dr. Ayesha Khan (CEO, Akhtar Hameed Khan Resource Center), Rohma Labeeb (Accelerator and Partnerships Lead, Invest2Innovate), Ali Ibrahim (Head Corporate Sustainability, Jazz), and Dr. Saima Hamid (Vice-Chancellor, Fatima Jinnah Women’s University).

The guests and panelists spoke about the need to create linkages and build communities to allow for diverse stakeholders to come together to co-create solutions and deliver the SDGs, as well as the need for a data-driven approach.

Hamid Akhtar, President, Code for Pakistan, closed the evening by underscoring how the upcoming SDG Hackathon is the ideal opportunity for people from diverse backgrounds to come together, learn from one and create civic and social solutions.

The SDG Hackathon is a community-building endeavor, and aims to promote creativity, innovation, and civic engagement, while also creating awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals and about the potential use of technology and digital tools to address social and civic issues.

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