Aims and Objectives

U-ELECT SOCIETY has been set up by individuals whose mission is to inculcate values of human rights, democracy, tolerance and pluralism and to strive for human development in Pakistan
  • Promoting and inculcating values of human rights, democracy, tolerance and pluralism amongst masses.
  • Undertaking projects for human development including working on areas like economics empowerment, Water sanitation, society, food security etc.
  • Undertaking initiatives to promote and entrench values of human rights, including but not limited to, women rights & rights of religious minorities in Pakistan.
  • Providing services to further development in the rural areas of Pakistan regarding water sanitation, poverty alleviation etc.
  • Deepening a democratic pluralistic and political culture for all classes of society.
  • Enhancing women’s larger participation in political process and decision making.
  • To improve the socioeconomic conditions of marginalize, underprivileged and underdeveloped sections of society without any discrimination of casts, creed and gender.
  • To set up and manage with people and all stake holders participation the institution for the advancement of education, particularly social and research studies.
  • To promote goodwill and tolerance among the people for peace and cooperation both at national, regional and international level.
  • To promote use technologies for governance, transparency and social innovations.

Technologies for Governance

New communication technologies—especially social media via the Internet— have become important resources for the mobilization of collective action and the subsequent creation, organization, and implementation of social movements around the world. The development of social media created opportunities for Web-fueled social movements, or cyber activism, to change the landscape of collective action. Cyber activism is a growing field of scholarly inquiry, though it is not yet well understood, and it is largely lacking a clear, cohesive direction.

In addition to supporting political and social movements in more conventional ways—by providing opportunities for political expression, symbolic identification for collective actors, and information exchange—new communication technologies may serve a novel instrumental function.

There is little doubt that social media played a significant role in the revolutions that have struck the Arab world since late December 2010. In the case of Egypt, activists had been engaged since 2009 in online discussions and debates on sociopolitical conditions, which eventually developed into a full-force revolution. What these activists were doing—in terms of debating, organizing, and planning—is not new in itself, but the means employed to communicate with each other and execute the revolution represents an important new resource for collective action. Social media introduced a novel resource that provided swiftness in receiving and disseminating information; helped to build and strengthen ties among activists; and increased interaction among protesters and between protesters and the rest of the world. Information about the events that led to the protests was spread largely through social media technologies, and the encouragement and sympathy offered via social media channels inspired and boosted Egyptian protesters, who were linked not only to each other, but also to Tunisian protesters, Egyptians abroad, and the outside world.

If one opts for a research I am sure the words CHANGE, REVOLUTION, YOUTH and SOCIAL MEDIA would be beyond any doubt the frequently exploited ones in the political rhetoric and contemporary media in both print and electronic versions in Pakistan. So it is nothing but the E-form of what has been happening all around the world. The uprising in the Arab World, Twitter Revolution of Iran and the Occupy Wall Street are examples of the major movements that were floated as an idea on the social media outlets, discussed, criticized, promoted and then implemented as full-fledged movements where some ended up with expected outcomes and others failed. But the most important point that is to be noted is the use of social media in an objective way can bring desired outcomes.

Following these trends in cyber activism a group of IT professionals and Researchers in Governance, Public Policy and Development sector have developed a project of E-governance named as uElect Pakistan. It is an endeavor to use Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for the exchange of communication between citizens in individual capacity as well as in organized social and political associations like political parties, civil society, communities etc.

As electoral process is the only key to a substantial and righteous change in Pakistan, uElect Pakistan attempts to play a vital role in enhancing the importance of this whole process under the principles of good governance with the use of best possibly available modern technology.

uElect Pakistan is meant to work in three phases. First and the most important phase has already begun. This is the pre-election phase where a number of political parties with different agendum are already in the ground to contest for the upcoming elections. uElect Pakistan will get the future agenda of these parties through the rally speeches, press-releases and news reports from Pakistani media and make it public . Being an independent body uElect will simply put forward the plans of the leadership of these parties categorizing it into the indicators of good governance. In brief these indicators will include Provision of Fundamental Rights, Education, Health, Justice, Religious Freedom, Tolerance, Equality,Democracy, primacy of Rule of Law, Employment, Accountability and Transparency, Rights for Women and Minorities, National Integration, Grass root level development, a viable Economic and Public Policy, deferent and equivalent Foreign policy etc.

The first phase will also include the dissection and critical analysis of manifestos of all the contesting political parties in comparison with the aforementioned indicators of good governance.

Hence, this will pave a path for the public to make their choice in voting for that particular party which vows to fulfill their needs and caters their problems.

The second phase of uElect is during the elections. It is to ensure the free and fair status if the elections once again through the party reports of polling , reports from media and uElect Pakistan’s own reporters from all over the Country. uElect Pakistan will attempt earnestly to avoid rigging and fraudulent manipulation of polling.

The third phase of uElect will be after the electoral process completes. It will initially work as a reminder for the elected parties and their candidates of their promises with the public. It will hold them accountable to the public in case of their failure in turning their vows into policies.

In short uElect Pakistan is a newer form of social media that will initially work as an independent and neutral campaign for the best parties to come forward through the electoral process and bring about the long desired substantial and righteous change through viable options. Later it will hold the leadership accountable to the public with a comparison of their pre-election vows and post-election performance and policy. By creating a healthy debate among various stakeholders, Uelect will ensure the party politics is based on policy matters and not mere rhetoric and blame games. Specific technology tools and application and partnership with likeminded individuals and organizations, Uelect will generate a broader policy paradigm and guiding principles for all political stakeholders.

Once all the basic data from various sources are collected, the Uelect, as an independent organization will be open for academia, researchers, think tanks, media personals, and other national and international organizations working for sustainable democracy and governance.

Human Rights

Promoting and inculcating values of human rights, democracy, tolerance and pluralism amongst masses.


WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT

Challenges to Women's Empowerment

Undertaking projects for human development including working on areas like economics empowerment, Water sanitation, society, food security etc.

There is little or no participation of women in the political process in Rawalpindi province of Pakistan (0-30% women voted in 2008). The political parties known as Popular, Democratic and Secular follow the tribal and feudal norms, and readily fall in with the wishes of religious extremists and local conservative forces, making decisions and agreements to restrict women from casting votes or taking part in the political process. If in some cases women are allowed to cast their votes, they will follow the choice of male members of their families. Furthermore there are other challenges which hinder women’s active participation in political processes which include:

The notion that politics is a ‘men only’ job and the lack of young women’s interest in elections and political-democratic processes

The patriarchal norms which limit women to family roles and prevent them from taking decision making positions within the political parties

The inaccessibility of polling stations for women

Bans on women’s voting by the local leadership/religious leaders, political parties and even the Election Commission of Pakistan

Women’s lack of trust in politicians and political processes to incite change.


How we do it

To address the challenges and to increase political participation of young women UELECT has developed the following strategy:

1 – Capacity building of women

Young female political activists will trained on ‘women’s political participation for good governance’. A group of 30 young women will be trained in each district, whose task will be to mobilise other young women in their communities to become more engaged in civic, political, and democratic processes.

2 – Baseline surveys

The trained young women will then conduct a baseline survey in their districts to discover the challenges to women’s participation in the electoral and political processes.

3 – Community meetings

In each community Uelect project will hold meetings with men and women at the grassroots level to educate and inform them about the importance of women’s participation in electoral processes and to raise awareness about the importance of community accountability for good governance

4 – Establishing Citizen’s Committees

Two Citizen’s Committees will be established in each district; one male and one female as the gender segregated conservative culture of the KP Province means that men and women may not feel able to voice their views to each other. T

5 – Developing Citizen’s Charter of Demands

With the consultations of the Citizen’s Committees ‘Citizen’s Charter of Demands’ will be developed. The Charter will clearly state that the communities want a free, fair and smooth participation of women in electoral processes. The charter will also enforce community demands around women rights’ issues such as women’s health and education.

6 – Citizen’s annual dialogue with political parties

Annual dialogues of the Citizens Committees will be conducted with Political Parties and Parliamentarians to advocate increased women’s political participation through citizens charter of demand.

7. Radio campaign to widen awareness

There will be an annual intensive month of programming, running from Pakistan Women’s Day (February 12th) to International Women’s Day (March 8th)

Human development

Undertaking projects for human development including working on areas like economics empowerment, Water sanitation, society, food security etc.

Undertaking projects for human development including working on areas like economics empowerment, Water sanitation, society, food security etc.

PEACE

Promoting Peace Activism, Tolerance, and Non-Violence among Young People to Counter Extremism

Because of the prevalence of religious extremism in the society, economic insecurities, lack of good governance and exposure to biased education, media, and politics which promote radicalization, the young people are more at risk of responding violently to the issues in community and recruitment by the militant and extremist organizations.

Uelect is working in the most fragile regions of the Rawalpindi Province and ISLAMABAD by developing a “Youth Peace Network” which promote peace activism among young people, identifying potential peace activists, organizing them in district groups, and strengthening their capacity in peacebuilding, conflict resolution. The trained peace activist then work at the community level using peer education, study circles, peace education, conflict resolution through dialogue, and through other creative ways to promote a culture of pluralistic discourse and to challenge the intolerant militant discourse.

The overall goal of the project is to promote an alternative pluralistic discourse based on the values of tolerance, non-violence, peaceful co-existence. The project’s specific objective is to promote peace activism among young people, identify potential peace activists, and organize and strengthen their capacity in peacebuilding, and conflict resolution, which will lead to countering extremism in the North Wes of Pakistan.

The strategy used by Uelect is to identify potential young peace activists in each target district, conduct one week training on skills for peacebuilding, conflict transformation, non-violence and pluralism. The training strengthens the knowledge of young people about the origin, current status, dynamics, and politics of extremist groups, will promote peace activism enabling the young participants to respond effectively to emerging conflicts in their communities. It develops the notion among young people that they have the responsibility to build peace in their communities by playing an active role. The trained young people of the peace groups then conduct post training activities to promote peace and non-violence. Each train person works and with 10 young people in their local communities to educate them on non-violence conflict resolution, pluralism, and tolerance of others believes and thoughts.

The young people use different innovative strategies to promote peace, conflict resolution, and non-violence in their communities, the young people are provided with mentorship support. Furthermore, the trained activists work together in teams to resolve local conflicts through mediation and dialogue to set a role model for other people in the community. These conflicts may range from interpersonal conflicts to inter-family conflicts or inter-tribal conflicts.

WATER AND SANITATION

uElect aims to work on Water and Sanitation issues all over Pakistan. Drinking water supply and sanitation in Pakistan is characterized by some achievements and many challenges. Despite high population growth the country has increased the share of the population with access to an improved water source from 85% in 1990 to 92% in 2010, although this does not necessarily mean that the water from these sources is safe to drink. The share with access to improved sanitation increased from 27% to 48% during the same period, according to the Joint Monitoring Program for Water Supply and Sanitation There has also been considerable innovation at the grass-root level, in particular concerning sanitation.

However, the sector still faces major challenges. The quality of the services is poor, as evidenced by intermittent water supply in urban areas and limited wastewater treatment. Poor drinking water quality and sanitation lead to major outbreaks of waterborne diseases. major outbreaks of waterborne diseases swept the cities of Faisalabad, Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar in 2006. Estimates indicate that each year, more than three million Pakistanis become infected with waterborne diseases. In addition, many service providers do not even cover the costs of operation and maintenance due to low tariffs and poor efficiency.Consequently, the service providers strongly depend on government subsidies and external funding. A National Sanitation Policy and a National Drinking Water Policy have been approved in 2006 and 2009 respectively with the objective to improve water and sanitation coverage and quality.

UElect aims to

Improve the quality of drinking water Make safe drinking water available to everyone in Pakistan To advocate for proper sanitation as a basic right of every citizen Food Security and Agriculture

The food security in Pakistan seems extremely chaotic as despite the fact that farmers are producing more and more, especially wheat, and the country is enjoying surplus crops, the masses are still suffering shortage and unabated price hike and the food security issue is getting a serious courtesy the nefarious elements like middlemen, smuggling mafia and official network of some relevant department.

Food experts are critically examining this situation giving a warning that the country’s food security is under threat due to the shallow approach of the economic managers whose policies are inflicting heavily not only on farmers but also the consumers.

uElect aims to address the food security in Pakistan through innovations in agriculture and food policy.