A two-day conference by USAID-funded Centre for Business & Society (CBS) was held at LUMS which discussed ‘Ethical Leadership: Implementation in the Public Sector.”
The conference brought together more than 150 experts, academics and leading practitioners from the public sector in Pakistan to discuss topics such as Good Governance and Leadership, Transparency and Accountability, Value Imperatives in Public Sector and Ethical Leadership Challenges in great detail.
In the opening remarks the Chief of Party of CSB, Dr. Zafar Iqbal Qureshi introduced the milestones achieved by CSB and the support from USAID for establishing the Center for Governance and Public Management at LUMS. He also stressed on the need of ethical leaders to lead Pakistani organisations.
The chief guest for the first session was Vice Chancellor LUMS, Prof. Dr. S. Sohail H. Naqvi. In his speech, Dr. Naqvi shared his experiences of both the public and private sector and shared that nothing can surpass the feeling of achieving something good and fruitful for the country. He added that leaders need courage and decision making abilities to lead teams and organisations.
Dr. Miles Toder, Provincial Director of Punjab USAID was guest of honour. He shared his memories while serving at Indonesia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. He hoped that such discourse is important to the practice of ethical leadership.
Panelists included prominent international and Pakistani experts including Dr. James W. Douglas, Professor, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, USA, Dr. Ishrat Husain – Dean and Director of the Institute of Business Administration, Karachi, Ali Hussain Malik – Additional Secretary Planning and Development, Government of Punjab, Yaqoob Bangash – Assistant Professor, Forman Christian College, Saeed Shafqat – Professor and Founding Director, Centre for Public Policy and Governance, Forman Christian College, Dr. Ali Qazilbash – Assistant Professor, LUMS, Dr. David N. Ammons – Professor of Public Administration and Government, University of North Carolina, USA, Dr. Umar Saif, Chairman Punjab IT Board; Founding Vice Chancellor, Information Technology University, Punjab, Dr. Kendra B. Stewart, Professor and Director, Center for Livable Communities at the College of Charleston, USA and Dr. Aneela Salman – Managing Director, Punjab Education Foundation.
The first session was about good governance and leadership where panelists talked on themes of governance best practices and current government practices in Pakistan. Dean and Director IBA Karachi, Dr. Ishrat Hussain moderated the session.
The second session was on transparency and accountability discussed facts about corruption in Pakistan and effectiveness of accountability, performance reporting, institutionalisation of accountability and open government. Kamran Rasool, Group Head Corporate Social Responsibility and Security, Muslim Commercial Bank and former Chief Secretary Punjab moderated the session.
Last session for the day was on value imperatives in the public sector. Fahd Hussain, Director Express News served as moderator. The session started with a discussion on the kind of pressures decision makers face. Dr. Kendra B. Stewart, Professor and Director, Center for Livable Communities at the College of Charleston, USA discussed the corruption issues faced in the US. Other panelists discussed value system in Pakistan’s public sector and reasons for a value system failure with personal life examples.
The second day of conference started with a session on ethical leadership challenges where Dr. James G. from University of Alabama, USA, Dr. Shahidul Hassan from Ohio State University, USA and Syed Shafiq Hyder, Former Director General Sindh Chief Minister Inspection Team, talked about government leadership and trust, challenges in ethical decision making and how to shed shackles for effective ethical leadership.
The last session of the conference was Agenda for developing ethical public sector leaders. Dr. David N. Ammons from University of North Carolina moderated the session and the audience enthusiastically participated in the Q&A session where a lot of challenges and their solutions with regards to ethical leadership were discussed.
Chief of Party, USAID-funded Center for Governance and Public Management Dr. Zafar Iqbal Qureshi wrapped up the conference by saying that public sector doesn’t mean only bureaucracy and that people on every level are responsible for their actions and play a critical part in making or breaking the systems that serve the public.
Justice (R) Aamer Raza Khan, gave the concluding remarks. He told that it’s not easy to be straight in the public sector but there is always a way to do the right thing and stressed on the importance of strong role models for the younger generations to identify with.
The conference enabled speakers and public managers to engage in a dialogue to overcome public sector challenges and issues regarding ethical leadership. Recommendations for the improvement of service delivery of the government machinery and enhanced socioeconomic development in Pakistan were suggested.
USAID-funded Center for Governance and Public Management works to develop the capacity of Pakistani community service organisations (CSOs) and the Government of Pakistan (GOP) organisations to make them more transparent and accountable. The Center for Governance and Public Management is the step forward to serve as a training, research and policy center for public sector of Pakistan.