In Pakistan, many NGOs and other ECD stakeholders are doing a great job of serving the developmental needs of their target children. Most of these efforts and interventions are based on individual goals and aspirations of various ECD organizations without much formal networking and mutual support, although there are informal communication processes in place whereby most players know about the programs, challenges and successes of various ECD organizations in Pakistan.
One such ECD organization, the Rupani Foundation, thinks that the effectiveness and impact of ECD activities in Pakistan can be enhanced exponentially if a formal network or alliance of all ECD organization was created with an aim to promote the cause of ECD in Pakistan. Thus, was born the idea of creating a formal ECD Network in Pakistan. The Foundation feels that the process of mutual learning and support can bring tremendous benefits to the ECD sector through the development of a formal alliance or Network. The Foundation also feels that the mass awareness of ECD in the target communities and the success of ECD in Pakistan's development can be enhanced by influencing and channeling government policy in promoting ECD. All this has led to the Foundation to propose that all relevant stakeholders in Pakistan form a formal network with the aim of providing a strong voice for the promotion of reform oriented ECD practice in Pakistan.
To this initiative, the RF has successfully organized meetings in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad (major cities of Pakistan) where representatives of various NGOs, donor agencies and government departments involved in ECD discussed the mission, purpose, goals and objectives of the National ECD network. All the stakeholders agreed that the proposed ECD network is in the national interest as it will provide a forum to share best practices and also help create a national awareness of the importance of ECD for a healthy and educated future generation of Pakistan.
With the help of the National Steering Committee, formative elements of the Network on behalf of all stakeholders of ECD sector in Pakistan were discussed and finalized. The Founding Board of Directors for this network has been proposed and they will conduct quarterly meetings where the strategic programme planning will be made. Besides targeting many goals, this network will work with the provincial and federal governments to influence education policy so as to promote the use of holistic ECD method of child development and education.