Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO) program is rights-based. In the larger development agencies, the rights-based approach has its roots in the increasing public concern with the development effectiveness.
Civil Society in Pakistan has emerged as catalyst and change agent during the last 3 decades and has been winning and gaining more grounds in mainstream development and policy making processes at provincial and national level. Pakistani society is undergoing drastic changes because of many emerging developments and trends, like independents media, activation of various sections of civil society, such as lawyers, forums, media organizations, NGOs, and educational institutions and many others.
Many public and private higher education institutions offer new degree programs, like gender studies, environment sciences, development and population studies etc. The rising number of students seeking admission in these departments shows the interest and seriousness of the youth. These students need to have a good understanding about operational dynamics and ground realities of development scenario in Pakistan alongside their education. Educational institutions have already realized it and are emphasizing now on the importance of on-job training; sending the students to leading CSOs for a period of 6-8 months so they can get off campus practical experience.
SPO-Lahore enjoys very positive and strong linkages with higher education institutions like Punjab University, Lahore College for Women University, and Kinnaird College for Women University. It has been accommodating the students of these institutions as interns for past few years.
During 2009-2010, 28 students belonging to, Social Work, Sociology, Mass Communication, Political Science, and Gender Studies departments of PU and LCWU have successfully completed their internship with SPO-Lahore. This experiment has proved a successful and students obtained first hand working knowledge, experience, exposure, and understanding about operational dynamics and ground realities of development paradigm in Pakistan.
We can make a better society through sensitization of the youth about politics and socieity. The speakers were of view that if we need a peaceful and developed state then we should focus on youth and their role, because if we want to minimize the political, social and economical disruption, then we need to create opportunities for youth. There is a dire need to bring the youth on a plate form where they can realize their role and responsibilities. CSOs and government create such type of forum where students express their views.
The ceremony was chaired by Naseer Memon, CE SPO, and guest of honor were Neelam Hussain (Educationist), Khawar Mumtaz ( Director Shirkat Gah,) Ahsan Akhtar Naz (Director Institute of Mass communication and development studies Punjab University Lahore), Prof. Rana Ejaz (associate professor political science department university of Punjab), Sara Shahid (Lahore university of Women gender studies department), Rana Malik, Razia Naqvi from university of Punjab and Salman Abid Regional Head SPO Lahore