The Social Enterprise Development Centre (SEDC) at the Suleman Dawood School of Business (SDSB), Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) inaugurated their six week Summer Trainee Programme recently, in collaboration with the Punjab Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW). The programme was devised as an immersion platform for students interested in pursuing careers in the development sector.
Since 2001, SEDC has worked on gender mainstreaming and social inclusion in Pakistan. To this end, the Traineeship was aimed at enhancing the capacity of students to better address the needs of the development sector; particularly focusing on developing technical research and writing skills. The students were taught to prepare factsheets and policy briefs on various areas of research.
The factsheets were used to shed light on Healthcare Service Delivery in Pakistan, Primary Schooling in Pakistan, Enrolment, Dropout Rates and Out-of-School Children in Public Primary Schools, Youth Unemployment in Pakistan and Financial Inclusion in Pakistan. Factsheets also focused on women’s issues including Women and Agriculture in Pakistan, Maternal Healthcare in Punjab and Domestic Violence Against Women in Pakistan.
The policy briefs focused on topics such as Urbanization in Pakistan: The Availability of Housing, Poverty Alleviation through Benazir Income Support Program, Child Malnutrition in Punjab, Women and Agriculture in Pakistan, Domestic Violence Against Women in Pakistan and Primary Healthcare Service Delivery System in Punjab.
The PCSW was engaged to add a practical dimension to the programme. Securing women’s rights and empowerment are central to the work of the PCSW and mirror the cross-cutting theme of SEDC. Therefore this formed the underlying basis for the research studies conducted by the trainees.
The trainees were sent to work in the field on PCSW projects as well as at their headquarters. The exposure gained through involvement in professional work settings served to familiarize them with the demands of the sector.