Pakistan public policy

“Creative solutions for complex problems” might be a cliché in the West, but seems a novel concept in Pakistan’s public policy landscape. The proverbial nonetheless offers a panacea for resolving Pakistan's multiple challenges in domestic as well as the foreign policy domain. Patronizing fresh ideas and introducing 'innovation' as the central theme in the public sector can serve a dual purpose: On one hand, it will strengthen the bond between the State and citizens by replacing traditional remedies with modern ones and on the other it would create a forward-thinking country by unlocking the enormous creative potential of Pakistan’s people.
Risk taking is an essential precursor to innovative policies, but that should not deter us from nurturing new perspectives and novel strategic inputs. In fact, we need to support the ethos of risk taking and entrepreneurship among our very best and the brightest, allowing them to think outside-the-box and come up with alternate viewpoints.
It is important to understand that innovation is not the exclusive domain of those with higher education; rather individuals with high quality primary and secondary education that foments the capacity to think critically can play a significant part in innovating processes and systems in the less privileged societies. Such innovation might not be disruptive at the global level as is associated with technologies emanating from the Silicon Valley, but can set the wheel moving for a change and adaptation at the local level. In my view, it is not just the likes of Harvard, Stanford and MIT which make United States the leader in innovation, but also the strength and vitality of its primary education system which imbues the young minds with creativity. This strong foundation lends incredible, albeit less visible, support to the national innovation ecosystem, since even those who do not make it to college and stay in the background due to their less skilled jobs, possess the capacity to absorb new concepts and ideas.
CH BILAL
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