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The future of government

The future of government Published in The News International, March 17, 2018 Governments in countries such as Pakistan – with exploding and rapidly urbanising populations – face increasing challenges to deliver ‘good government’. In the context of scarce resources and declining trust, it is increasingly becoming difficult to ensure the key government mandates: delivery of law and order, justice, services to bridge inequalities, market competitiveness, and effective and even regulation. Fortunately, technology provides an unprecedented opportunity to provide solutions even for low-resource settings. These opportunities have been tapped by the private sector, and have created islands of progress in the public system. The critical question is: will governments be able to harness them to bring about quantum change in their performance? Even in Pakistan, when you seek services online, fast food chains and online taxis deliver on the objective of trackability, efficiency, transparency, and accountability. The same technological capabilities that underpin these service delivery mechanisms could, if well managed and strategically deployed, support the development of innovative public-sector digital ecosystems that are transparent, accountable and responsive. The potential of Pakistan’s existing...

The fight for women’s health

Nurses: our silent heroes Published in The News International, March 8, 2018 Over the last year, as the global movement for women’s equality and gender parity gained momentum, we saw a sea change around the world. Women have demanded their right to work safely, be paid fairly and live without fear of harassment and harm. This movement has been a long time coming. But it is only the beginning. As women (and men) continue to advocate for change from #MeToo to #TimesUp and beyond, we must make sure that our vision includes uplifting women from all backgrounds across the world. The fundamental building block of a girl’s life, whether in Botswana or Baltimore, is her health. Before a young girl in Pakistan can run a company or a country, she needs an equal chance at living a healthy life. Most girls never get that opportunity. That is why investing in women’s health around the world from birth to adolescence is both the right thing to do and comes with a huge economic...

Nurses: our silent heroes

Nurses: our silent heroes Published in The News International, March 01, 2018 While they are often in the background, nurses are at the heart of every national health system. They do everything, whether it involves caring for patients, administering lifesaving treatments in emergency situations, supervising health workers or ensuring that the correct information is passed between doctors and patients. Nurses are, in effect, the silent heroes of the healthcare system. This week, a new global campaign, titled ‘Nursing Now’, was kicked off to celebrate the critical role that nurses play in delivering health services across the world. The campaign also seeks to ensure that recognition for nurses translates into leadership positions at all levels of the health decision-making system. ‘Nursing Now’ will run until the end of 2020, which is when nurses will be celebrated worldwide to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. ‘Nursing Now’ is an evidence based-campaign. It was conceptualised following a global review of nursing by the UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health, which concluded simply by reiterating that universal...

The human capital agenda

The human capital agenda Published in The News International, February 21, 2018 As the country gears up for the 2018 general election, it is important to examine where and how human capital development features in party manifestoes. Human capital development is being emphasised for a specific reason. Human capital development is not just inextricably linked to the principles of universalism and freedom, and to human rights. It is also the most significant contributor to the wealth of a nation – far more than physical or natural capital. Recent evidence shows that human capital contributes to 65 percent of the wealth of high-income countries and 40 percent of the wealth of low-income countries. In the wake of this evidence, new studies have been launched globally to understand the link between human capital development and economic growth. Initiatives are being put in place by international financial institutions to accelerate financing in this regard. It is clear that in the digital age, an acceleration in technology requires countries to urgently invest in their people if they hope to compete...

Nishtar S. The NCD Cooperative. The Lancet, 2017

Nishtar S. The NCD Cooperative. The Lancet, 2017 Nishtar S. The NCD Cooperative : a call to action. The Lancet, 2017...

Road to Anti-corruption

Road to Anti-corruption Published in The News International, October 3,...

Nishtar S, Gluckman P, Armstrong T. Ending childhood obesity

Nishtar S, Gluckman P, Armstrong T. Ending childhood obesity: a time for action. Lancet 2016 Jan 22. pii: S0140-6736(16)00140-9. doi:...

Nishtar S. Delivering the WHO we need. BMJ, May 19, 2017

Nishtar S. Delivering the WHO we need. BMJ, May 19, 2017...

Nishtar S. Opinion: A new deal for health. Devex May 2, 2017.

Nishtar S. Opinion: A new deal for health. Devex May 2, 2017.

Nishtar S. Open letter to WHO DG candidates

Nishtar S. Open letter to WHO DG candidates: reply from Sania Nishtar. 2017 May 20;389(10083):1978-1979. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(17)31254-0. Epub 2017 May...

Tuberculosis Oped