PROJECTHow Technology is Transforming Governance in Pakistan’s Punjab Province

On September 26 2016, Mr. Burhan Rasool, General Manager of the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) visited the Urban Institute and gave a talk on technology applications in improving governance, with a particular focus on law enforcement in the Punjab. Practitioners and researchers from the World Bank, Woodrow Wilson Center, Johns Hopkins University and Gallup International among others joined to share experiences and brainstorm ideas for furthering the application of technology into public policy.

In recent years, Punjab has designed interventions targeting chronic problems such as worker absenteeism in health and education using bio-metric devices, police corruption through crime mapping, and dengue epidemics to improve health monitoring and forecasting. Public sector employees are now uploading geocoded daily activity logs and photographs, enabling real-time monitoring by senior officials via custom dashboards.

Mr. Rasool discussed at length the practical challenges and recent successes in implementing the iris scanning based criminal surveillance systems, digitization of historic law enforcement data and the automation of police reporting and investigation data collection processes.

Together with PITB, Urban Institute scholars are assessing women’s access to transportation and economic empowerment through use of smartphone technology as part of the “Making growth work for women in low-income countries.” A recently completed rapid evidence review on the barriers and enablers of women’s economic empowerment is available here.