By joining UNV, I have taken the first step towards the rejuvenation and eventual achievement of these aspirations. The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) in Sindh, Pakistan, where I'm stationed as UNV Field Information Management Officer, is the main repository of rescue, relief and rehabilitation work in the province. By working with it, I'm able to contribute towards the betterment of millions of lives, especially considering the frequency of disasters that not only Sindh but the whole of Pakistan has experienced over the last few years.
Having a Master’s degree in telecommunication and networks, and experience of running large-scale IT projects, my expertise is of great relevance to PDMA Sindh's on-going and future projects. One of those is the usage of VSAT, which will allow the transfer of real time data using satellite communication, particularly from areas with limited access that caused inordinate delays in delivery of aid resulting in avoidable casualties.
I also assist the Information Technology (IT) department in its day-to-day tasks as well as being part of their long-term planning and project management. It includes the 'Disaster Management System', an extensive module that would automate the entire process; from early warning systems to monitoring of rehabilitation and reconstruction activities and everything in between. I also envision a role for myself in assisting PDMA Sindh to integrate information management in its operative functions; review case studies on the use of technology for disaster management and relief work in advanced countries and suggest replication based on relevance; manage PDMA Sindh's presence on social media; and develop new ideas based on my understanding of its functions and roles to assist PDMA Sindh enhance the impact of disaster management.
I believe that working for development with the United Nations and a reputed government entity will also be useful in my pursuance of PhD, especially if I can play a role, pivotal or peripheral, in the implementation of the various ground-breaking projects that are being worked upon. The work environment is also very professional and I find it conducive to my professional growth with plenty of learning opportunities and exposure that is global. In the words of Terry Prince, "Your life is your garden; your thoughts are the seeds. If your life isn't awesome, you've been watering the weeds." I believe working with UNV is the seed, the fruits of which will not only be enjoyed by me but others as well, particularly the less fortunate. I am grateful to UNDP and UNV for this opportunity.