By Qasim Ali:
Not many of the public servants are familiar with social media. This era is of digital social governance where technology and social media can play vital role in governance. Social media is at the access of every individual all over Pakistan which can be used to run and monitor governance. Technology has made things very much easy in every aspect of life if used properly.
This article will cover a social media (Facebook) profile which is used for governance in Chitral. The profile is run by the name of “Deputy Commissioner Chitral” and the activities suggest that the Deputy Commissioner Chitral is administrating the page for governance purpose. Mr. Amin Ul Haq is serving as the Deputy Commissioner for Chitral and is running a profile showing all the activities of his administration on line. Different people will pursue the medium according to their perception but let us share the positive ideas which are reflecting from the profile.
1.Governance and Communication
The profile of the Deputy Commissioner Chitral is used for running the governance of the local administration. The activities show that the DC remains in contact with the lower administration through social media where he cannot visit daily. The DC of Chitral has left open the page so that the public can register complain from any area of Chitral. Some of the comments show people registering complaints related to energy, profiteers earning extra profits on events such as Eid, Ramazan, and other regional and cultural festivals. This helps in identifying issues of the area and making the governance more efficient in order to help the public. This profile has removed the barriers of visiting the office of public officers where it takes a lot of time and appointments to get in. Social media and such pages have wide open the doors of such offices.
2. Peace Promotion
The pictures on the DC Chitral’s profile highlight meetings with stakeholders in Chitral. This is a very positive sign taking all the regional and non-governmental stakeholders in loop for maintaining peace in the area. Every organization and group when involve in the decision making process then owns the decision and fights for the implementation. This is what is observed on the profile where the DC shows respect to the regional representatives which makes his duty easier. When there is peace the region heads towards development and prosperity.
Social Media is a very useful medium for tourism development. The DC Chitral’s profile covers the beautiful area of Chitral and the rich cultural festivals which can be very helpful for tourism promotion. There are many pictures on the site which describe the history and historical places in Chitral. Attractive tourism destinations and Chitrali culture is highlighted through social media marketing that will flow the traffic of tourists to the area. One may hope that the tourism departments and other public servants tend to show the second face of Pakistan to the world. Only negative aspects are being telecast by Pakistani media which has diverted the graph of the country towards decline. If we start from the heritage in the south and travel to the gigantic mountains in the north Pakistan is full of rich and diverse culture, religious tourism spots, fascinating views, favourable places for winter tourism, and many other things which makes Pakistan heaven for the travellers, trekkers, mountaineers etc. it matters how you promote your country. The government departments and servants can take the responsibility of promoting their respective areas through social media.
Not many have the courage to present themselves for accountability. The DC Chitral has made himself accountable before the public by sharing all the activities on the social site. The public are also seen very interested by registering complains, suggesting ideas, appreciating the initiative, disagreeing on the points. This is an effective use of social media for enhancing the efficiency of the administration.
Technology is the most powerful medium of communication in this era. It is up to the individual or groups how they utilize it for their own development. The Deputy Commissioner of Chitral is doing a good job for easy communication with the subordinates as well with the public of Chitral on the respective issues. If the government digitizes its manual system of functioning in every department and every area it will enhance the efficiency and decrease the span of time.
The pictures used in this report are taken from the Facebook Profile: Deputy Commissioner Chitral