This paper is an independent analysis of Pakistan's flagship poverty alleviation programme, including reporting on progress to date, integration of data and technology to improve delivery and transparency, and how the team quickly pivoted to successfully respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
The Ehsaas Emergency Cash Transfer Programme shows what is possible when all tiers of government unite behind a strong leader to get the job done.
The wide-ranging and ambitious Ehsaas Programme comes at a crucial time. Its aim is to address systemic poverty through a multi-sectoral approach at the federal and provincial levels of government. This need was only underscored when COVID-19 hit vulnerable households hard.
Central to the programme's success are its leader, Dr. Sania Nishtar, and her ability to inspire trust among citizens as well as her colleagues and peers in government.
Dr. Nishtar made technology central to the programme from the outset, not only ensuring implementation at a large scale, but also protecting the process from human bias and error. This is a fundamental shift towards greater transparency, bolstered by Dr. Nishtar's commitment to regular, forthright communication with citizens and government officials from both parties. Despite early misgivings on the part of opposition leaders and prominent journalists, Dr. Nishtar was able to deliver tremendous outcomes through digital tools, clear communication, and an unwavering focus on the end result—getting cash to families in need.
The programme's premise is grounded in the importance of strengthening institutions, transparency, and good governance.
An independent delivery analysis can be a strong method for understanding how programmes are working on the ground, mining insights for continuous improvement, and demonstrating a commitment to measurable, apolitical results.
Our report is the summation of our independent analysis of the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Transfer Programme.