October 2013: Salam from Pakistan

As the Manager of Accounting at Cowater’s headquarters in Ottawa, travel to a Project office for audit purposes is not a frequent occurrence.  Therefore I did not hesitate when the opportunity to travel to the Communication for Effective Social Service Delivery (CESSD) Project Office in Pakistan presented itself.

The primary purposes of the trip were to support the CESSD office in preparing for a donor initiated audit and to meet with the externally hired audit firm.  The ten days spent at the office also allowed me to speak to over 50 finance and administration employees including District Project Officers from several Northern Pakistan district offices on various finance topics.  Valuable time was also spent in Peshawar to work on both process improvements and to better understand challenges they are facing.

Finance and Administrative Staff, CESSD Headquarters, Peshawar, Pakistan

Finance and Administrative Staff, CESSD Headquarters, Peshawar, Pakistan

CESSD’s objective is to enhance citizen engagement with government for effective delivery of gender-responsive basic health services, elementary education, and drinking water in 11 districts of the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), as well as improving the enabling environment for the effective delivery of these services. Cowater has 11 offices with over 100 field staff executing this project. By June 2016, CESSD will have strengthened and formed over 3,000 social service committees, which have the mandate of supporting the management of the school, health centre or drinking water scheme they represent, while ensuring that government services are provided responsively. CESSD also works closely with government departments to sustain, support and monitor these social service committees, and to introduce quality standards, better planning at the district level, and more transparency and accountability in general.

Building relationships and sharing process improvement ideas with the project team was both rewarding and valuable to future project success.

Until next time, Insha’Allah.

Amirah Fayek – Manager of Accounting, Cowater International Inc.