The Aawaz II programme is a DFID funded programme, managed by British Council, which will work with local communities in Khyber Paktunkhawa (KP) and Punjab provinces to promote the rights of children, women, youth, and other marginalized groups, to strengthen their control over their own development.
The programme will be working through community based downstream partners, developing sustainable community fora that augment and strengthen the voice of the marginalized. The communities will be provided safe spaces and access to referrals and information through Aawaz Aagahi Centers (AACs). The transformative effect of increased awareness and information, and the provision of training, support and linkages will result in a sustainable change within communities. Strong engagement with Youth people driving this change through their collective action and direct support of community fora will ensure long-term ownership and sustainability of the behavior change work done through Aawaz II.
Aawaz II’s implementation will take place through a phased approach. The programme will work in 45 districts in KP and Punjab through its downstream partners. Phase 1 (March 2020–December 2021) will be implemented in 22 districts. The design of Phase II of the programme will be based on an assessment and learning review.
A Programme Management Unit (PMU) has been established in Islamabad to manage and implement the Aawaz II programme with support from British Council team. The Team Lead Aawaz II heads the PMU and is supported by technical, delivery and management teams
In response to the COVID 19 emergency in the country, the Aawaz II programme will support and supplement the COVID 19 prevention and protection measures of the federal and provincial governments and district administrations of KP and Punjab in communities in 22 districts (9 in KP and 13 in Punjab), through a network of 17 district partners, with an emphasis on online and digital awareness, sensitisation and behavior change among communities and citizen engagement and referrals for addressing Covid 19 especially focusing on marginalized and vulnerable populations.
The programme retains its emphasis on working with women, youth, persons with disabilities, minorities and transgender, who are likely to be even more affected by the secondary impact of the current crisis, as households are pushed further into poverty, women and children are forced into vulnerable work, child marriage and experience gender-based violence; minority communities are at greater risk as are PWDs and transgender populations. Similarly, in many communities across Pakistan, the crisis threatens the fragile social cohesion, deepening existing fissures based on religion, ethnicity, gender, class and caste, resulting in social ostracization, insecurity, community conflicts and violence.
SUNGI as Down Stream Partner (DSP) is implementing AAWAZ ll in District Haripur. SUNGI covered all three tehsils of Haripur including Haripur, Ghazi and Khan Pur with the active involvement of SUNGI partner CBOs, Volunteers and other civil society networks. So far AAWAZ program structures have been formed including AAWAZ District Forum, AAWAZ Village and Tehsil Forum and AAWAZ Aaghai Center. Youth Volunteers of Aawaz II are expected to be at the forefront of community engagement and awareness to support the programme’s COVID 19 response initiatives for inclusive prevention and protection of target communities. So far volunteers, village forums members and District focal persons have been trained on program thematic areas.