These early efforts later morphed into an even closer partnership that aims to foster hundreds of digital jobs for youth and kickstart infrastructure projects to attract technology investments across the province.
One outcome of this partnership is the successful KP Government Innovation Fellowship Program which is co-sponsored by Code for Pakistan.
Since 2014, . Twenty fellows divided into five teams join each cycle of the program.
Based on their host agency’s needs, each group may bring expertise in web or mobile app development, graphic design, content, user experience, or networks.
Next, they propose solutions and develop prototypes, which they then test and deploy in the final two months.
During their tenure, fellows actively collaborate and train government staff to ensure their solutions are properly used and sustained.
To date, four fellowship cycles have produced 70 graduates, who earned great experience within the government.
The rest have journeyed on to higher education as students or lecturers.
As a unique alumni network with expertise in civic technology, graduates have also become mentors to prospective fellows. As one 2018 fellow alumni, Marina Khan, said, “My experience of working with the government department has been great so far and made me grasp an understanding of their workspace and technicalities. I would acknowledge that this journey has already started teaching me the science of breaking out of my comfort zone. People around me witness the improved patterns of my personality day by day. This fellowship is undoubtedly going to be a life-changing experience.”
This success has not gone unnoticed.
In 2018, more than 50 departments expressed interest in the program, and over 30 submitted ‘problem statements’ to be addressed by the new cohort of fellows. And no surprise, acceptance into the fellowship has become highly competitive.
When the fourth program cycle opened last year,
The fellowship program is now housed in the Government Innovation Lab (GIL), a state-of-the-art coworking space established by KPITB under the umbrella of its Durshal network.
More details about the program, selection criteria and the application process for future cycles can be found here.