Experience

Current Assignments

Climate Smart Villages (Sep–Oct 2019)

The assignment entails finalisation of a concept note on climate smart villages in Punjab, to be submitted to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) by the National Rural Support Programme (NRSP). With a budget of USD 20 million, the project will introduce climate smart integrated village development actions in around 100 villages.

Provincial Strategy for Inclusive and Sustainable Urban Growth in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Feb 2018 – Dec 2019)

Our joint venture, led by SaafConsult B.V., has been awarded development of the Provincial Strategy for Inclusive and Sustainable Urban Growth in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which is supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). I have been tasked to be the Local Team Lead. To be developed through an extensive consultative process and field observations, the deliverables include: (1) sector road map for inclusive and sustainable urban growth, (2) Regional Development Plans (RDPs) for Greater Peshawar and Greater Abbottabad, and (3) trainings and knowledge products. I will lead the national team for the assignment. 

KP Cities Improvement Project (Jan 2018 – Nov 2019)

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has engaged me to  support the project development advance action for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Cities Improvement Project as the Project Coordination Specialist. The assignment entails supporting ADB and GoKP in better project readiness for a proposed ADB loan to Pakistan to finance the KP  Cities Improvement Project. I will support GoKP, ADB and its international team in preparation of various documents necessary for ADB loan approval and agreement signing.


Completed Assignments

Merged Areas Development Planning (Apr–Aug 2019)

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) engaged me to propose an economic growth oriented Tribal Decade Strategy (TDS) and the Accelerated Implementation Plan (AIP) in the forestry, environment and wildlife sector for accelerated development in the Merged Areas (erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas) of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The assignment also included developing the institutional mechanisms and a monitoring and evaluation system, and helping the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in projectising the priority actions for effective implementation of TDS and AIP. 

Review of Water Governance Domain (Feb–Jul 2019)

The Swiss Confederation, through its Swiss Cooperation Office of the Embassy of Switzerland had engaged the dev~consult to undertake external review of its water governance domain. The assignment entailed an overall review of the strategic orientation of the water governance domain in Pakistan, especially Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, using the OECD-DAC evaluation criteria. The review was undertaken by a team of international and national experts in programme management, water governance, economics, DRR and humanitarian assistance, led by me.

Senior Strategy Advisor for PPAF (Feb 2018 – Jun 2019)

The Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) has engaged Hamid Sarfraz as the Senior Strategy Advisor to develop its results framework aligning it with the Sustainable Development Goals, revise its Balochistan Strategy, and undertake diagnostic review of two Union Councils in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. 

Manual on Institutional  Mechanisms for NDA (Mar–Apr 2018)

The National Rural Support Programme (NRSP) had engaged the dev~consult to improve the Manual on Institutional Mechanisms for National Designated Authority (NDA) for engagement with the Green Climate Fund (GCF) in terms of planning, management, coordination, processes, modalities, support and monitoring. It also included development of priorities and guidelines for concept notes on high priority projects. The effort was supported by the Readiness Support Project funded by GCF.

Public-Private Partnership for Peshawar (Jul 2017 – Feb 2018)

With an increasing challenge of financing urban development through public exchequer, the Peshawar City District Government had decided to explore possibilities of engaging private sector in the urban development using public-private partnership approach. For this purpose, the dev~consult and NEC Consultants were jointly tasked to undertake a study of options and modalities for developing urban infrastructure under the purview of Peshawar City District Government. The study was supported by the USAID funded Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governance Project, being implemented by DAI. I was assigned by the JV to provide management support for the assignment. 

Final Evaluation of Community based DRR Programme (Nov–Dec 2017)

Commissioned by the Danish Red Cross (DRC) to evaluate its five year (2012-2017) community based disaster risk reduction programme in Sarli Sacha Union Council of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (at the epicentre of 2005 earthquake). The Programme was co-funded by the Australian Red Cross and being implemented by the Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS). 

Endline Survey and Final Evaluation of Manoor Valley Programme (Oct–Dec 2017)

I was leading the survey and evaluation team, commissioned by the Danish Red Cross (DRC) to evaluate its three year (2015-2017) community based disaster risk reduction programme in Manoor Valley of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (just a few kilometre away from the epicentre of 2005 earthquake). The Programme was co-funded by the Swiss Red Cross and Swiss Solidarity. It was implemented by the Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS). 

Country Snapshot on Water Scarcity in Pakistan (Oct–Nov 2017)

The International Water Association (IWA), supported by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO) had commissioned me to develop a country snapshot on water scarcity in Pakistan. Based on review of secondary information, the paper covered water scarcity and agriculture sector, current policy context, analysis of recent and ongoing interventions, and an action agenda to address water scarcity and drought in Pakistan. 

Environmental, Social and Statutory Framework for NRSP (May–Nov 2017)

The assignment envisaged development of the Environmental, Social and Statutory Framework for the National Rural Support Programme. Developed through an organization-wide consultative process, the ESSF will serve as a basis for environment friendly and socially sensitive programme implementation by NRSP. The document was pivotal in getting NRSP accredited by GCF as the first ever direct access national accredited entity.

PM&E Session for GCF Readiness Support (Sep 2017)

The National Rural Support Programme, which is implementing the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Readiness Support Project in collaboration with the Ministry of Climate Change, had engaged me to conduct a crisp session on planning, monitoring and evaluation (PM&E) to orient the senior staff of the prospective Accredited Entities as well as the Nationally Designated Authority (MoCC). Currently, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) is considering accreditation applications of 5 organizations from Pakistan. The interactive session was attended by 36 participants and was an excellent two-way learning avenue.

Improving Water Governance in KP & FATA (Apr–Sep 2017)

The assignment envisaged development of a roadmap for improving water governance in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA. The Sustainable Water Partnership—USAID funded initiative of Winrock International and partners—was assisted in scoping missions, exchange of ideas, background research, and stakeholder dialogue to chalk out possibilities of USAID support for improving water governance in KP and FATA. 

External Review of Water for Livelihoods Project (Apr–Jul 2017)

We were assigned to undertake an external review of the Phase II of Water for Livelihoods Project (2014-2017). The project was supported by the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC) and implemented by the Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation in partnership with VEER, Alkhidmat, YSDO and CIDO in ecologically fragile, semi-arid and poor districts of Karak, Dera Ismail Khan, Tank and Chitral of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The current phase of the project aimed at contributing to agricultural development and enhancing rural economies through equitable access to water by reaching out to about 90,000 households living in over 400 villages in these districts. 

Strategy and Guidelines for introducing PES in Pakistan (Nov 2016 – May 2017)

The assignment envisaged development of a strategy and guidelines to introduce the globally acknowledged Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) approach in Pakistan through a consultative process. The initiative taken by the Sustainable Land Management Programme to Combat Desertification in Pakistan (SLMP-II) was supported by UNDP and the Government of Pakistan

Punjab Intermediate Cities Improvement Investment Program (Sep 2016 – May 2017)

The assignment was to support the Local Government & Community Development Department, Government of the Punjab (GoPb) in implementing the Project Preparatory Technical Assistance (PPTA) for the Punjab Intermediate Cities Improvement Investment Program (TA 8683-PAK) and prepare the feasibility study for Tranche 1 for possible funding by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to support urban development and municipal services in the selected intermediate cities in Punjab province of Pakistan. The PPTA also assisted GoPb to proceed with pre-implementation activities such as advance procurement. Implemented by our consortium, led by SaafConsult BV (with dev~consult and NEC Consultants) through a large team of international and national consultants, the assignment paved way for public private partnership based urban infrastructure in intermediate cities of the Punjab province of Pakistan.

I was assigned by the JV to develop the Project Administration Manual, the Design & Monitoring Framework, the Procurement Capacity Assessment and Plan, and the Development Coordination Report for this sector loan.

Tharparkar Water Security Plan (May 2016 – Mar 2017) 

The dev~consult was assigned to develop the Water Security Plan for Tharparkar District in Sindh. Based on the policy review, diagnostics of pilot activities of Sukaar Foundation, and learning from various implementation models in rainwater harvesting and groundwater recharge, the Plan provides roadmap for joint action by all relevant stakeholders to make Tharparkar a water secure district. The initiative was implemented by the Sukaar Foundation, and supported by the Big Lottery Fund through the WaterAid.

Evaluability Assessment of CABI’s Plantwise Programme in Pakistan (Jul–Nov 2016)

The Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) had commissioned us (Verona Groverman Consultancy and dev~consult) to undertake evaluability assessment of its Plantwise programme in Pakistan. Extremely innovative in approach, the assessment itself was a great learning opportunity paving the way for better evaluations in future. It also helped improving the plant protection services in Pakistan. The consultancy was managed through Evidence on Demand – a Joint Venture of DAI & IMC

Diagnostic Study of Punjab EPA (Oct 2016)

The Government of the Punjab had requested the Asian Development Bank to assist in restructuring of the Punjab Environmental Protection Agency (Pb-EPA) through a quick diagnostic study. The assignment entailed review of policy and legal framework, interviews with the relevant stakeholders and development of a roadmap for strengthening and restructuring the Punjab EPA. 

Public Private Partnership in Sindh (Aug–Sep 2016)

The assignment envisaged support in drafting arrangements for an Environmental and Social Management System to be put in place for implementing an upcoming Public Private Partnership Support Facility in Sindh province of Pakistan. The ADB financing of the Facility will be catalytic in developing much needed infrastructure under the public private partnership arrangement through capacity building and setting-up a Viability Gap Fund. 

Advisory Support to PPAF’s Compliance and Quality Assurance (May–Sep 2016)

The intermittent advisory support to the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) as Senior Advisor, Compliance and Quality Assurance included strengthening environmental & social management, monitoring & evaluation, and research functions. The special focus was on strategic issues such as revising organizational RBF in context of SDGs, updating M&E system, and outreach and partnerships, and providing support to ESM aspects of the Programme for Poverty Reduction (PPR).

KP Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (May 2015 – Jun 2016)

Led a dynamic and well‐experienced multinational team of experts of dev~consult and Ev‐K2‐CNR to deliver this assignment. Guided by the processes prescribed by the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, the assignment included an extensive series of consultations across the province; support to the KP Biodiversity Working Group; design of a biodiversity outlook as web-based knowledge hub on biodiversity; assessments of biodiversity conservation needs and capacities; and preparation of the biodiversity strategy and action plan for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The provincial targets for conservation and sustainable management of biodiversity were aligned with the national as well as Aichi Biodiversity Targets, linking the provincial efforts to global conservation efforts. The strategy and action plan will help the province to plan and implement measures ensuring integration of concept and value of biodiversity across agriculture, livestock, fisheries, forestry and wildlife sectors. The BKP project which was implemented by the GIZ in cooperation with the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa supported this effort on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). 

Project Completion Report of SDC’s School Reconstruction Programme (Apr–May 2016)

I was assigned by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation to develop the Project Completion Report for its School Reconstruction Programme 2011-2016. Under SRP, SDC supported reconstruction of 25 new school buildings and rehabilitated 60 schools. This has helped bringing back around 13,000 boys and 3,000 girls to the schools. Based on the review of programme documents, field visits, and interaction with the relevant stakeholders, the report captures the best practices and challenges in implementation of the programme.

Climate Change Adaptation Case Studies (Mar–May 2016)

Contracted by the Rural Support Programmes Network (RSPN), the assignment entailed development of case studies on (1) Local Indigenous Adaptation Practices in Mountain Areas, and (2) Best Practices in Climate Change Adaptation . The first study focused on communities in the northern Pakistan while the second one looked into the national level best practices. The studies were part of a project—Rural Livelihood and Climate Change Adaptation Programme—implemented jointly by RSPN and ICIMOD, and financially supported by the European Union

Concern Country Strategy 2016-20 (Mar 2016)

As a short assignment, I contributed the “External View” to the Pakistan country strategy of the Concern Worldwide for 2016-2020. It captured the socio-economic mosaic of the country against which Concern is programming for the next five years in Pakistan. 

KP & FATA Water Governance and DRR Review (Jan–Feb 2016)

Led a team of dev~consult assigned by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation to review the water governance and disaster risk reduction in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan. It covered the policy and legal framework, institutional arrangements, public sector priorities, donor financing, stakeholder mapping, political economy analysis, and futuristic directions. It also looked into options for a process towards Kabul River treaty. 

Advisory Support to PPAF’s Compliance and Quality Assurance (Mar–Dec 2015)

The intermittent advisory support to the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) as Senior Advisor, Compliance and Quality Assurance included strengthening environmental & social management, monitoring & evaluation, and research functions including its integrated MIS. The special focus was on strategic issues such as revising organizational RBF in context of SDGs, updating M&E system, and outreach and partnerships. Some of the key outputs during this assignment included revised Environmental and Social Management Framework, Indigenous Peoples Planning Framework, operationalisation of an integrated MIS, revised PO Watch List, revised Back to Office Reporting mechanism, organising the first PPAF international research conference, and developing technical and commercial tender for DFID’s GBP 76.3 million Building Disaster Resilience in Pakistan programme.

Strengthening and Use of Country Safeguard  Systems (Jun–Oct 2015)

The assignment envisaged developing case studies focusing on environmental and social aspects of project approvals in Pakistan where success and failure of a project could be related to the ESIA processes, and delivering some of the course modules developed under the same TA. This was part of ADB assistance to the National School of Public Policy in building capacity of civil servants of GPS 18 and above on environmental assessment and management through integrating environmental safeguards system into mandatory promotional courses including Mid-Career Management Course, Senior Management Course and National Management Course. The effort was aimed at inculcating the environmental consciousness in development planning in public as well as the private sector. 

Environmental Safeguards for Public-Private Partnerships in Punjab and Sindh (Jan 2014 – Mar 2015)

The assignment included development of environmental guidelines to identify, assess and mitigate adverse environmental impacts resulting from infrastructure projects implemented under the public-private partnership policy in Punjab and Sindh provinces of Pakistan. It also entailed participation in ADB fact-finding missions and necessary assistance to the Mission Leader. The draft guidelines for both provinces were developed and shared with the relevant stakeholders for their feedback. 

Country Assessment of Environmental Safeguard Capacity (Nov 2013 – Mar 2015)

As part of ADB project “Improving the Implementation of Environmental Safeguards in Central and West Asia,” the assignment aimed at helping Pakistan in further strengthening the national capacity in effective implementation of environmental management for infrastructure investments. The assignment included (i) assessing the national environmental safeguard systems and capacity of selected participating DMCs, (ii) promoting country ownership of environmental safeguard compliance, (iii) developing Country Safeguards Framework for Environment, and (iv) identifying the needs and providing a long term capacity building program for narrowing the gaps and achieving better compliance with environmental safeguard requirements of both ADB and governments. In addition to the preparation of Pakistan’s Capacity Assessment Report and the Capacity Development Programme, Pakistan’s Country Safeguards Framework was also developed. 

Advisory Support to PPAF’s Compliance and Quality Assurance (Dec 2013 – Dec 2014)

The assignment required intermittent advisory support to Compliance and Quality Assurance Group of the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) on strengthening Environment & Social Management, Monitoring & Evaluation, and Research functions including its nascent Management Information System. Working in 121 districts through 129 Partner Organizations and delivering poverty alleviation and community uplift initiatives by around 74,000 community institutions, PPAF is an experience of its own kind. The engagement provided an opportunity to serve the masses and enrich the understanding of issues being faced by a vast majority of people in Pakistan. Some of the outputs during this assignment include revised Environmental and Social Management Framework, draft Indigenous Peoples Planning Framework, operationalisation of an integrated MIS, revised PO Watch List, and revised Back to Office Report mechanism. Another key input was organising the first international research conference.

Advice on CDLD Rollout (Jan–Jul  2014)

The assignment included advice to OPM Team in rolling-out the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Community Driven Local Development policy in 6 districts of Malakand Division of KP under EU funded “Technical Cooperation Assistance on Public Financial Management to Selected Districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” being implemented by the Oxford Policy Management. The initiative was a precursor to full-scale implementation of the recently signed EU funded Khyber Pakhtunkhwa District Governance and Community Development Programme. 

KP Biodiversity Sectoral Capacity Assessment (Oct–Dec 2013)

The assignment included reviewing the capacities of frameworks, key stakeholders and institutions for the conservation and sustainable management of biodiversity and agro-biodiversity in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan, and providing an overview of the sectoral capacity. The report focused on policy and legal environment, and institutional and functional capacity; and provided recommendations to strengthen the biodiversity sector as a whole. It not only provided basis for developing a capacity building strategy, but also to set a benchmark to evaluate the project’s performance after its completion. The BKP project, implemented by the GIZ in cooperation with the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, supported this effort on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Shangla District Development  Strategy (Sep 2013)

As part of the EU funded “Technical Cooperation Assistance on Public Financial Management to Selected Districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa”, being implemented by the Oxford Policy Management, the assignment included (i) review of the diagnostic work for the Shangla District Development Strategy undertaken by the project team and DDS Specialists, (ii) revision and restructuring of the draft DDS, and (iii) finalisation of the DDS giving it a logical and coherent structure.

Prior to 2013

  • Strengthening Environmental Justice (Jun 2011 – Sep 2013)
  • Murree Biodiversity Park (Apr 2010 – Sep 2013)
  • Punjab Sustainable Development Strategy (Sep 2008 – Aug 2013)
  • Mekong Water Dialogue (Sep 2012)
  • Revitalisation of Indigenous Water Management Systems in Balochistan (Jan–Dec 2011)
  • Ecosystems for Life: A Bangladesh-India Initiative (Jul–Sep 2010)
  • Working within the System and Living within the Means: Celebrating 10 years of GEF-Small Grants Programme in Pakistan (Sep 2003 – Feb 2005)
  • Pakistan Environment Programme (Aug 2003 – Feb 2007)
  • Northern Areas Conservation Strategy (Dec 2000 – Jul 2003)
  • GEF Proposal for Conservation of Juniper Forests in Balochistan (Jul–Nov 2000)
  • Balochistan Conservation Strategy (Dec 1998 – Jun 2000)
  • Chagai Environment + Socio-economic Baseline Study (May–Nov 1998)
  • 9th Five Year Plan 1998/9-2002/3: Province of Balochistan [in Urdu] (Jul–Aug 1998)
  • District Profiles of Gwadar, Kech, Killa Saifullah, Kohlu, Musakhel, Panjgur, Awaran and Khuzdar Districts (Oct 1996 – Dec 1997)
  • Healthy City Project, Quetta (Jan–Mar 1996)
  • Second Family Health Project (Nov 1995 – Jan 1996)
  • Perceived Effectiveness of ASA and Voting Preferences (Jun–Jul 1995)
  • Subject and Occupational Preferences of Students (May–Jun 1994)
  • Small Scale Industries and Rural Development (Jan–Apr 1992)