You might have heard about how our Fellows have been helping government departments and the public through their innovative solutions but you are yet to learn about how the Fellowship Program helps the Fellows shape their careers, enabling them to reach greater heights!
We feel immense pleasure in sharing that all of our Fellows have successfully transitioned into bigger and better professions ranging from being hired by the government department itself to initiating their own startups. Our KP Civic Innovation Fellowship Program- a three way partnership between Code for Pakistan, the World Bank and the KP IT Board- is not only meant to transform the way governments work but also offers a great platform to harness talent and develop skills for the Fellows.
We at Code for Pakistan make sure that we keep in touch with the alumni and have been organizing various alumni meetup sessions, allowing the Fellows to come together, share ideas and take ownership of the Fellowship Program!
Where are the Fellows now?
“Don’t just commit to the sprint. Commit to the marathon” – Yulin Lee
We have structured our Fellowship Program in such a way that it not only helps the Fellows in working with the government but it also encourages and equips them with the skillset required to become an entrepreneur. A couple of our Fellowship teams went onto set up their own civic tech startups including Messiah, an emergency first responder application designed to relay distress signals for the user in case of an accident or emergency, and TrackReps, an application through which voters can keep track of the performance of their elected representatives.
The CEO and co-founder of TrackReps says:
“The Fellowship is a platform which promotes the startup ecosystem and helps in building entrepreneurial skills. This initiative helped me understand the working culture of governments as well as managing a team. It also connected us with the local government and the tech community in KP which led to the success of TrackReps.”
Others have initiated their entrepreneurial journey and founded their own companies like Emperor Bazar, an online platform which empowers and facilitates local craftsmen and skilled artisans, The Nerd Camp, Tech Ease Solution, Binary Ops, Aptech Media, The Martian Technologies and DotCom Services, all local technology product developers.
Ibrahim Saleem, co-founder of Emperors Bazar, states that:
“I personally think that when Code for Pakistan initiated the KP Civic Innovation Fellowship Program in Peshawar, it was really the start of the startup ecosystem of Peshawar. The Fellowship gave me access to people in the KP IT Board, who were very encouraging. I think Code for Pakistan’s efforts really opened doors for us as the rest of the Pakistani startup ecosystem was more welcoming and encouraging towards us.”
The Fellowship Program opens up many doors for the Fellows to apply for government jobs. This unique platform is poised to connect Fellows with several government departments which in return can yield benefits like being hired by the government department itself.
Such is the story of three of our Fellows who have been hired by the government on the basis of the work they did for and with the government. Most recently, Usman Jalal, who was a Fellow in the third batch of the Fellowship Program, was hired by the government. His hiring came immediately after his graduation. He was hired as a trainer for the KP Youth Employment Program and as an Assistant Graphic Designer at KP IT Board.
Some of our Fellows have joined various universities to acquire higher degrees. Others have started teaching at the school and university level.
Maria Ali, one of our alumni Fellows who belongs to Darra-e-Adam Khel, had a dream of being a role model for all the females in her area.To make them realise that education is an important aspect of life which would allow them to compete at every level, she published various books and has been teaching for the past 3 years now. She says:
“Coming from an area where women education is considered to be far from being a primary concern for the society (only 3% female literacy rate), lack of educational facilities, abject poverty, a male dominant society, early age marriages, insufficient transport services, near to none electricity and much more, I was very lucky to be born in an educated and a very supportive family. Fighting against all odds my parents encouraged me to get educated and be independent. While teaching my students (mostly male) today, I am proud to look back into the eyes of their parents, who opposed my education back then and make them realise how important it is to get their daughters educated.” – Maria Ali
Our Fellows have also been providing various consultancy services to many national and international level organizations. One of these consultants is Ali Khan who was a Fellow from our first batch and got hired at Code for Pakistan as the Head of Programs and managed the 2nd batch of the Fellowship himself. He is now serving as a consultant at the British Council.
Tech Industry Leaders:
One of the main aims of the Fellowship Program is to connect Fellows with the right people in the tech industry for potential job opportunities. Our Fellows hold some great positions in the local and international tech industry. One of the biggest success stories is of Ehtisham Siddique who has been hired by Automattic (Word Press) as a Happiness Engineer. He has been working there for the past three years now and has contributed to the ‘.blog’ domain of wordpress. The Fellowship Program itself is being run by the Fellowship alumni, currently Program Manager Ebtihaj, Associate program Manager Sohail, M&E and Alumni Lead Nazimuddin were once Fellows themselves.
Despite all of the success our Fellows have seen, they still vow to continue working on making their city safer and smarter. Code for Pakistan’s recent initiative in Peshawar, Peshawar Civic Innovation Lab, is being run and managed by our alumni. In collaboration with Peshawar 2.0, PCIL brings together technologists, researchers and designers to create solutions for their city.
KP Civic Innovation Fellowship Program is also arranging monthly meetup sessions for the alumni network, bringing together a pool of more than 50 civic techies to discuss new ideas, share knowledge and experiences with each other. After the successful execution of 3 cycles of the Fellowship Program, Code for Pakistan, World Bank and the KP IT Board are opening the application for the 4th cycle of the KP Civic Innovation Fellowship Program in December. Don’t miss the opportunity to apply and innovate your government. For updates on the application process, keep visiting our website www.codeforpakistan.org