ExPat Institute Strategic
By Tahir Ali*
Cognizant that the Government of Pakistan
is overwhelmed by the size and scope of the devastation
caused by the October 8 quake, Pakistani-American groups
have taken upon themselves to help create a community-based
support network capable of providing sustained long-term
support for the quake victims.
Major Muslim charities were the first to ‘report for
work’ and their increased maturity, skill, sophistication
and efficiency became apparent within days. The relief work
by Pakistani-American and Muslim-American groups can be
divided into six main categories: fundraising; media and
community outreach; lobbying to seek favorable policies
and increased funding by the US Government; and strategic
Supported by a network of over 3000 mosques, several dozen
Muslim-American and Pakistani-American groups are busy collecting
tents, blankets, shoes, and other items of personal use.
Working under the auspices of the Pakistan American National
Alliance (PANA), a coalition of about 15 Pakistani-American
groups, Pakistani Americans are playing an equally important
role in lobbying the US-government for at least “four
times” more financial, material and professional aid,
at least fifty more helicopters, debt relief, and passage
of HR 4073 that will allow undocumented Pakistanis to travel
to Pakistan and still return under docket control.
The intellectual contributions made by the expatriate community
may turn out to be its most significant and enduring contributions.
Strategic resource mapping will perhaps top that list.
Strategic resource mapping begins with the comprehension
of the larger picture. Conceptualizing a set of goals in
its procedural totality, resource mapping is executed by
detailing the whole process in terms of phases; phases in
terms of key steps, and key steps in terms of resource requirements.
Finally, all existing and potential human, material and
intellectual resources are integrated into a comprehensive
knowledge base connecting and combining figures, materials,
and services with people, skills, experiences and expertise.
The Pakistan American Democratic Forum (PADF) has instituted
this relatively new approach of strategic resource mapping
to long-term relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction needs.
The PADF strategic resource mapping project involves development
of a comprehensive Ten Year (2005-2015) Redevelopment Plan,
mobilization of Pakistani-American expertise – brain
power – by involving Pakistani-American economists,
urban planners, geologists, architects, structural engineers,
and environmental scientists in contemplating ‘critical
uncertainties’ and developing specific solutions for
existing and future quake-related problems; tracking, documenting
and, to the extent possible, streamlining flow of goods
and services, and parallel processing of what is needed
and what is already at hand or in the pipeline.
Once fully instituted, strategic resource mapping will facilitate
long-term planning, parallel processing (between governmental
and non-governmental projects and activities), time-lining
and scheduling, tracking and streamlining good and services,
appropriation of the mobilized features of globalization,
eliminating duplication, consolidating and expanding service
delivery structures, and enhancing purposeful partnership
among a wide variety of organizations doing relief work.