Number of Downlaods: 9
Published Date: Jul 1, 2002
Using Theatre as a Research Tool: Troubleshooting and Benchmarking Pakistan’s Devolution Plan (W-76)
Shahrukh Rafi Khan and Aasim Sajjad Akhtar
We used theatre as a research tool to feedback and suggestions from the relevant stakeholders on service delivery in the past and how it could be improved. High quality theatre skits were conceptualised by Interactive Resource Centre (IRC), and staged by extremely professional groups of local female and male actors trained by IRC. The skits pertained to problems with regards to the delivery of social services, specifically student-abuse by teachers in education, and the dispensation of justice, specifically rape (honour killing in Mardan). These were shown in four urban and four rural union councils, one in all the four main provinces of the country. In education, it was the political interference of the elites that determined who the teacher would be and provided immunity in case of poor delivery. In the cases of sexual harassment or honour killing, no one believed it would ever be possible to get justice if the landlord or his cronies were involved in the crime. Also, it was universally recognized that the real issues in such cases are prevailing social attitudes and power structures and not changed local government structures per se. The training to date has been inadequate as evidenced by the lack of knowledge that councilors had about their roles and responsibilities in this new system. Similarly, the local administration, including the police and education departments, seem to have little understanding of their new roles under the plan.