Zalan communications (Zcomms) is a non-profit, non-governmental and non-political organization engaged in mass mobilization through independent research and analysis, advocacy and capacity building to bridge the existing gap between the state and society and communities itself by empowering local media and enhanced flow of informed communications to ensure social inclusion and political mainstreaming. Zcomms aims at educating the people through awareness campaigns to generate informed debates about their rights and duties and make the process of governance publicly accessible and accountable so as to move on towards a peaceful, tolerant, progressive, integrated and democratic society.
Zcomms monitor security trends across the country with its huge presence on the ground in the militancy-hit areas, especially KP and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
Zalan Communications is the first ever organization of its kind that provides a forum for the working journalists, students, researchers and academicians to advance their academic abilities by generating informed debates and scholarly research work. Likewise, the organization also offers a forum to strategists, researchers, technocrats, policy makers and members of civil society to discuss and disseminate ideas and suggest practical recommendations for a peaceful, integrated, progressive and democratic society where tolerance, harmony and mutual understanding prevails in a cohesive environment offering a decent life opportunity to the people.
Zalan Communications draws a team of dedicated and professional journalists; strategists, academicians and researchers to make independent analysis of the situation. Our field researchers in every sister agency of FATA and major zones of KP keep a vigilant eye on the events taking shape in and around the target area- KP and FATA.
Zalan Communications strives to help the donor agencies and other stakeholders better understand the issues and challenges faced by the war-riddled area with independent research and analysis.
Zecomms has built a reputation for excellence in delivering projects in operationally challenging environments on a wide range of issues confronting the region.
Key Research and Media Tools of Zcomms:
1) Advocacy: Zcomms in collaboration has been a key partner in Monitoring and advocating FATA Reforms alongside national and international partners ever since its inception. Zcomms has also been working for governance reforms in FATA and KP. Zcomms has been monitoring the performance of the KP government since its assumption of power in 2013. Zcomms latest study on KP governance titled, “Interpreting The Change: Perceptions versus Reality”, a study report on the performance of KP government, could be followed on its website www.zcomms.org
2) Research Studies: We have worked on many research studies alongside local, UN agencies and other international organizations and think tanks. Our latest studies include;
a. Public Perceptions on Social Services Delivery in Fata: Assessing the State of Education, Health and Livelihood funded by UNDP 2015-16
b. Three research based Policy Briefs for Governor KP on Education, Health and Livelihood in FATA, funded by UNDP 2015-16
c. “Interpreting the Change: Perceptions Versus Reality”, a study on performance of the PTI led KP government in May 2014
d. Research study for designing community based approaches to address radicalization of ex-combatants in the insurgency hit Swat valley (UNDP)
e. Report on “Displaced Persons of North Waziristan Agency: Issues and Challenges” (July 2014)
f. A study on the economic status of the Pakistani parliamentarians for the Ritsumeikan University, Japan
g. Electoral Violence 2013; Nature, Sources, Forces – United States Institute of Peace (USIP)
3) Discussion and Dialogues: We have been organizing many national, Provincial and regional level discussions (seminars, conferences, workshops, debates and round table conferences) on various issues of national and international importance, ranging from social, political and economic to cultural, medical and security issues in and around FATA, KP and Baluchistan. To have a better understanding on the issues in question we have been inviting and engaging Academia, Journalists, Politicians, Artists, Youth, Women Leaders, Lawyers and government officials, tribal elders, maliks and community leaders.
4) Radio Programming: Zcomms is led by an expert Radio Professional having more than 22 years’ of experience in the filed of media and journalism with over 17 years at BBC World Service covering FATA, KP and Afghanistan. Zcomms has a regular feature of radio programming. Zcomms has an experience of producing radio PSAs and Election Advocacy Programs, program for IDPs from its state of the art radio studio, established since its inception in September 2012. Our help line in Peshawar has been receiving with an average of 8000 telephone calls a month to register complaints, grievances and issues and challenges the IDPs are faced with.
5) Media Monitoring: Zcomms has a regular feature of monitoring the country’s mainstream print and electronic media to have a balanced view of the issues in question. Our media monitoring includes coverage of all national level Urdu and English newspapers and main TV and radio channels. The data is properly logged and published on periodic basis on website and social media that finally constitute part of the research reports.
6) Call Center: Our toll free number, 0800 – 80045 has been one of the main sources of grievance registration for the IDPs of North Waziristan when Operation Zarb-e-Azb was launched in June 2014 against the FATA based militants. In a single project in collaboration with UNDP and PDMA, KP, we entertained more than 16,000 callers to register their complaints and grievances. The same call center was used for monitoring violence in General Elections 2013 in collaboration with United States Institute of Peace (USIP). The Call Center is both a research and assistance tool in time of need.
7) Capacity Building: One of the basic objectives of Zcomms is to build capacity of the locals, government institutions and other relevant quarters in media, communication, conflict resolution and disaster risk reduction in order to equip and train the locals to address issues themselves while living in a disaster prone zone. To that end, we have been working in collaboration with academicians, institutes and organizations to build their capacities for improved delivery of services and outputs as desired.