ISLAMABAD - The first meeting of the Board of Directors (BoD) of the Trust for Voluntary Organisations (TVO), constituted recently after six years, was held here on Monday.

The TVO was created as an indigenous organisation in 1990 following an agreement between the governments of Pakistan and the United States to establish a Special Development Fund (SDF).

The purpose of setting up the TVO was to tap the potential of non-government organisations (NGOs) by aiding them in their development and developing a mechanism for increasing their contribution towards improving the quality of life of the neglected segments of Pakistani population. The Trust became fully functional in 1992. However, for the last six years, its Board had not been constituted, as a result of which, its operations were stalled.

Earlier this year, the process of recruitment in the Board had started following an open advertisement. The Board was finally approved by the cabinet last month. The 13-member BoD consists of three ex-officio members i.e. representatives of the Ministry of Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division, Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Economic Affairs Division. Also, included in the Board are 10 individuals from the private sector who have distinguished themselves in any field of endeavour.

TVO has been revitalized under the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division because it has been formed to execute the programmes under Ehsaas policy action number thirty-six. This policy action is specifically meant to run partnerships with NGOs to upscale successful programmes for the most marginalised segments, including orphans, street children, seasonal migrants, transgender, victims of child and bonded labour and daily wage workers. Dr Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, while addressing the TVO Board, said that TVO was meant to serve the most marginalized segments of the society.

She, in particular, talked about the governance and integrity policy of the government and stressed the need for it to be fully embedded. Following her remarks, the Board met for the whole day and several matters were discussed and decided, including appointment of the CEO, functioning of the organisation and institutionalization of audit.

The newly-appointed private Board members are Saeed Chughtai, Chartered Accountant, Dr Muhammad Islam, Agriculturalist, Chand Bibi, Development Practitioner, Aitzaz Ahmed, Ambassador (r), Muhammad Ghazal, Chief Operating Officer, SWIT, Fazal Abbas Maken, Federal Secretary (r); Raja Arsalan Nusrat.

, Social Sector Expert, Kulsoom Farman, Social Sector Expert; and Javaid Ali Manwa, Advocacy Consultant. The Board will meet again next month.