Mansoor Qaisar

2017 Winner

Position: Senior Information Officer
Organization: Population Council
Current Location: Pakistan

Master Degrees in “Business Administration” and “Political Science” from University of Punjab, Lahore and AIOU, Islamabad

Additional Degrees and Certifications:
• Workshop/Training on Strategic Partnerships with Moslem Religious Leaders (MRLs) in Family Planning Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 24-29 April 2017
• Achieved Master Level Certificate along with 24 courses on Technical Public Health Information: Obtained credential from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and USAID joint project on technical public health information at Global Health eLearning Center
Certificate Family Planning 101 & Standards Days Methods from the Global Health eLearning Center
• Certificate of Standard Days Method (SDM) – An online training course by Georgetown University Washington DC, USA.
Attended 41st Summer Seminar on “Communicating with Policy Makers on Health and Population” from May 29 to June 19, 2010 at East-West Centre, Hawaii, USA.
• Population Association of Pakistan (PAP) awarded me Certificate in the recognition of the valuable contribution made in organizing the 10th Annual Population Research Conference on Population, Peace and Development at COMSTECH Islamabad on March 09-11-2010
• Certificate on “Principles and Guidelines for UN Peacekeeping Operations by Peace Operations Training Institute, USA

Mansoor Qaisar is an advocate of humanity and equality and works for women’s rights and empowerment, youth mobilization, and girls’ education. He has worked to mobilize communities on a number of projects such as PAIMAN and FALAH programs, funded by USAID. Mansoor is a blogger and a freelance journalist who writes on population-related issues in the major leading English newspapers of Pakistan (The News and Daily Times). He contributed to the efforts to develop a culturally acceptable communication strategy, engage religious leaders of various schools of thought, present the case for family planning and persuade them to formally endorse birth spacing. He has been instrumental in bringing together prominent religious scholars of the country and has obtained their endorsement of family planning for better maternal and child health. The most resounding success was a historic declaration signed by 43 notable scholars. Internationally, Mansoor has obtained his Master Level Certificate on Public Health by completing 24 courses from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (Center for Communication Programs), which is a joint project of USAID at the Global Health eLearning Centre. He has a certificate of Standard Days Method (SDM) from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, USA. Recently he was invited to attend a Workshop on Strategic Partnerships with Muslim Religious Leaders (MRLs) in Family Planning in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Most recently, he represented Pakistan at Central Africa’s Regional Symposium on “Islam, Demographic Dividend and Family Well-Being” in N’Djamena, Chad. He conducted two sessions and gave presentations on “Misconceptions regarding permissibility of family planning in Islam” and “How to involve religious leaders in family planning efforts.” Currently he is working with the Population Council as a Senior Information Officer.

“Mr. Mansoor Qaisar contributed in the efforts to develop a culturally acceptable communication strategy, engage Religious Leaders of various schools of thought, present the case for family planning, and persuade them to formally endorse birth spacing

– Seemin Ashfaq, Director Communications at Population Council

Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

I have engaged the religious clerics from different schools of thought in face-to-face dialogue process through seminars and meetings. The scholars unanimously agreed that the mother has been asked to breastfeed their milk to her infant for at least 2 years which automatically brings a gap of minimum 2 years between the two pregnancies. We gathered the material of other Muslim countries who have achieved tremendous improvement in the field of mother and child health such as Malaysia, Iran, Turkey etc.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

The major contributing factor was to streamline the communication strategies and to provide information in the communication which is easy to understand, practicable and above all, in line with the teachings of our religion. Secondly, having considerable experience in the print and electronic media, I was very enthusiastic that through such powerful communication channels we can bring a major change that has never been achieved before.

Give one or two examples of how you display leadership in your family planning work.:

Maternal mortality in Pakistan is attributed to unhealthy spacing. The sensitivity surrounding issue has discouraged from more proactively promoting provision and use of family planning services. To tackle this obstacle, PC undertook the sensitive task of obtaining endorsement of family planning from the religious leadership. As a focal person I facilitated in the efforts to develop a culturally acceptable communication strategy, engage RLs and persuade them to formally endorse birth spacing.

If you are named a winner of 120 under 40, how will you use this new platform and the $1000 grant to advance your work?

Religious leaders have the potential to support family planning practices, but before this can occur, they must be mobilized and have a better understanding of reproductive health and family planning issues. I shall work on reducing communication gap between family planning program and religious leaders and conduct a pilot study to replicate Indonesia’s successful family planning model as I attended their training on Strategic Partnership with Muslim Religious Leaders April 2017.

Video Introduction

Photos of the nominee in the field/at work