NGO Help Facility

Advisory Session conducted for SWD Staff on Regulatory Compliances and the Process and Procedure of NGO Registration on EAD E-Portal at Faisalabad on 22nd August 2022

In the world of social welfare, collaboration among stakeholders is essential for effective humanitarian, development and advocacy delivery and the meaningful safeguarding of crisis and disaster affected communities. A successful model of one such collaboration is the partnership between Community World Service Asia (CWSA) and the Social Welfare Department (SWD) in Punjab that has been working towards strengthening social welfare interventions throughout the province since 2021.

Under its Capacity Enhancement Program (CEP) aimed at assisting Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in strengthening their capacity on institutional growth, CWSA has been supporting the SWD since 2021 in facilitating legal registration requirements and in obtaining funding from international sources, through the Economic Affairs Division (EAD). To further expand this work, CWSA is now partnering with Social Welfare Departments in not just Punjab province but also in KyberPakhtunkhwa (KPK) and Sindh on three key areas: revising and implementing NGO policies, building the capacities of both CSOs and SWD staff to fulfil registration criteria, and creating tools for organisational assessment, registration, and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) processes.

Through workshops, advisory sessions, consultations and learning meetings, this collaboration has strengthened the SWD’s infrastructure, aiming to create a fairer and more inclusive system for social protection.

Planning Meeting held on 6th February 2024 with Mr. Mudassar Riaz Malik (Director General SWD Punjab), Mr. Safdar Abbas (Deputy Director NGO’s) and CWSA Team for the establishment of a NGO Help Desk Facility at SWD Lahore Office.

Equipping Changemakers: Capacity Building for CSOs and SWD

Under CWSA and SWD’s joint work, a series of trainings covering a wide array of subjects, ranging from Project Cycle Management and Proposal Writing to specialised areas like Social Mobilisation Skills and Techniques and Essentials of Humanitarian Practices through Mainstreaming Quality and Accountability into Programming are planned and conducted. These workshops have been designed to arm humanitarian practitioners with the skills and knowledge necessary to navigate the registration process on the EAD E-Portal successfully. Participants emerged from the sessions with a solid understanding of humanitarian principles, strategies for incorporating quality and accountability into their work, enhanced report writing abilities, and leadership skills aimed at achieving Sustainable Development Goals. These trainings are not just educational; but are empowering, enabling participants to make meaningful contributions to humanitarian, development and advocacy efforts.

“The training on Social Mobilisation Skills and Techniques proved to be highly interactive and comprehensive. The reviews and responses during the activities provided us with greater clarity, resulting in a thorough understanding of social mobilisation. The detailed explanation of the problem tree and objective tree enabled us to identify and address problems effectively.”– Uzma Saleem, Women Zone Welfare Society.

CWSA’s Quality and Accountability (Q&A) team tailored several training sessions specifically for the staff of SWD focusing on areas like Quality and Accountability for Project Cycle Management and navigating the EAD E-Portal and Challenges Faced by NGOs.

“I am deeply thankful to CWSA for hosting an insightful workshop that broadened our understanding of implementing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including the roles played by the state, private sector, and CSOs. The training was rich with interactive sessions and group activities, fostering a comprehensive grasp of the SDGs, their indicators, and targets.” – Ijaz Orakzai, CAMP.

National Round Table Meeting conducted at Lahore on 13th May 2022 with Seniors Officers from SWD Punjab, SWD Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Social Welfare Training Institute and Economic Affairs Division to discuss the formulation of Provincial NGO Policy/Guidelines and strategies to streamline NGO registration process at the provincial level

Beyond Training: Personalised Support Through Advisory Sessions

The collaboration also offers personalised support to NGOs and SWD staff through advisory sessions. These sessions focus specifically on navigating the legalities of NGO registration on the Economic Affairs Division’s (EAD) E-Portal.

A total of nine sessions have been held across various districts in Punjab, including Faisalabad, Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur, Gujranwala, Lahore, Sargodha, and Rawalpindi. The SWD Punjab plays a crucial role by facilitating these sessions and inviting local NGOs to participate.

These advisory sessions prove highly valuable for CSOs. So far, participants have gained a clear understanding of the E-Portal registration process, including what documents are required, application completion procedures, and any potential challenges that might arise. This personalised guidance empowers CSOs to navigate the registration process efficiently, increasing their chances of securing legal recognition and accessing foreign grant funding.

Bridging the Gap: The NGO Helpdesk and a Smoother Registration Process
Recognising the broader challenges faced by NGOs across Pakistan, further steps have been taken to streamline the legal registration process. A key initiative to do this effectively was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between CWSA and the Economic Affairs Division (EAD).

Following this, CWSA set up an NGO Help Desk within the Economic Affairs Division, aimed at clarifying procedures for NGOs and easing the administrative delays that often hamper the MOU acquisition process. With the launch of EAD’s online E-Portal for NGO Registration in 2022, CWSA contributes by providing human resources to assist in uploading data for existing NGOs onto the portal. The establishment of the NGO Help Desk proves to be a significant aid for NGOs fulfilling regulatory compliance and registration processes with EAD and Social Welfare Departments (SWDs). The help desk has been particularly effective, with 64% of NGOs reporting that they received valuable follow-up support during their registration processes with SWD and EAD. Additionally, 80% of NGOs that participated in capacity-building workshops successfully met all regulatory compliance requirements for their registration and EAD MoU applications.

Certificate Distribution Ceremony for Advisory Session conducted for NGO and SWD Staff on Regulatory Compliances and the Process and Procedure of NGO Registration on EAD E-Portal at Bahawalpur on 6 June 2023

Empowering the Social Welfare Department: Collaboration and Progress

Safar Abbas, Deputy Director, SWD Punjab, acknowledges the critical role CWSA has been playing in enhancing policy frameworks and operational guidelines at both the federal and provincial levels. Through active discussions and engagements with relevant authorities, CWSA has been instrumental in updating the NGO Policy of 2013, effectively disseminating the revised policies among NGOs and Social Welfare Departments via advisory sessions, seminars, webinars, and roundtable discussions.

The collaboration has led to the revision of the SWD’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), aligning them with current needs and international best practices. This includes the development and notification of updated SOPs for NGOs, alongside orientation sessions for SWD officers in KPK, ensuring a robust and practical framework for operational efficiency and compliance.

Between February 2021 and September 2022, CWSA conducted 11 webinars on key topics such as NGO Registration via E-Portal, Regulatory Compliances, and the SOPs/Policies of EAD and SWD, engaging 677 participants from 562 organisations. From March 2021 to June 2023, a number of seminars were held across the provinces of Sindh, Punjab, and KPK, focusing on registration processes, compliance, and the role of responsible civil society organisations.

Roundtable discussions brought together NGOs, SWD officials, and other stakeholders to tackle prevalent issues, leading to significant progress in policy alignment and procedural uniformity across provinces. These dialogues have set the stage for closer collaboration in drafting provincial NGO policies and streamlining e-registration processes.

Key achievements from these discussions include the drafting of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between CWSA and SWD KPK, symbolising a formal commitment to ongoing partnership. Additionally, these meetings have opened channels of communication and coordination between the Social Welfare Departments of Punjab and KPK, with SWD Punjab offering its support to KPK in developing its NGO E-Portal and sharing updated NGO SOPs.

In its continuous effort to enhance visibility and advocacy, CWSA has also supported the Social Welfare Training Institute in Lahore by contributing to its Biannual Newsletters and developing a comprehensive ‘Step by Step Guide for Registration with EAD E-Portal’. This guide is now available in English and will soon be translated into Urdu, further improving its reach and access among all stakeholders.

Beyond its collaboration with CWSA, SWD actively works towards fostering a broader collaborative environment, engaging with other governmental bodies like the Economic Affairs Division (EAD) and the Charity Commission. This collective effort creates a unified and efficient framework for enhancing service delivery and improving operational practices. By facilitating meaningful discussions among EAD, Social Welfare Departments, the Charity Commissions, and other key stakeholders, CWSA has been a catalyst in the development of Provincial NGO Policies/Guidelines. These efforts ensure a harmonised legal framework for NGOs, eliminating redundancies and inconsistencies in regulatory requirements.

Another key outcome of these discussions is the agreement on standardised compliances and the integration of approval processes. The innovative step of linking the Social Welfare Department’s e-portal with that of the Charity Commission has notably streamlined the NGO registration process. This integration facilitates a more efficient, transparent, and user-friendly approach to NGO management and oversight.

Looking at the Future

“These engagements have not only fostered a culture of learning and improvement but have also significantly enhanced the efficacy of social welfare initiatives. By working together, these departments and organisations are better equipped to address the needs of the affected communities, optimising the impact of our efforts towards social welfare and community development,” states, Safar Abbas as she highlights the value of this partnership, underscoring the importance of exchanging best practices and leveraging collective experiences

“There is still a need for uniform compliance across all NGOs to ensure consistency, transparency, and effectiveness in service delivery,” shares Safdar, “Such standardisation can enhance accountability and improve the overall impact of NGOs on society. The SWD can play a significant role in establishing uniform compliance by acting as a regulatory body that develops and enforces compliance standards.”

The collaboration between CWSA and the SWD exemplifies the transforming power of partnerships in driving social change.

When: June 1st 2022
What time: 10:00AM to 10:45AM (Pakistan Standard Time)
Where: ZOOM – Link to be shared with registered participants
Language: Mix
How long: 45 Minutes
Who it is for: NGOs interested in registration with the Social Welfare Department Punjab through E-portal
Format: Presentation followed by discussion
Speaker: Mr. Safdar Abbas, Deputy Director NGOs, Social Welfare Department, Punjab


Civil Society Organizations in Pakistan, especially working at the grass-root level, sometime finds it difficult to navigate through regulatory framework due to lack of understanding to the government procedures and requirements. The regulatory information is at times complex and technical in nature. The need is to simplify the information, develop guidance notes for the documentations and advice on how to do follow-up on their application.

It is critical for all NGOs, small or large, to complete registration process with all the required documentation timely to enable them to implement projects in Pakistan.

To help overcome this, CWSA is providing practical assistance to local and national NGOs in Pakistan that require assistance with any of the processes and procedural requirements for application submission through e-portal, SWD-Punjab.

CWSA has established an “NGO Help Facility” for technical discussion, coaching, on-line information resources and virtual clinics to support NGOs intending to file their applications for registration. The help facility will also support organization in understanding the reporting requirements.

This service is facilitative and free of cost. CWSA will help to clarify application guidelines, support organizations to develop complete application documentation as per SWD requirements, and, guidance for any needed follow up. Activities offered by the NGO Help Facility will include the following:

  • Advisory sessions/ days for NGOs
  • Webinars on E-portal SWD- Punjab Process and Procedures
  • Provision of training and coaching to NGO representatives to support the development, revision and follow up of their application documentation

Disclaimer: Assistance provided through the NGO Help Facility is a pro bono service that offers technical support and brokers positive relationships. Engagement, in itself, does not guarantee that the client organization will be granted registration without having successfully completed all of SWDs’ required due diligence processes. CWSA mandate is to support the local NGOs in understanding the process and procedures for the registration through e-portal Punjab and ensure complete documentation to avoid unnecessary delays due to incomplete documentations.

Objectives of the webinar:

  • Documentation submission processes and procedures of registration e-portal Punjab, Pakistan
  • To understand the process and procedures for registration through e- portal Punjab

Interested in Participating? Register here for the Webinar!

Community World Service Asia is a Pakistani humanitarian and development organization addressing factors that divide people by promoting inclusiveness, shared values, diversity, and interdependence. It engages in the self-implementation of projects, cooperation through partners, and the provision of capacity building trainings and resources at the national, regional and global levels.

Syeda Adeela Bokhari, Joint Secretary NGOs/INGOs, sheds light on NGOs receiving MoUs under the 2013 NGO policy.

Community World Service Asia (CWSA) has long been committed to facilitating Pakistani NGOs with building their organisational capacity, improving quality and accountability mechanisms as well as strengthening coordination and collaboration with local governments to create an environment conducive to civil society growth. With the same mandate, CWSA facilitated the NGO/INGO Cell at the Ministry of Economic Affairs Division (EAD) with organising a seminar on “Understanding the Process and Procedures for Registration on E-Portal” on 21st October 2021 in Islamabad.

All attendees at the seminar were registered as the seminar commenced.

The objective of the seminar was to improve participants’ understanding of the EAD’s NGO E-portal[1], which was launched earlier this year and introduce them to the upcoming NGO Policy. Through the submission of papers on the web, this portal has digitised the process of getting a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) from the EAD, ultimately saving time and resources. Syeda Adeela Bokhari, Joint Secretary NGOs/INGOs, was the keynote speaker at this seminar, attended by 24 people from 16 different humanitarian and development organisations.

Participants were familiarized with the processes involved in obtaining an MoU from the EAD.

Tooba Siddiqi from CWSA, set the stage for the event and did a round of introductions with all attendees. Following her opening comments, Tooba reiterated the role NGOs need to play to make the compliance process easier for the government. Ms. Bokhari started with discussing the application of the 2013 NGO Policy, as well as a sectoral overview of the non-profit sector and the governance issues that exist, such as those pertaining to regulations and a lack of integrated data.

During the second presentation, the process of uploading required documents on the NGO e-portal was explained.

Ms. Bokhari emphasised that there is a significant divide between the government and NGOs, which her and the team is attempting to bridge at every possibility. Ms. Bokhari and her team at the EAD are working on a new policy for NGOs that would rectify these inadequacies while remaining compliant with Pakistan’s international legal obligations.

Participants were informed about how to access the E-portal and shared how documents could be uploaded to the portal to attain an MoU. The avoidance of common mistakes was emphasised, such as ensuring that the file size to not exceed seven megabytes, all information to be valid, and that currency values to be provided in both Pakistani Rupees and US Dollars. Ms. Bokhari further stated that the EAD is working to ensure that all development partners are on the same page when it comes to the portal.

A Q&A session was conducted towards the end of the seminar where Adeela Bokhari addressed queries.

Ms. Bokhari concluded by stating that she believes “in continuous development and that the EAD is working to enhance the digitising process. Because this is a radical departure from usual procedures, it will take a significant amount of time and effort to make it completely functioning for all stakeholders.”

Participants appreciated the EAD’s efforts to bring innovation to the process, saying that such an event was a need of the hour.” This seminar also provided an opportunity for participating NGOs and CSOs to share feedback and input with the Joint Secretary on glitches and challenges they usually face. It is anticipated that the participants would put their newfound knowledge into practise, and that the EAD will host similar activities in the future.

[1] The Minister for Economic Affairs, Mr. Omer Ayub Khan inaugurated the NGOs helpdesk facility and NGOs e-portal on 30th June, 2021. The E-portal offers, on line submission of fresh applications; renewals, additional project requests, auto generated correspondence such as acknowledgement, approvals, regrets.

Community World Service Asia is committed to facilitating NGOs with quality and accountability mechanisms as well as overcoming mistrust between the government and NGOs. The Economic Affairs Division (EAD) has launched an e-portal this year to simplify the NGO registration This step is very cost and time effective. CWSA organized a webinar for local and national NGOs in Pakistan to enhance their understanding about the e-portal of the EAD on 30th September, 2021. The webinar lasted for about 90 minutes and was attended by 16 individuals of different organizations working in the development and humanitarian sectors.

The speakers explained the entire process of populating an NGO’s data on the portal diligently. There are a total of 13 steps each of which was extensively discussed. Special emphasis was given to common errors made by NGOs and how to avoid them as well as some technical aspects such as ensuring that file size remains less than 7 MBs and the option of auto-filling draft MoUs. Speakers accentuated the fact that NGOs ought to exercise great caution and attention to detail while filling all the components because a single error could result in the MoU not being issued.

Participants actively asked questions, some of which were general while others were specific to their organization. Participants thanked CWSA for organizing the webinar. It is hoped that the webinar has enhanced the understanding of participants about the portal and will go a long way in helping NGOs in their registrations on the portal. CWSA will organize such informative sessions in the form of webinars and seminars in the future as well. Moreover, we are also committed to helping NGOs throughout the process and these services (some of which are pro bono) are available through the NGO help facility.

Under NGO Help Facility, CWSA is working closely with Social Welfare Departments in KPK, Punjab, and Sindh as well as the Economic Affairs Division. Through regular meetings and conversations, the need for a joint consultative forum was identified to explore the opportunities and discuss challenges faced by these government officials of these departments and other stakeholders. For this purpose, we held the first Round Table Discussion with Social Welfare Department representatives from Punjab and KPK in Murree from 10th to 12th September 2021.

The officials were given a platform to express their apprehensions about NGOs and share progress in their respective provinces as well as the current scenario, challenges, and changes being made internally to improve the application process for NGOs. SWD laws and their compliances were discussed in detail and the work being done in this context.

In its presentation, EAD discussed the geographical and sectoral spread of NGOs as well as their spread on the basis of registration by law and donor funding. Representatives of SWDs Punjab and KPK shed light on the work they are doing to streamline the process of NGO governance and registration. Digitizing the process of NGO registration at all levels was given due priority by all participants. EAD also shared a roadmap for a revised policy with SWD officials.

It is hoped that the outcomes of this round table discussion will materialize in the form of provincial policy formulation and implementation.

When: 24-26 August 2021
Where: Murree Punjab
Language: Urdu
Interested Applicants: Click here to register
Last Date to Apply: 5th August 2021


Since the 1950s the development agenda has been characterized by projects and programmes aimed at improving the quality of life of beneficiary communities, be it in physical or qualitative terms. Despite significant inputs of human and financial resources, many fell short of expectations. Projects failed to meet the priority needs of communities; stated outputs were not achieved or, if achieved, not sustained; target groups did not benefit in the manner intended; project costs escalated and implementation dates slipped, and adverse outcomes were not anticipated.

These failures were attributed in part to poor project management, such as inadequate opportunities for potential beneficiaries to participate in project identification, weak financial management, inadequate monitoring during implementation, poor linkages between project activities and project purpose, and insufficient attention to the external environment during project design. It was also recognised that projects were more likely to succeed when account was taken of the socio-economic context in which they operated.

The rationale for imparting training of NGOs in project cycle management is the wish to achieve sustainable development. Projects should identify and understand the different roles and entitlements between various beneficiaries in focused communities, and the special challenges faced by disadvantaged groups. During recent decades, many tools have been developed to strengthen the management of projects, such as project cycle management, the logical framework and rapid appraisal techniques. Similarly, technological revolution has also contributed significantly to plan, design, implement and keep track of the activities by all team members while geographically spread and/or different locations.

Participants of the training will go through all critical phases of project cycle management both theoretically and practically and there will be ample room through group exercises to benefit from the rich knowledge of participants that they will be bringing from their respective fields and focus areas.

The training will specifically focus on:

  • Comprehend concepts and terminologies of Project, Project Management
  • Recognize various phases of Project Cycle Management and its importance
  • Understand and sharpen their skills to use various analytical tools for Project Identification
  • Use Project structure, Logical Framework Analysis, External Environment, OVI and sustainability and work plans based on activity analysis during projects’ design phase and preparation phase
  • Learn to undertake use of technology for documentation, communication, quality assessments at each phase of PCM

Number of Participants

  • A maximum of 20 participants will be selected for the training. Women applications, differently abled persons and staff belonging to ethnic/religious minorities are encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to participants representing organizations working in remote and under-served areas.

Selection Criteria

  • Primary responsibility for program/project management.
  • Mid or senior level manager in a civil society organization, preferably field staff of large CSOs or CSOs with main office in small towns and cities
  • Participants from women led organisations, different abled persons, religious/ethnic minorities will be given priority
  • This 3-day training session is suitable for CSO and NGO workers of all levels particularly from locally-based organizations with a small staff size
  • Willing to pay fee PKR 10,000 for the training. Exemptions may be applied to CSOs with limited funding and those belonging to marginalised groups. Discount of 10% on early registration by 1st August 2021 and 20% discount will be awarded to women participants
  • Commitment to apply learning in their work, including dissemination of learning within their organisation Commitment to apply learning in their work, including dissemination of learning within their organisation

Community World Service Asia (CWSA) is a humanitarian and development organization, registered in Pakistan, head-quartered in Karachi and implementing initiatives throughout Asia. CWSA is member of the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) Alliance, a member of Sphere and their regional partner in Asia and also manages the ADRRN Quality & Accountability Hub in Asia.
Facilitator/Lead Trainer:

Ms. Sofia Noreen is an ambitious professional with over 28 years’ eventful career studded with brilliance predominantly in the area of research, program/ project designing and execution, monitoring, international development, and liaison & coordination. Her areas of focus include Gender and Women Empowerment, Climate Change/ Food Security within rural communities, and Governance issues both at policy and implementation levels.

She is a dependable professional with a comprehensive understanding of Pakistani politics, the parliamentary setup, and electoral reform agenda and familiar with election management systems both for general and local bodies elections.

Ms. Sofia has delivered multi-day training programs on train-the-trainer, team building, and other related topics. She is an articulate communicator who is highly well versed in Log Frame Analysis, Risk Analysis, and management for Result Based Management, budgeting, staff recruitment, capacity development, NGO management, stakeholder engagement, evaluation of program and projects, report writing, and manuals. Throughout her career, she has been committed to following the principles set forth with the UDHR, ICCPR, CEDAW, and other international conventions and standards.

Scholarship Details: Special Scholarships are available for those organization that send two or more females to attend the training.

Additional Details: The final deadline for applications is August 5th, 2021. Please be assured that incomplete applications will not be entertained.