Qasim the Khadim – Communication is the Key

The international community pursues global sustainability goals (the “Social Development Goals” or SDGs) that aim to contribute to improving the living conditions of all humans, especially those of disadvantaged groups. Pakistan works on fulfilling the SDGs too. For example, local governments are being supported in their efforts to reliably provide and improve services that are vital to the quality of living. A steady exchange between state and citizens is necessary in order to achieve this as the offered services have to reflect existing needs and be taken advantage of. Concepts like transparency, accountability and inclusion are not always easily conveyed to the target audience. This is the case for demographics with a low level of education and little exposure to political processes in particular, even if governmental action directly affects or possibly benefits them. If on top of that a majority of the population distrusts the state, finding a common language with the citizens becomes a necessity as well as a challenge for the government. This is where “Qasim the Khadim” enters the stage: Qasim is a classic local government official yet he is different than many people would expect. He is a fictional character brought to life by social media accounts. Both analog and digital, sometimes precocious and oftentimes witty, he always supports his community with help and advice. Qasim's anecdotal tales are both from and for citizens and strengthen the band of trust between them and their local governments. Based on the Entertainment-Education-Approach, his posts on social media contribute to educating the citizens and improving their participation in political processes.

Content Image

The right Medium for the Target Audience

Young people are inspired by Qasim. He encourages them and helps to invoke a sense of belonging and community. This proves that protagonists who act outside of currently dominant norms are being accepted by the citizens and the state alike. Traditional values and circumstances that are opposed to a transparent, inclusive and participatory can be overcome in fiction. Therefore, the experiment can also cross the line from imagination to reality. Local governments can use Qasim to convey complex and sensible issues. By gaining experience, learning from his own mistakes, coming through for his fellows and through his talent of making the best of every situation, he becomes a role model among his community and beyond. His experiences and the reactions from his environment are being documented on social media and in animated movies which encourages behavioral change in the target audience. In practice, this can be employed to improve a population's attitude towards taxation and ecological awareness.

Content Image

A versatile Instrument with a proven Track Record

Qasim is more than just a tool for education and communication. He has the potential to become the local governments' very own brand in the future. However, Qasim's versatility can be developed even further in terms of subject matters and usability. So far, his stories covered topics like the right to information, political participation, women's rights, registration to become a taxpayer and local governance. As an elected representative of the people, he is free to touch on almost every topic and as a fictional character he can be utilized for campaigns across different media in various ways. A social media campaign and a mixture of PR releases and informative leaflets have already significantly contributed to the success of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Comission during the Paris Peace Forum 2019 ( Over the course of the seven months of Qasim the Khadim's online activity he was able to gather more than 20.000 followers on Facebook (as of August 2020). Additionally, there are followers on Twitter, Instagram and Youtube. Targeted campaigns and products like animated movies, comics and merchandise, as well as accompanying local street and puppet theater performances have introduced Qasim and his universe (like for example the councilwoman Sakeena who talks about gender issues) to up to 2.2 million people (

Sector: Governance
Region: Asia: Pakistan
Technology: Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube) / animated movies
Project status: Pilot phase