Shahbaz Khan


Title ICT-Society Interface for Delivering New Agenda 2030

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is providing vision and the commitment to address and resolve the big issues of our time, including: poverty eradication, peace and security, safe and sufficient food, sustainable energy, pollution prevention and control, water and environmental resources management, disease control, mobility, natural and man-induced disasters, population growth, urbanization and sustainable/livable cities. The development of solutions to these key global challenges and the overall transition towards a green economies will need to be based on data intensive discovery using ICTs, science and innovation. ICTs needs to benefit from local and indigenous knowledge of societies with long histories of interaction with their natural surroundings can be an important asset in reducing risk and to devise locally appropriate sustainable development strategies. In order for us to secure a sustainable future, engineers need to play 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by creating the environmentally-friendly infrastructure and ICTs for the future. Addressing sustainable development within new global challenges will require innovative ICT solutions for evidence based policy and development. ICTs can contribute to universal access to education, equity in education, the delivery of quality learning and teaching, teachers’ professional development and more efficient education management, governance and administration. UNESCO takes a holistic and comprehensive approach to promoting ICT in education. Access, inclusion and quality are among the main challenges they can address. The Organization’s Intersectoral Platform for ICT in education focuses on these issues through the joint work of three of its sectors: Communication & Information, Education and Science.


Professor Shahbaz Khan is currently Director of UNESCO’s Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific. He was born and raised in Pakistan and is an Australian citizen with professional career in ICT based solutions for water and environment. He holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Civil Engineering (1990) from the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore (Pakistan); a Master of Science in Water Resources Technology and Management (1992) and a Doctorate in Civil Engineering (1995) from the University of Birmingham (United Kingdom); Graduate Diploma in Applied Geographic Information Science (2001) and a Grad Certificate in Information Technology (2003) from the Charles Stuart University in Wagga Wagga (Australia). In 2005, Shahbaz obtained a Master’s Degree in International Environmental Law from the Macquarie University (Australia) and in 2007 a Master’s Degree in Applied Environmental Economics from the Imperial College London (United Kingdom). In 2016 the National University of Malaysia (UKM) awarded Professor Khan, Honorary Doctorate in Environment and Development. Shahbaz is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia, Hon Fellow of the Myanmar Engineering Society and Fellow of the Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand. Shahbaz is also a Chartered Engineer and Engineering Executive of Engineers Australia and was awarded Federation of Engineering Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (FEIAP) Engineer of the Year for 2016. Shahbaz is currently Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra, Australia and Distinguished Professor at the National University of Science and Technology, Pakistan. Shahbaz has worked in Australia, France, Indonesia and Pakistan in various research, consultancy and policy positions. Before joining UNESCO in 2008, Shahbaz was Professor and Director (International Centre for Food Security) at the Charles Sturt University, Research Director at Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Programme Leader, System Harmonisation for Regional Irrigation Business Partnerships at the Cooperative Research Centre for Irrigation Futures, Australia. His work has been widely recognised, for example, through receipt of UNESCO Team Award for Managing Hydro Hazards 2009, Land and Water Australia’s Eureka Prize 2007, CSIRO Medal 2007, Biennial Medal of the Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand, Charles Sturt University’s Vice Chancellor’s Research Excellence Award 2006, CSIRO Partner or Perish Award 2004, CSIRO Environmental Prize 2005 and CSIRO Land and Water “ExceptionalAchievements Award” 2000. He has widely published in the area of water, environment and sustainable development and received several outstanding publications awards. From 2008-2012 as UNESCO’s Chief of Water and Sustainable Development, he was credited for stakeholder driven environmental policies that is now recognised as the world’s best practice through the Hydrology for Environment, Life and Policy (HELP) Program. He has helped build integrated water management capacities at Lestari to deal with ecologically sustainable poverty alleviation solutions in an era of climate change. Professor Khan is a global science leader and has been instrumental in promoting sustainability science and its standardisation at national, regional and international levels. He enjoys strong reputation as a trusted engineer and advisor in water and environmental management in Pakistan and the wider Asia-Pacific. In Pakistan he has been leading the state of the art flood forecasting and early warning system and standardisation of engineering qualifications. He has been a key proponent and champion of a range of innovative water management programs at highest government levels e.g., Australian Prime Minister’s 2007, $10 billion, 10 point, 10 year rural water security plan. Professor Khan is a prolific author with over 350 publications promoting water, environment and sustainable development to his credit.