Published Date: Jun 5, 2018
MoU signed for socioeconomic development of barani areas
A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed to promote research for the socioeconomic development of barani (rain-fed) areas between the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and the Agency for Barani Areas Development (Abad).
Abad is an attached department of the Punjab Planning and Development department.
Both organisations have also agreed to raise awareness among the public through joint advocacy and outreach activities on various themes of rural economy, with a particular focus on water-related issues, as a means of promoting social development.
The MoU was signed by Abad Director General Dr Ehtasham Anwar and Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, executive director of SDPI.
Dr Anwar said Abad was responsible for the socioeconomic development of the Punjab barani tract, which stretches over 13 districts in the province.
The organisation has a role in ensuring the development of people from barani regions, where the socioeconomic development of people has been a major challenge.
He said Abad has limited research capacity and the memorandum will be used to seek research and technical support.
Dr Suleri said the socioeconomic development of semi-arid and barani tract remained mired mainly due to lack of access to basic public services and livelihood opportunities.
He said SDPI has conducted similar research under its Pathways to Resilience in Semi-Arid Economies (PRISE) research programme.
“Under the MoU PRISE research team would collaborate with Abad on joint research initiatives to produce new knowledge about how economic development in semi-arid and barani regions can be made more equitable and resilient,” he said.
The MoU will strengthen Abad’s research capacity through training and workshops. The SDPI can also help with the monitoring and evaluation of discrete assessment for improvements in projects initiated by Abad, he said.