Partners: NCCR North-South, Switzerland; Zurich University, Switzerland; University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (Pakistan)
Duration: 2011 to 2013
Locale: Abbottabad and Mansehra
Team Member: Dr Babur Shahbaz
The study focuses on rural development programmes and strategies being launched by public or private agencies. The main focus of these programmes is to improve the living standard of rural masses thereby reducing social exclusion through sustained growth in the rural economy. The study was conducted in Abbottabad and Mansehra of KP which are rich in natural resources but it is least developed. The poverty situation in the region particularly in the mountainous region is relatively serious. Like other provinces, state departments as well as many non-governmental organizations and culturally-rooted social groups (including religious groups) are working to improve the livelihoods of rural vulnerable communities of the region. They claim that they are in a better position to cater to the needs of people and deliver welfare services to the marginalized and vulnerable communities of the province.
- To identify and analyse the visions and practices of culturally-rooted social movements towards rural development in the Northwest Pakistan.
- To critically analyse the philosophical foundations (believes, claims, visions, actions) and actual practices regarding rural development of culturally-rooted organizations (including religious) which claim to be deeply rooted in the rural society of KP.
- To examine, compare and contrast the working strategies of these organizations with those of the state-led- rural development departments.
- To find out the implications of rural development endeavors of both systems on agricultural research, extension and education triangle in general and farmers livelihoods in particular.
- Primary data collection
- Preparation of draft report/Ph D. and M.Phil thesis.
- Presentation of research work at local, national and international level.
- A joint book publication with research partners.
- Initial results reveal that locally-rooted non state institutions / social organizations, which relate to rural development, are the key players in addressing the issues of poverty and inequality. These organizations can be broadly classified into three categories. Both rural and urban areas are the operational areas of majority of these organizations and mostly these organizations rely on volunteers. In most of the cases at district and provincial level, these organizations have linkages and networking with the organizations working on different issues e.g. poverty, inequality, child rights, women rights, rights of forest users and owners, rights of growers, landless labourers etc. These linkages and interactions are also helpful in raising voice of community on the platform of a social movement leading to rural development practices. The culturally-rooted organizations should be streamlined in the rural development process.