The Role of Aga Khan Rural Support Programme in Rural Development in the Karakorum The Role of Aga Khan Rural Support Programme in Rural Development in the Karakorum

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Vol 4 No.4: 331-343

TitleThe role of Aga Khan Rural Support Programme in rural development in the Karakorum, Hindu Kush & Himalayan region: Examples from the northern mountainous belt of Pakistan        

AuthorFazlur-Rahman         

AddressesDepartment of Geography Urban & Regional Planning, University of Peshawar, University Town, 25100 Peshawar,NWFP Pakistan

Corresponding authorfazal367@hotmail.com

CitationFazlur-Rahman (2007) The role of Aga Khan Rural Support Programme in rural development in the Karakorum, Hindu Kush & Himalayan region: Examples from the northern mountainous belt of Pakistan. JOURNAL OF MOUNTAIN SCIENCE 4(4):331-343. DOI: 10.1007/s11629-007-0331-x

DOI10.1007/s11629-007-0331-x

AbstractPakistan is predominantly a mountainous country where rural development activities are characterised by inconsistency, politically motivated short-term projects without proper feedback. Since the inception of the country, the top-down approach has been followed, and the same development plans that were formulated for the plain areas have been extended to the mountains without any modification. In doing so, neither the participation of the local communities was cared for, nor the mountain specificities were considered in the planning process. Moreover, the representation of the local inhabitants was improper and contradictory to the facts. This biased approach has been one of the main causes for the failure of development projects carried out by different agencies of the Government. Contrary to the perception of the state authorities, the mountain communities proved to be more open to accept new approaches and demonstrated the capacity and capability of being a dependable development partner In this paper, a detailed account of the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) has been presented to assess and evaluate the approach followed by this non-governmental Organisation (NGO), and the response of the local inhabitants as collaborators in the development process. The achievements of the AKRSP from project planning, implementation and monitoring can be adopted as a model for rural development not only in the plains, but also in the mountainous areas of the developing countries in the world.

Keywordsrural development; mountains; northern Pakistan; Aga Khan Rural Support Programme; village organisations