In 2015, the European Union (EU) and partners in Pakistan, including the non-profit National Rural Support Programme (NRSP), launched the SUCCESS program targeting rural development and poverty reduction in Pakistan. Based in the Sindh province, the program will provide aid for development in eight districts faced with high levels of rural poverty.
The Sindh Union Council and Community Economic Strengthening Support (SUCCESS) program will be funded for six years by the European Union. During the launch of the SUCCESS program, organizers told Pakistani newspaper The News, that the objective is to “reduce poverty through undertaking the Community Driven Development (CDD) based on the proven social mobilization approach of the Rural Support Programmes (RSPs).”
RSPs have been part of the country’s development strategy for decades. Utilizing community driven initiatives, they have a record for poverty reduction, aiding development and empowering women through community programs. Additionally, Deputy Secretary Sindh Ajaz Ali Khan told The News “it was encouraging that the SUCCESS programme would involve and be led by women.”
Social mobilization is also a key element for the SUCCESS program and NRSP to incorporate the poorest people into the development process. These programs provide a multi-level approach according to the NRSP website. They promote “a culture of participation, inclusivity and solidarity, direct provision of front-line services, planning and development, business creation, savings, conflict resolution, dialogue and interaction with local authorities.”
Approximately 770,000 rural households will be mobilized through the SUCCESS program. Going forward, households will come together in Community Organisations (COs), one of the several tiers the rural support programs use to mobilize and organize.
RSPN Chief Executive Officer Khaleel Ahmed Tetlay told The News that the SUCCESS program would focus on sustainable and financially viable approaches to poverty reduction in Pakistan. The program also aims to “link the community institutions with the government service delivery departments.”
The Daily Times in Pakistan reports a fundamental issue for the Sindh province is “to accommodate talented and educated youth into industry and job market.” With the support of the Sindh government, the organizations involved hope the SUCCESS program will help the province retain rural youth by creating new work opportunities.
– Cara Kuhlman