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Approaches to rural development in Pakistan over the period 1947 to date : an extended review of literature

Arshad, Mohammad
Fields of Research
The aim of this study is to review the major approaches to rural development that have been tried in Pakistan since 1947 and to analyse the rural development programmes in terms of the Sustainable Livelihood framework. The study identifies reasons for the failure of rural development programmes and makes recommendations for future action. The study found that majority of past rural development programmes failed to achieve sustainable livelihoods. Vulnerability in Pakistan exists in many ways. This issue was not even analyzed during planning or implementation of the programmes. Nor has participatory livelihoods assessment been carried out at any stage to identify the real factors, shocks and risks faced by the poor. Lack of both research, systematic and authentic qualitative and quantitative data, have also contributed. Rural development programmes until 1999, did not take into consideration the risks of potential environmental degradation. Similarly, the majority of community development programmes implemented in Pakistan had no inbuilt mechanism for addressing natural risks. It is recommended that before designing of a rural development programme a participatory analysis or livelihood analysis must be undertaken. The Government needs to support a community-driven approach to sustain ability. The Government should also make a robust political, administrative and financial commitment to implement poverty alleviation programmes for the benefit of the poor.
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