These four UCs have multiple problems, including frequent flooding, widespread poverty, inadequate healthcare and educational institutions, a low literacy rate, poor communications infrastructure, the prevalence of water-borne diseases and unsafe water resources. The low status of women and the underestimation of female education present special challenges. The “Poverty Alleviation and Community Development Project” is designed to support sustainable development by empowering people, especially the underprivileged, to participate in deciding and implementing development measures.
The project will promote citizen-led reforms to help alleviate poverty, benefit populations currently without access to mainstream services and policy making processes, and build resilient communities.
- A representative three-tier system of community mobilisation will be consolidated for social and economic development. This will involve 400 Community Organisations, 41 Village Organisations and Local Support Organisations at UC level. Training will be given in the necessary leadership, management and technical skills.
- The COs, VOs, and LSOs will prioritise their social infrastructure needs (including schools, health centres, irrigation channels, bridges). The plans will take into account disaster risk reduction principles.
- Capacity of local administrators and representatives will be strengthened.
- The capacity of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to act as advocates for improved management and implementation of public policies and services will be strengthened.
Communities sign up for social mobilisation process
During the initial stage of the project, the major thrust has focused on social mobilisation to raise awareness of the importance of collective action. A total of 153 mass meetings were held in four Union Councils to explain the project and the three-tiered community organisation process. Interested communities were asked to commit to the process and contribute to the efforts to resolve their priorities.
This resulted in the formation of 137 Community Organisations (COs), both for males and females.
The president and managers have been democratically elected and the communities are meeting on a regular basis, and providing records of their decisions to the social organisers.