Due to a range of reasons, the rural communities of Sindh live in dire chronic poverty; the Province's rural areas record some of the worse socio-economic indicators in the world. In 2008 the Government of Sindh (GoS) launched the Union Council Based Poverty Reduction Programme (UCBPRP) in four of the Province’s 24 districts to combat this. The SUCCESS project (Sindh Union Council and Community Economic Strengthening Support) builds on and complement this GoS initiative. EU has provided EUR 85 million to extend the reach of UCBPRP to 8 of the remaining 20 districts.
The SUCCESS Programme utilises the RSPs' social mobilisation approach to Community Driven Development. This is based on the idea that communities are the best agents of their own development once they are organised and trained to better manage their limited resources and the financial support and services available to them.
What is singular about the RSP approach to rural development in Sindh, where socio-cultural norms are less restrictive than elsewhere in Pakistan, is that it is being solely implemented by and through women groups.
- To lift out of poverty 30% of 770,000 targeted poor households.
- To increase by 30% and diversify the incomes of mobilised households.
- To deliver access to and use of public services (water, education, health, etc.) for 70% of the targeted households [2800 community physical infrastructure assets built, upgraded and maintained.
- To stimulate community-driven local development initiatives through the Rural Support Programmes’ approach.
- To empower women in all eight districts.
- To develop the capacity of the Government of Sindh to implement policies to finance community-driven local development initiatives from 2018.
- 770,000 rural households mobilized and organised through community organisations operating at three tiers to develop their capacities to solve problems and plan and implement projects for the own development in cooperation with local authorities.
- The incomes of poor households (especially women) have increased on average by 30% through technical and vocational training, improved family and livestock technologies to improve food security and nutrition; support to access innovative economic activities and efficient markets; income generation schemes for communities' members and a micro-health insurance for25% of the poorest community members
- Community infrastructure and productive assets (2,800 in all) have been upgraded and are being maintained by the communities, resulting in increased economic social and community benefits
- A high-level Strategy and Policy Dialogue Committee will be established by the Provincial Government to oversee the implementation of SUCCESS and other government sponsored initiatives.
Farzana Ghulam Rasool married at the age of 17, but always knew she wanted to pursue her education. When the SUCCESS Program visited her village and invited then to organize to improve their lives, she joined the women-only Community Organization (CO). Farzana was quickly elected as manager and attended the Community management skills training (CMST), which she credits with making her ‘more confident about what I have to do as one of the community leader’. From there she went on to become a Village Organiser and attending Leadership management skills training (LMST),
Through these trainings she learned about the importance of mother and child health care, health, cleanliness etc. but “the most inspiring session for me was the session on education, especially girls’ education”, she said. The local school that the girls could have hoped to attend had closed eight years ago. “I thought why we can’t request the concerned officials of education department to open the school again.”
Farzana put all her efforts into making this happen. After contacting the district education office she learned that according to their records the local school was still operational and a teacher was receiving a monthly salary, even though she had long since married and moved away. Farzana pushed for a new teacher. “When the teacher came to know that there is no other option but to resume her duties, she returned.”
Now after eight years, the government primary school Kamalani is functional and all the primary school going boys and girls are going to school regularly. Farzana is also teaching there voluntarily to support the teacher and serve her village. She also regularly visits door to door in her village to motivate parents to send their children to school daily.