ACTED Project


Poverty and debt – a life of dependency



This project is active in seven impoverished districts of three provinces (Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Jammu & Kashmir).

More than 70% of females in Pakistan and 60% of Pakistani youth are in vulnerable employment, lacking access to decent and reliable income generation opportunities. The largest sector of vulnerable employment is the agricultural sector.

For example, the average monthly household income in one of the project districts in Sindh is between 41 – 50 Euros. Usually this income is used almost entirely for purchasing food. As a consequence debt levels are high: in a 2011 survey in Sindh, the average household debt in 36% of the villages was 346 Euros.

When individuals cannot repay their debts, they often take further loans at onerous rates or agree to work them off with their landlords. Due to the small profits they make, they usually remain unable to pay off their debt for many years. They are thus locked into a system of dependency. Without employable skills they have no other option.

This project proposes to help people earn wages they can live on by improving access to and the quality of TVET services, and promoting linkages with employers, trade associations and finance institutes with the aim of making significant improvements to TVET services in Pakistan and thus raising their willingness to work with the graduates.

Research with stakeholders has identified 8 trades for which there is a demand: dress making, embroidery, building and industrial electricians, RAC technicians, solar panel technicians and motor cycle and generator mechanics.

They are also looking to introduce more courses for women with high earning potential.
The project is now working closely with the TVET providers to help them develop curricula for which there is a demand, upgrade their equipment and train their trainers to a level where the schools can be accredited. This will enable the graduates to receive certification that will greatly enhance their earning potential.

A number of partners are so interested to participate in the project that they have undertaken to expand their premises in order to be able to expand the number and quality of courses they offer.


  • To improve availability, quality, relevance and equity of TVET services in rural areas of AJK, KP and Sindh provinces.
  • To improve information about labour markets and strengthen linkages between trainees, TVET instructors, employers and micro finance institutions.


  • Quality, market-oriented vocational training programs are established for marginalized communities
  • Increased access to and equity of TVET services for marginalized communities
  • Formal employment is enhanced through linkages between TVET graduates and industries and self employment opportunities are promoted

Main Activities

  • Kick off meetings and mobilization of authorities
  • Assessment of TVET services and labour market survey, publication of report on labour market trends
  • Development of curricula
  • Training and follow up support for TVET trainers
  • Selection and strengthening of TVET centres
  • Provision of support for marginalised students to access trainings
  • Delivery of trainings as well as skills for life / basic business management training
  • Distribution of tool kits to the selected TVET students
  • Linkages with private and microfinance sector.


Improving access, quality and service delivery of the TVET sector to marginalised rural communities through innovative approaches


Total budget:EUR 3,046,494
EU-contribution: 90%
Co-funded by ACTED: 10%
Applicant: ACTED

Additional Information

Technology Upgradation and Skill Development Company (TUSDEC)
Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN)

Training centres
ACTED has selected 20 training centres to work with. 

Main Locations of Activity
AJK: Muzaffarabad district
KP: Lower Dir, Upper Dir and Swat districts
Sindh: Shikarpur, Kashmore, Jacobabad

Case Studies

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: