"Reducing Poverty through Community driven development approach: An Introduction to SUCCESS Programme"
April 28: IBA invited Dr. Abdur Rehman Cheema for an informative session on "Reducing Poverty through Community driven development approach: An Introduction to SUCCESS Programme." His talk outlined background of RSPN, its community development approach, conceptual foundations and key features of SUCCESS Program.
Dr. Saqib Sharif, Assistant Professor in Economics and Finance Department IBA, introduced the speaker of the session to the audience. He informed the students that Dr. Abdur Rehman Cheema is Team Leader Research for European Union funded Project titled "Sindh Union Council Communities Economic Strengthening Support" (SUCCESS) programme at Rural Support Programmes Network (RSPN). Before joining RSPN, he has been working in academia for three years in teaching, research and management positions. He also has experience of working with the public sector as an officer in the National Accountability Bureau. Dr. Cheema had started his career by working for Aga Khan Rural Support Programme as Research Fellow in 2002. His doctoral research explored the role of the mosque in the capacity of a community-based religious in the aftermath of the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan. His research articles have been published in academic journals and as well as in leading national daily newspapers.
Dr. Abdur Rehman divided his session in two parts: introduction of RSPN and interactive dialogue with the audience regarding the topic. "The aim of RSPN is to reduce poverty and improve the quality of life," he said while commencing the session. He went on to say that it is very important to use "social mobilization" as a tool. While describing the operating system of RSPN, he mentioned that it builds the capacity of indigenous community leadership, trains a large cadre of rural activists and service providers and fosters a framework of grassroots institutions. To answer one of the queries regarding the importance of the community driven development approach, he responded that the public sector makes huge investments but does not create a grassroots mechanism for delivery of services so as a result the government services do not reach the people especially poor.
Later on, he discussed social capital under the umbrella of Conceptual Foundations of SUCCESS. "Social Capital includes traditional village institutions, events, mutual aid traditions etc," he said. After a lively question and answer session, the talk ended on a good note as a token of appreciation was presented to Dr. Abdur Rehman on behalf of IBA.