This study was commissioned by the
International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) based in
Kathmandu, Nepal. It documents a unique model of social capital
development in the form of Local Networks. These Networks have evolved
from the Community Organizations (COs) fostered by Pakistan’s largest NGO,
the National Rural Support Programme (NRSP) in the last 6-8 years in Azad
Jammu and Kashmir.
The Networks are excellent examples of
communities joining forces with each other to address development issues.
The case study examines (1) the socio-political characteristics of these
mountain communities in relation to Network formation and operation (2)
the role of NRSP in enabling these Networks to function effectively (3)
the degree to which the Networks are able to accomplish their goals (4)
the degree to which the Networks have been successful (5) the reasons for
the Networks’ success or relative lack of success and (6) the degree to
which their work has an effect on the poverty-alleviation and
‘development’ policies of the Government of AJK.
The basic ingredients of a successful
network formation strategy are (1) inter-dependent mountain communities
(2) the National Rural Support Programme, which has lengthy experience in
participatory development in mountainous areas (3) mature and effective
Community Organisations (4) dedicated and skilled activists and (5) human
and financial resources from governments, donors and other sources.
The Study argues
that the Networks function as a form of ‘social capital’, empowering
community members to become involved in resource allocation and
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