This study examines a particularly successful rural development program: the partnership of the Aga Khan Rural Support Program (AKRSP) and the small farmers of rthern Pakistan. The Aga Khan Rural Support Program was established in 1982 to act as a catalyst for the development of rural people living in the high mountain valleys of the Himalayas, Karakorum, and Hindu Kush. The experiment is based upon the premise that rural people can improve their ecomic and social status through organization at the village level. This experiment in regional development - affecting the lives of nearly 500,000 people - has been outstandingly successful and should provide a model with generalizable lessons for policymakers, practitioners and researchers in ecomic development. The World Bank has concluded that the Aga Khan Rural Support Program continues to be remarkably successful...(and) provides a hopeful prospect that rural development can be made to work . The authors demonstrate that the organizational model found in the AKRSP is sustainable provided prospective beneficiaries participate fully, and that the AKRSP experiment can be used successfully in other rural underdeveloped areas - that the rural poor can be organized to promote their own ecomic and social development.
MAHMOOD HASAN KHAN is Professor of Economics at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia. He has authored or co-authored five books on economic development, including The Economics of the Green Revolution in Pakistan (Praeger, 1975). SHOAIB SULTAN KHAN has served as general manager of the Aga Khan Rural Support Program in Pakistan since 1982. Previously, he served with UNICEF in Sri Lanka, the UN Center for Regional Development in Japan, and the Pakistan Academy for Rural Development.
Mahmood Hasan Khan, Shoiab Sultan Khan, Sultan Shoaib Khan