Exposure Visit for LSOs by AKRSP
Exposure visit for Local Support Organizations representatives.
CHITRAL: Since its inception in 1982 AKRSP has focused on social mobilization through institutional action, by fostering local receiving mechanisms at the grass root levels in the form of informal village and women organizations (V/WOs). The promotion of more than 4000 V/WOs in NAC has indeed created a critical mass of social capital at the village levels, which was largely instrumental in rapidly transforming the life and livelihood of the rural households in the program area. The idea of LSO being mini AKRSP has created a perception of LSO as like the AKRSP where individuals of the local communities compete to have their share in the pie. The projection of LSOs as service providers rather than support organizations, and AKRSP's strategy of outsourcing its activities to the LSOs as executing organizations have been the major hurdles in putting the LSOs on right direction, though it earns the LSOs their management cost. There is a need of reconceptualizing the LSOs as support organizations rather than service providers and project executers. The LSOs could also invest in profit making ventures, but this should be in form of partnership with public and private investors to avoid expenses on paid professional staff and LSOs' involvement in direct service delivery. The LSOs should also be organized in a network to make their voice stronger and their performance more effective.
The focus is on the Local Support Organizations (LSOs) in Chitral, which are partly continuation of the process of institutional development program of AKRSP at village level, and partly creation of mechanical role of AKRSP, to take the institutional development process to the next stage.
Starting with village level small needs of the communities the V/WOs grew up to clusters and supper clusters to fulfill the larger level needs of local people, the collective action came under the umbrella of the LSOs.
A three-day LSO convention was also held in this connection to share experience with each other in the convention of different LSOs where around 200 delegates participated from around 40 LSOs from various regions including Baltistan, Astore, Gilgit and Chitral.
Izhar Ali Hunzai, General Manager AKRSP, and renowned social and peace activist, Agha Yahya Al Husaini inaugurated the convention. In this key note the GM emphasized that sustainable development requires an integrated institutional framework at the local level where the Public, Private and civil society work hand in hand to achieve common goal and objectives of poverty reduction, economic growth and social transformation. He recalled the social and human capital created in the form of village and women organizations as the building blocks for developing transparent, accountable and professionally managed LSOs.
The exposure visit was arranged for all the LSOs representatives to Naunihal Development Organization and Karimabad area development organization for experience sharing and to access the smooth running of the two LSOs.
The three days LSOs convention was held to meet the following objectives
Provide a larger forum for the LSOs activists, staff, community leaders, development practitioners, policy makers, researchers, students to review LSOs process and its results. Share and document ideas, experiences, lessons and knowledge on how to strengthen LSOs Discuss the challenges and opportunities and agree on strategic action for the coming five years. The LSOs representatives also visited Historical Baltit and Altit Fort that was renovated by Aga Khan Culture Service of Pakistan.
G.H. Farooqi PO Box No. 50 GPO Chitral phone # +92 943 302295, 414418, 03025989602
Tags: Chitral Pakistan , Lsos
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