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The NCCR Pakistan research group has initiated a process of interactive dialogues mediated by researchers and academicians. We draw upon the insights gained by our research group from more than eight years long research in the forest and natural resource management issues and extend this research through a mutual learning process by using a transdisciplinary approach.
The project addresses specifically the issue of the need of enhanced communication, trust and confidence among various stakeholders, to ensure the sustainability of current and future efforts towards forest management in Pakistan.
The project’s aim is to contribute to transnational migrant wives’ empowerment in rural north-west Pakistan. While women’s status in rural north-west Pakistan is low anyway, their husbands’ migration has been identified as a major factor further increasing their vulnerability. Social support networks based on common interest and characterised by comparatively egalitarian relationships are a means to strengthen their resilience. Women’s shared experience of and exposure to the mechanisms of male domination may form the basis of a strategy for change. They possibly offer them an alternative route to material resources and claims.
Main activities include the formation of inter-household, village-level organisations of transnational migrants’ wives and their male household members in four villages of Upper Dir district. They will engage in awareness raising regarding their situation, status and rights. A focus of such social learning will be on their education and health-related knowledge as well as on how to make transnational migration more beneficial for the sending communities. Establishing linkages to other relevant stakeholders, such as the local government, other NGOs, donors and last but not least other village organisations, is another project output guaranteeing the sustainability of the intervention beyond the PAMS’ duration.
Besides transnational migrants’ wives and their male household members as direct beneficiaries of the project, the PAMS will initiate a process of social learning in their wider communities, at a regional and national level.
Innovative aspects of the project include the project location and the target group. Overall, very few development interventions, be it by government bodies, donor agencies or NGOs, are implemented in Upper Dir. Those which are working in the region hardly focus on the implications of labour migration for the sending communities. This is despite the fact that it is such an important social practice in the district. Reasons for this negligence include the difficult access as well as the conservative attitude towards outside intervention prevalent in the area. The latter includes a rigid stance vis-à-vis efforts to involve females in and empower them through development projects.
Researchers and Scientific Back-Stoppers Involved
- Maqsood Jan, Project Coordinator, Sustainable Policy Institute (SDPI),
- Islamabad, Pakistan
- Dr. Karin Astrid Siegmann, Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Den Haag,
- The Netherlands
- Dr. Urs Geiser, Development Study Group, Department of Geography, University
- of Zurich, Switzerland
Improving Livestock Output of Small Holder Mountain Communties in the Hindukush
A pilot project on this issue has been started by NCCR members from Berne, Switzerland, with an NGO in Swat. For details and contacts see the following project description.
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