Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Development Sector in Pakistan

There is a mafia in the development sector of Pakistan and let me confess, I am part of it. The big sharks are the donors like USAID, UN agencies, World Bank, ADB, DfID, different foundations etc. Then there are big research and program organizations like Population Council, Asia Foundation, FHI, JSI, WPF, Path Finder etc. The third tier would be the large national level "NGOS" like Rozan, Amal, Sahil and many others who get funding from the donors or other the large international organizations. The last tier would be organizations who are working at local level ranging from small one man shows like RH-Aid to large grassroots organizations like Bunyad, Behbood etc.

These organizations have different missions and mandates, however the common denominator among them is "development" which means that they are working towards "developing" our country. We can say that their work is supposed to improve lives of Pakistan's population.

My critique to all of these organizations, especially those who are working on pure or the so called operations research to show what is their dollar for dollar impact for Pakistan. The only measurable and visible impact is on the people who are lucky enough to find work with these organizations. Those staff have no doubt benefited tremendously from the millions of dollars channeled in the name of research and development to our country. In the last 5 years a few hundred million dollars were thrown to the maternal and child health sector. What did the ordinary people of Pakistan, gain from those millions!!!

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