Balochistan Rural Development and Community Empowerment Programme, The European Union (EU) and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan have signed a Financing Agreement to support the 5-year Balochistan Rural Development & Community Empowerment (BRDCE) Programme, aiming to reduce poverty in eight rural districts of Balochistan. Key stakeholders in this programme include the European Union, (EU), the Government of Balochistan (GoB), Balochistan Rural Support Programme (BRSP), National Rural Support Programme (NRSP), Rural Support Programmes Network (RSPN) and Human Dynamics.
The BRDCE Programme will cover eight out of the 32 districts of the Balochistan Province for a five-years period, from 15 June 2017 to 14 June 2022. The eight BRDCE Programme districts include: Zhob, Loralai, Pishin, Killa Abdullah, Washuk, Khuzdar and Jhal Magsi with BRSP and Kech with NRSP.
The programme focuses on empowering citizens and communities and providing them with the means to implement community-driven socio-economic development interventions. It will also amplify their voices and capabilities to inď¬‚uence public policy decision-making through active engagement with local authorities for quality, inclusive, and equitable service delivery, and civic-oversight.
The EU has also engaged the services of Hulla & Human Dynamics (H&H), an Austrian company, to enable the Government of Balochistan to foster an enabling environment for strengthening the capacities of local government/authorities to manage and involve communities in the statutory local public sector planning, ď¬?nancing, and implementation processes. The Programme also has a Public Finance Management (PFM) component, which will work closely with H&H to assist the Government of Balochistan to cost and fund the community-led development policy framework. Clearly deď¬?ned ď¬?scal and regulatory frameworks, budgetary processes and commitments will be reď¬‚ected in a multi-annual budgetary framework and deď¬?ned institutional arrangements.
BRACE Expected Results
ER 1: Establishment and empowerment of a three-tiered participative system of federated Community Organisations (COs) at community, village and UC levels capable of development needs identification & prioritisation, development planning, resource mobilisation, and execution, and operation & maintenance of community infrastructures.
ER 2: Increased capacity of citizens, communities, and marginalised groups, particularly women, to assert their rights and hold local authorities accountable by engaging them in joint participatory development planning and execution for a more relevant and efficient public service delivery.
ER 3: Improved accesses of communities, particularly women and marginalised groups to quality public services and benefit from climate-resilient community infrastructures and productive assets planned implemented and maintained jointly with local authorities.
ER 4: Increased number of poor community members, particularly women and marginalised such as Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), minorities, and socially excluded groups are engaged in income generating activities.
ER 5: Experiences on the ground are assessed and disseminated in order to inspire the design of the building blocks of a Local Development Policy framework.
ER 6: Gender inequalities reduced through ensuring implementation of the recommendations from the gender mainstreaming strategy to be developed by the EU TA with support from the RSPs.
ER 7: Cross-cutting themes envisaged in the Balochistan Rural Development & Community Empowerment (BRACE) Programme mainstreamed, addressed, and effectively reported.
ER 8: Improved capacity of elected members, local government authoritiesâ€™ staff, and officials of the line departments to involve communities in planning, co-resourcing and managing local development activities.
The overall objective of the programme is to support the Government of Balochistan in its efforts to reduce the negative impact of economic deprivation, poverty and social inequality, environmental degradation and climate change, and instead to develop opportunities by building and empowering resilient communities to participate actively in identifying and implementing socio-economic development activities on a sustainable basis in partnership with local authorities.
The Specific objective of the programme is to empower citizens and communities and provide them with means enabling them to implement community-driven socio-economic development interventions, an increased voice and capability to influence public policy decision making through active engagement with local authorities for quality, inclusive, and equitable service delivery, and civic-oversight.
Under BRACE, 1.9 million Pakistani citizens of 300,000 poor rural households in 249 Union Council will be mobilised and organised into a network of peopleâ€™s own institutions: 19,129 Community Organisations (Cos); 3,103 Village Organisations (VOs); 249 Local Support Organisations (LSOs) and 31 LSO Networks at tehsil level and eight at district levels will be established in 8 targeted districts of Balochistan. RSPs will provide support to improve the lives and livelihoods of the organised households, as well as to foster linkages between the community institutions and local government to improve local basic service delivery.
Men and women community organizations (CO) formed at settlement, village and Union Council (UC) levels; elected members of local councils at UC, municipality and District Council levels and the line departments and local government authorities in seven targeted districts.
BRSP is mandated to focus on 7 districts except Kech that involves a five-year long Programme that aims at reducing poverty through social mobilization. The Programme is based on the successfully tested three-tier social mobilization approach of RSPs. As part of the social mobilisation process, BRSP will undertake poverty scorecard census to identify the poorest and poor households in order to effectively engage them in the social mobilisation process and provide targeted interventions.
Further more, organizations of men & women in the shape of COs at community / settlement level, VOs at the village level and LSOs at the UC level. Office bearers of these organizations, community resource persons and activists will be capacitated through extensive training, workshops, exposure visits and conferences at the local level. Tehsil and District level networks of these organizations will be established to regularly interact with the district governments in order to share their needs, plans
1,702,185 Pakistani citizens (247,956 households) of the targeted 7 districts, 2,500 council members, 300 chair & vice chairmen of elected councils, 200 union council secretaries & other Government of Balochistan Local Government and Rural Development Department's staff.