South Asia Partnership-Pakistan initiated “Peace & Livelihood for Rural Poor (PLRP)” with an aim to address problems of poverty and extremism, with community organization and gender equality in focus. The program was designed around the premise that greater citizens’ voices, actions, promoting cultural, political and economic reformist agenda together with establishing citizen-state engagement as essential efforts to promote peace and set-up democratic governance in Pakistan.  Peace committees have provided different scale of involvement of women, non-Muslims and disabled to be part of community life and participate in social cohesion efforts.  PLRP program has been unique in its nature, scope and scale. It was first program of its nature that focused on ultra poor and mainstreaming them in social and economic life. The program in a short span of time has proved that the aims of promoting economic rights, social cohesions, social inclusion and government linkages are possible and can yield desired results. Though the journey has just begun but it definitely has proven a success. There are several areas of this program that have just started experiencing different social life where women are visible, active and leaders of change. Theses trained activists can perform well if supported.

Since there were hardly any examples of the government line agencies/state institutions working with the people directly this built distrust among people. So through out PLRP execution, linkage building initiatives with GLAs, CSOs and other resource groups is an important strategy. Under PLRP in program areas Joint meetings proves a successful strategy. It is phenomenal in areas like Rajanpur-South Punjab, Gwadar-Balochistan, D.I. Khan-KP and Ghotki-Sindh where women usually are taking for granted/or as commodity rather than human but now actively participating in linkage meetings.

Interaction with the state through their elected representatives, political parties, village/people’s organizations enables them to negotiate for their resources and development entitlements. Such strategy helps them started playing an active role with an organized effort to influence policies and decisions effecting their lives, monitor implementation and play effective role in development, policies, decisions and governance with the specific concern of education for all. Learning from phase I (2012-2014), demands to add youth employability and amount for asset/grant shape to help young  girls and boys to be sustain. So instead of  loan provision of skill training and assets provision is a shift which was a learning from phase 1 since it was difficult for ultra poor and vulnerable poor could not pay back loan easily.

IN short, PLRP-II will be based on the learning’s and achievements of the phase I. It will further extend its efforts of social mobilization, connecting poor with each other and with other resources and government authorities, building economic base through assets, skills enhancement, enterprise development and social cohesion. In this sense, design of the program from conceptualization to implementation takes the very aspects in view.