October 9, 2017, marks the 18th death anniversary of one of the great 20th Century human beings, social development philosophers and action researchers. Dr Akhter Hameed Khan was the pioneer of the approach to put poor people from rural and urban areas at the centre of the local development process. Dr Khan used to argue that the global experience clearly demonstrates that all the poor people have great potential to improve their own lives however they face constraints. These constraints can begin to be removed by ORGANISING themselves into their OWN institutions, building up their own CAPITAL base and improving SKILLS.
The Rural Support Programmes of Pakistan and other organisations in the regional countries have taken Dr Khan’s approach forward. Largest adaptation of Dr Khan’s approach in Pakistan is in the province of Sindh with the support of Government of Sindh and the European Union under UCBPRP/SUCCESS Programmes. More recently, the European Union has supported the initiation of Balochistan Rural Development and Community Empowerment Programme.
Today, Dr Khan’s philosophy and approach is touching positively lives hundreds of millions in Asia.
May Allah Ta’ala grant him eternal peace. And, may we have the taufik to further take forward his work for the benefit of all poor people.