Community Development Groups in the Urban Field in Pakistan

The Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) in Pakistan has so far concentrated its activities on providing assistance to rural development. However, between 1972 and 1981, the urban population of Pakistan has increased from 25 percent of Pakistan’s total population to 28 percent and is projected to be 40 percent by the year ‘2000. This enormous increase has led to the creation of a host of problems for Pakistan’s urban centres.

The importance of community groups in the urban sector

Conventional planning and development through traditional state institutions have not only failed to overcome the problems created by the massive increase of urban populations, but have in their turn created new ones, especially for the lower income groups. This state of affairs has led to the creation of an informal sector, often exploitative in nature, which caters to the needs of the urban poor. To strike a more equitable relationship with this sector, Community Action Groups (CAGs) have sprung up in many low-income areas and are being increasingly supported by Non-Government Organizations (NGOs). It is felt by the SDC that these CAGs and NGOs, properly equipped and supported, can help the state agencies in overcoming certain aspects of the urban crisis and can lead to an adoption by state agencies of more appropriate urban development strategies.

Download the full report here: Community Development Groups in the Urban Field in Pakistan [PDF, 1.7 MB]

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