Identifying leaders, and improving the quality of the leadership, has been an important part of the work of the Aga Khan Foundation. Ultimately, the quality of governance is closely linked to the quality of elected leadership. Therefore, the Foundation works to groom leaders who are part of the village organisation.
Over time, leaders who have been elected through the participatory process have gone on to become planners, coordinators and elected representatives of their districts. Others have led the formation of federations of village organisations - a further step in giving rural communities a greater voice in their development. These federations not only represent their stakeholders’ concerns to the local government, but they actively work with the government on the implementation of government poverty alleviation programmes. They also use their social network to bring best practices into wider use and raise awareness of other issues, such as water resource management and nutrition.