Agriculture and food security
The model of participatory rural development the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) pioneered combines a set of common development principles with the flexibility to respond to specific contexts and needs. Programmes typically link elements such as rural savings and credit, natural resource management, productive infrastructure development, increased agricultural productivity and human skills development with a central concern for community-level participation and decision-making. The ultimate goal is to enable community members to make informed choices from a range of appropriate options for sustainable and equitable development.
A central strategy has been to create or strengthen an institutional structure at the village level through which people can determine priority needs and decide how best to manage common resources in the interests of the community as a whole. Whether broad-based or task-specific, these village organisations also serve to represent the community to the government and to other development partners, including NGOs and the private sector. Social capital built at the local level provides a supportive environment for enlarging the economic assets of a community and for harnessing individual self-interest to generate income growth in an equitable and sustainable manner.More
Assets are typically built through community management of natural resources – water storage, irrigation infrastructure, soil conservation or forestry – or the construction of basic economic infrastructure, such as rural roads or agricultural storage facilities.