An important lesson arising from AKDN experience has been that there are few area development contexts in which a single institution can have the necessary impact on the quality of life. Rather, a broad spectrum of national and international partners must be engaged in the process of area development.
To this end, in a number of settings AKDN has signed Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in order to bring to bear a full package of multi-input, multidisciplinary activities – involving not only AKDN agencies but government institutions and other partners.
In Delhi, an initiative led by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), in partnership with agencies of the Government of India, encompasses a major conservation programme at Humayun’s Mausoleum, a World Heritage Site, as well as Mughal period monuments in the adjacent Sunder Nursery and the densely populated Nizamuddin Basti. The Sunder Nursery, a 70-acre expanse, is being landscaped to emphasise its heritage and ecological significance while enhancing its role as an educational resource.
Begun as a conservation project, the programme now also includes activities in health, education and training, water and sanitation, open-space development and basic infrastructure. A social component has already begun addressing basic health issues by installing new equipment and placing doctors in the Municipal Health Centre. The local primary school is being upgraded to provide a better learning environment and expand access to quality education. At the same time a cultural revival programme focuses on Sufi music, heritage awareness, calligraphy workshops, and documentation and dissemination of historical information by local youth groups. Parks are being landscaped, streets and historic canals are being upgraded and public toilets and sanitation systems are being improved.