Women Economic Empowerment Community Infrastructure Improvement Project (WEE-CIIP)

Women Economic Empowerment through Community Infrastructure Improvement project (WEE-CIIP) AWAZ Foundation Pakistan: center for Development services is implementing Women Economic Empowerment – Community Infrastructure improvement Project WEE-CIIP since May 2010. The project is focused to support the economic and social empowerment of disadvantaged rural women in selected 50 Union Councils of four districts of south Punjab (MuzaffarGarh, Vehari, Rajanpur and Multan). The project uses a right based approach to pursue its agenda of providing a solid solution to alleviating poverty. In addition, the project will build the capacity of local government to be able to monitor the road work as well as act as catalysts for the destitute women to support establishing their enterprises / small business

Why this project was necessary?

It is widely understood that there are synergies between market access, land quality and tenure, having a differential effect on the livelihood of commercial versus (semi) subsistence farming. Very importantly, roads serve to reduce the gap between the rural and urban centers, improving the communication and improving the quality of life through enhanced knowledge, dissemination of ideas and skills development. It could furthermore, have a direct impact on agriculture production and possibly market prices. There are both economic and social outcomes from road maintenance that may be both anticipated and unexpected.

The project is being helped out about 2 million people living in 50 union councils along the roads and 1875 rural destitute women are directly benefiting from the employment opportunities in road maintenance. Others are enjoying lower transport cost and induced economic and social development.

Awaz CDS’s particular mission is to develop and provide integrated and innovative solutions for sustainable development in cooperation with local, national, regional and international partners, and through them to foster action and change for overcoming marginalized rural people’s economic, social, political, and physical vulnerabilities. The way AwazCDS helps create solution by identifying, testing, and disseminating options.

This mission is translated into outcomes by analysis of the particularities of poverty and vulnerabilities in the target area of southern Punjab. They are also based on experience with rural development to date, and especially in the areas of greatest opportunity for achieving measurable impact. This strategy has identified seven long-term outcomes that AwazCDS is committed to help achieve.

  1. Sustainable community-based Rural Development
  2. Availability of trained community-based human resources for sustainable socio-economic and political development
  3. Productive and sustainable community-based management of vulnerable natural resources
  4. Decreased physical vulnerability within river basins
  5. Improved and diversified incomes for vulnerable rural and marginalized people
  6. Increased local and national conservation of biological and cultural heritage.
  7. Greater voice, influence, social security, and equitability for marginalized rural people.

Project Period:

5 Years (But Crew Cycle will be for 2 years)

  • Province: Southern Punjab
  • District: 4 from Southern Punjab (Multan, Vehari, Muzaffargarh, Rajan Pur)
  • Total no. of Union Council covered: 50 UC
  • Total no. of crew women: 1875 @15 women/UC
  • Total KM of rural earthen road for maintenance:6000 KM @15 KM/UC
  • Project Goal:
  • To improve the socio-economic status of rural disadvantaged women in Pakistan’s Punjab and Sindh provinces.

Project objectives;

  • Improving the socio-economic status of 1875 rural disadvantaged and destitute women through creating job opportunities by the end of project
  • Diversifying income base for the 1875 targeted women through micro-enterprise and entrepreneurship development
  • Year round maintenance of rural earthen roads and other community infrastructures till the life of the project
  • Strengthening capacity of Local Government Institutions especially 50 Union Councils/ Community Based Organizations in promoting and supporting women issues by the end of project

Global Agenda:

  • MDG # 1: End Poverty & Hunger
  • MDG # 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women

Funding Partner Strategic Objective:

  • Empowering 28 million women in Pakistan

Awaz Strategic Program(s):

  • Social and Economic Management Program
  • Agriculture and Rural Income Diversification Program
  • Culture Equity Gender and Governance

Expected results of the project;

  • Improved year round use of maintained rural roads by light traffic
  • Increased and diversified income base for RMT women through participation in income generating activities
  • Increased ability to plan and monitor gender-responsive community-based development initiatives at local government and community level

Achievement till to date;

  • Identified to 1875 rural poor, widows separated and house headedmarginalized and vulnerable rural women and provided them Job opportunity with in their union councils.
  • 3250 km earthen road has been repaired and maintained in 50 union councils of four districts (Multan, MuzaffarGarh, Rajanpur and Vehari).
  • 750 rural poor women developed their businesses and started income generation activities through their savings during their two years employment, as the result their 1534 children enrolled in schools which were involved in child labor, 26 women (divorced & widows) members became married and 42 women got unified due to employment
  • 1410 women capacitated in business development, basic health and human rights as the result 1125 women built latrines in their houses and proper use of these latrines has been started. They well know about inheritance rights and they stopped many early marriages in their villages.
  • Health insurance facility has been given to 750 women and they are getting benefits through panel hospitals of Asia Care, health insurance of other RMTs / women is in process ;
  • Mobile phones have been provided to all 1875 women for communication and easy paisa mobile banking and all these women are getting their salaries through easy paisa;
  • District Advisory Committees DACs in four districts has been formed for support on district level and smoothly implementation of project and formation of a provincial Advisory Committee at provincial level is in process.

Involvement of district and local government in the project; From the initial stage of the project, an introductory session was organized and conducted with district government officials. After mutual understanding of the project, Memorandum of Understanding MoU was signed between AWAZ CDS and district government. Progress of the project is being shared with district government officials and their valuable input is also being included in project implementation process.

Union council secretaries are playing vital role in implementation of the project. On the initial stage of the project, project introduction meetings were organize and conducted with UC secretaries separately. They are very much supportive in identification of earthen roads, widows and marginalized rural women, affiliation and confidence building with local Social Activists SAs and most important resolving social issues and monitoring of the project activities.

There is good coordination and communication between AWAZ staff and UC secretaries. Sessions on mobilization and conflict resolving and a four days training on project planning, monitoring and evaluation also delivered to these UC secretaries. These training are very supportive in resolving social issues and monitoring process.