In the last ten years, PPAF has successfully laid the foundations of a vibrant and
responsive development sector by expanding its presence across almost all the districts
in the country. At the same time, PPAF worked on developing human and institutional
capacities of its partner organizations, thereby enabling small emerging outfits
to transform into medium and large organizations. This, therefore, is an opportune
time to reflect on what has been achieved and what remains to be done.
As a learning institution, PPAF is uniquely positioned to build on its core strengths
and simultaneously reorient itself to address the challenges that lie ahead. The
imperative now is to make a seamless transition from a focus on scale to a focus
on depth and intensity of presence. The driver of this approach is to optimize the
allocation of resources and maximize outcomes and impact at the grassroots.
Both as a sector developer and as an apex institution, the defining role of PPAF
is to realign the sector on an inclusive and sustainable footing, which is crucial
for long-term success and continuity of services to the marginalized and disadvantaged.
The stress is on constant product development and innovation enabling excluded communities
to avail of a wider menu of opportunities and choices.
Through a series of external and internal consultations, PPAF is leveraging its
unique experience by gearing up to play a proactive role as a responsive and versatile
national institution; an institution that is creating synergies, forming partnerships
and forging alliances with diverse stakeholders – government, public-sector agencies,
corporate and private entities and the academia.
This paradigm shift has required a fundamental recalibration of operations to explicitly
address the spatial dimensions of poverty. The new strategy calls for a deliberate
shift of priorities towards those regions of Pakistan that have historically lagged
behind in socio-economic development and are particularly underserved.
This reorientation now ensures that all PPAF initiatives are rolled out under an
overarching strategy, which is community-led and demand driven. Institutional strengthening
and development is therefore the central pillar of all interventions. PPAF seeks
to significantly improve the quality of community organizations in terms of inclusion,
sustainability, effectiveness, and depth of coverage. This is manifested in the
move away from project-based criteria to an integrated, appropriately sequenced,
To date, PPAF has cumulatively financed over 6.9 million microcredit loans, completed
33,000 health, education, water and infrastructure projects, conducted over 17,000
skill development and managerial training events and developed a grassroots network
of over 125,000 community organizations. PPAF’s coverage has simultaneously increased
to include 121 districts through 127 partner organizations across all provinces
and regions. PPAF was also at the forefront in responding to the devastating floods
that 0ravaged the country in 2010-11 and is undertaking a comprehensive recovery,
rehabilitation and reconstruction effort in the affected areas.
The journey that began in 2000 is far from over. In order to keep serving communities,
PPAF has yet to achieve many more milestones. Through a constant process of innovation;
through re-orientation towards hard to reach and inhospitable areas; and through
a focus on “institutions of the poor,” this institution, I am happy to report, is
on track towards achievement of its strategic objectives. In a sense, our journey
has just begun.
I would like to acknowledge the men and women of PPAF who are at the heart of this
new paradigm. I firmly believe that success is not possible without teamwork and
each member of Team PPAF is a valued asset. I am grateful to the Government of Pakistan
and to our international partners -- the World Bank and the International Fund for
Agricultural Development -- for the unstinting support, assistance and facilitation.
I am also grateful to our partner organizations for their hard work and dedicated
effort in the field. But above all, I would like to recognize our community organizations
for demonstrating resilience in the face of extreme adversity and for being the
agents of hope and change in this country.