LESSONS LEARNED FROM 20 YEARS OF INTERVENTION WITH COMMUNITY
As community received most of the material input free of cost (or contributed insignificantly), the ownership of work by community lacked and projects rarely became sustainable over time.
No community institutions were established and strengthened to establish effective linkages with district government for addressing their problems with support from district line departments.
The problems were primarily identified by NGOs/PVDP and the donors with community as silent stakeholders having not much say. This is the reason that community did not get to own the problem identified by others for them.
The community and government line departments hardly participated in the project cycle management which was mainly the responsibility of NGOs/PVDP.
The community mobilization timing did not suit the community if it was done at a time when people were engaged in their livelihood activities or tending animals. This resulted in poor mobilization of community and poor results of the projects implemented.
Never thought to enter into work agreement (project implementation) with community institutions and government line departments. Project management has always been the responsibility of the implementing NGOs/PVDP.
The international donor funding created a culture of lavish budgets with high salary packages, big vehicles, big offices and high cost project activities with meagre or no community share contributed in their development process. Effective government linkages also remained mostly missing from the projects/programmes.
The project/implementation through shared resources always remained a dream which never came true. NGOs remained highly dependent on international donors for all their needs for projects and capacity enhancement including institutional strengthening. The high dependency on donors produced depressing situation for local NGOs when the government cracked down on international donors and closed most of their offices in Pakistan.