Geographical Context

The KPK Province and FATA in comparison to Punjab and Sindh Provinces largely remained underdeveloped areas with low level of socio-economic development and rising poverty. Due to the limited economic activities, the unemployment and poverty rates in these regions are higher. The security situations in KPK and FATA are also directly affected by prevailing livihoodTaliban conflicts in the entire region. The resulting fallout in violence, displacement and criminality has placed increased pressure on resources and as made it difficult for families to maintain their activities and earn a regular income. Hence, with the majority of its residents already disadvantaged by unevenly distributed resources and state institutions with limited effectiveness, KPK and FATA have experienced worsening poverty levels as a result of conflict.

In FATA and KP, the per capita income is among the lowest in Pakistan. The major apprehensions of the rural areas of FATA and KP are poor infrastructure, natural resource degradation, unsustainable environmental management, geographical isolation, poor health and educational facilities, limited access to economic opportunities, high illiteracy, bad governance, high gender disparities etc. For these reasons the overall incidence of poverty in KP and FATA is substantially higher than rest of Pakistan. In a situation of pre-existing political changes, poverty and low human development, the conflicts in KP and FATA have severely damaged relatively poor public and infrastructure; therefore livelihood opportunities have further reduced.

Poverty is widespread particularly in rural areas of KPK and entire FATA. About 37 percent of the population lives below the poverty line in settled districts. In FATA, the situation is worse, with 60 percent below the poverty line. 40 percent of adults are unemployed in the province (WB, 2005). Literacy in the province is 38 percent and 58 percent of households have access to clean drinking water. GDP growth rate is 4 percent and population growth rate is 2.8 percent in the province. Lack of economic opportunities and absence of the rule of law has pushed and are pushing the work force, the urban elite, and investors to migrate to the urban centers of Punjab and Sind. 30 percent of households in KPK are fed by remittances from within Pakistan and another 8 percent on remittances from Gulf countries (Ikram, 2009:33). Agriculture is the main source of livelihood in KPK and FATA, but its structure is thin and weak. The limited private sector development, low level of human and institutional development, and worsening security conditions are some major impediments in restricting the socio-economic growth and development process in KPK and FATA.

Livelihood Program-An Introduction

CMDO’s Livelihood Program activities have been implemented in 236 villages of FATA and KPK provinces which benefited more than 150,000 people. The intervened areas include Khyber, Bajur, Mohmand, Kurram, Swat, Peshawar, Nowshera, Bannu and Lakki Marwat. The livelihood enhancement activities were mainly included agricultural and live stock development, assets distribution to the ultra and vulnerable poor, vocational skills trainings, social entrepreneurships, and small to medium scale enterprises development. The livelihood program interventions also supported and contributed in the rehabilitations of hundreds of Internally Displaced Families (IDPs) from conflict affected FATA agencies and KPK districts. CMDO’s livelihood program over the last few years has been able to develop successful demonstration of its livelihood program outcomes in the least developed areas of districts Bannu and Lakki Marwat. Hundreds of Sub-Village level Community Organizations formed in the least developed union councils of these districts which are presently functional and implemented different level development activities.

CMDO in partnership with PPAF is implementing Institutional and Human Development Project in these two districts which highly contributed in scaling-up livelihood enhancement activities among the local communities. CMDO from February 2009 to June 2013 undertook vigorous social mobilization campaigns in the selected 11 union councils of district Bannu and 6 union councils in district Lakki Marwat. One fundamental outcome of such social mobilization work was the formation of Community Organizations (CO), Village Organizations (VO), and Local Support Organizations (LSO). These grass root community structures are actively working with local line departments and civil society institutions on livelihood enhancement activities in their respective areas.

CMDO through the application of Sustainable Livelihood Framework (SLF) undertook participatory need assessment and poverty ranking activities for the identification of poorest and destitute families and preparing/implementing Livelihood Investment Plans (LIP) for the selected program beneficiary families/communities. CMDO facilitated its COs Network in implementing both on-farm and off-farm livelihood enhancement interventions in FATA and KP which mainly include conventional irrigation water supply/channels; efficient irrigation, drip technology, orchard development and off-farm activities include assets distribution, vocational skills, and small/medium enterprise development.

Sustainable Livelihood Framework

The CMDO’s Livelihood Program is benefited substantially from the innovative Sustainable Livelihoods Framework (SLF). The SLF is helpful, particularly, in identifying the main factors that affect livelihoods of the poor, understanding typical relationships between the factors and singling entry points in support of livelihoods. An outline of the adopted SLF is presented in below figure.

satainabl framework

Poverty Need Assessment

CMDO facilitated its partner COs in undertaking poverty and need assessment activities in their respective areas. The household level livelihoods profiling and needs assessments were conducted among the intervened communities which include wealth ranking and poverty scorecard. It resulted in the ranking of ultra poor and vulnerable poor and selection of Livelihood Program beneficiaries. Below figure is giving details about poverty score card calculation technique.


Livelihood Investment Plans

CMDO staff in coordination with COs developed livelihood investment plans of the selected program beneficiaries. After analyzing household level livelihood asset pentagon and prioritizing livelihood aspirations of selected poor family, participatory livelihood investment plans were developed and implemented. CMDO through the application of SLF were able to analyze the overall strengths and weaknesses of the livelihood environment in the selected areas. Below figure is giving insight about analyzing household level asset pentagon and planning sustainable livelihood interventions.

investment plane livlihood

Sustainable Livelihood Interventions

CMDO’s sustainable livelihood interventions were planned in the most integrative and participatory manner possible, with social mobilization maintained as the crux of the process. CMDO supported the formation of new COs/Committees, and assisted in strengthening the existing community institutions. Such community level Social Capital in turn facilitated the provision of basic livelihood services demanded by the identified household beneficiaries in the community. Sustainable Livelihood interventions were carried out to enable poorest segments of target communities to access resources and make collective, informed decisions. The aim of such interventions was to address asset deficiencies in a household, via capacity building measures. Asset deficiencies and their corresponding options of livelihood enhancement intervention, as carried out by CMDO, are listed in the below Table. Details on CMDO’s sustainable livelihood interventions are given in the below sub-sections.

Table 1: Types of Assets and its Corresponding Sustainable Livelihood Interventions by CMDO

Asset Type Interventions
Natural Capital §  Agriculture

§  Orchards, Nurseries

Human Capital §  Vocational Skills

§  Technical Trainings

Social Capital §  Membership in COs

§  Formation of Common Interest Groups (CIGs)

Physical Capital §  Infrastructure Development

§  Asset Transfers (Shops, Hotelling, Machinery, Livestock, Vehicles)

Financial Capital §  Linkages between CIGs/Enterprises and Micro-Finance Institutions



CMDO’s Livelihood Program interventions for strengthening agriculture and orchard development activities in Khyber, Kurram, and Bajaur agencies of FATA largely helped in improving the livelihoods of hundreds of small farmers’ families. CMDO supported the communities through constructing irrigation channels, and implementing drought mitigation and water shed management activities. Eleven submerged pumps have been installed to allow for farmland that was once barren to be utilized in Khyber Agency.   1860 meters (6100 ft) channels have been lined and 3500 meters (11,500 feet) long irrigation channels to direct water to the farmland in Khyber, Kurram and Bajaur Agencies. Flood Protection schemes have been implemented in areas where flash flooding occurs during the rainy season. Under the project entitled ‘Drought Mitigation and Preparedness Program’ CMDO is working on high water efficient irrigation Projects in Bajaur agency. The projects will help address the lack of irrigation water and the need to utilize available water judiciously and reduce wastage. The project will benefit agriculture lands under cultivation for fruit orchards in Bajaur agency and benefit thousands number of population groups.


CMDO facilitated and provided Vocational Skills and Technical Trainings particularly to the members of a household in productivity age. A major priority of CMDO is to make an effective use of existing vocational/ technical training centers. At the same time, local skilled workers were also trained locally through providing them opportunities for skill development via apprenticeships in their nearby locations. CMDO implemented a number ofvocational vocational skills and technical training projects/activities in FATA and KPK. Under a youth related program 3200 youth from Peshawar, Bannu and Lakki Marwat Districts in KP and Khyber Agency in FATA have successfully completed their vocational and skill trainings. Vocational trainings for both youth and adults are provided in several fields such as computer hardware, mobile phone repairing, tailoring, embroidery, and electrician course. Females are imparted compatible skills like beautician courses, traditional birth attendant and mid wives training. Under an emergency project for the IDPs 6443 adults, including females, were trained in plumbing, electrician, masonry, tailoring and embroidery. 102 TBAs and midwives also earn livelihood after getting appropriate training to provide MCH services in remote underserved villages of FATA and KP.

CMDO in its PPAF supported project in districts Bannu and Lakki Marwat provided vocational skills and technical trainings to 2120 selected male/female individuals. Persons ranked as ‘ultra poor’ were provided training allowances of Rs 250/day to compensate for potential wage losses. At the end of the training session, each ultra poor trainee was provided a tool kit relevant to the skill for which training was provided. Below Table is giving details of vocational skills/technical trainings given to male and female groups from these two districts of KPK.

Types of Skills/Trainings and Number of Beneficiaries in Districts Bannu/Lakki Marwat

Training Trade Participants Gender
Cheks Making 30 Female
Detergent Making 54 Female
EDT 740 Male
Embroidery 307 Female
Live Stock 590 Mix
Tailoring 254 Mix
Tie & Dye 145 Female


Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) and Midwives training

CMDO established a network of TBAs and LHWs, CHWs, both female and male, in 463 villages in district Peshawar, Mansehra, Lakki Marwat and Bannu (KP), and in Kuram, Bajaur, Orakzai, Khyber, Mohmand and North Waziristan Agencies (FATA). CMDO provided a three months long training to 463 TBAs/Health workers in the areas of FATA and KP in areas where health facilities were either unavailable or insufficient. It enabled them to better understand the basic concept of health hygiene and then spread it in their areas. It also contributed in the provision of livelihood enhancement options to the trained TBAs.

Asset Transfer to Ultran and Vulnerable Poor

CMDO under its PPAF supported Human and Institutional Development Project contributed in the completion of vocational skills and technical trainings by hundreds of male/female individuals and later different types of assets were transferred to the 762 ultra and vulnerable poor who successfully completed the training process. Asset Transfers were facilitated on the basis of beneficiary knowledge and skills, in addition to employment opportunities. Transfers of livestock took place only for those beneficiaries who carry experience in livestock maintenance. Transfers of physical assets were carried out through a transparent mechanism, which included an adopted resolution and validation of beneficiary selection by the COs; an adopted resolution and validation of identified asset by the COs; and procurement of assets by a committee comprising of one CMDO representative and at least two representatives nominated by the concerned CO and beneficiary. The representatives were required to be documented and photographed. Below table and graph is giving insight on different types of assets transferred in districts Bannu and Lakki Marwat.

Details of Different Types of Assets Transfer in Districts Bannu and Lakki Marwat

Shop   Hoteling  
Barbar Shop 2 Biryani Shop 2
Cloth Shop 7 Hoteling 5
Karyana Store 119 Tea Hotel 2
Medical Store 4 Pakora Shop 1
Fruit Shop 7 Fish Shop 1
Cosmetic Shop 3 Kabab Shop 1
Shoes Shop 4 Cold Drinks 1
Rice Shop 3 Cold Drink Shop 1
Sweet Shop 6 Total              14
Vegetable Shop 5
Cosmetic Shop Female 1
Scent Shop 3
Manyari Shop 1 Machinery & Tools  
Slipper Shop 1 Tailoring Shop 33
Buchary Shop 1 Welding & Puncturing Shop 6
Chek Shop 3 Motor Bike For news paper Distribution 1
Dry Fruit Shop 1 Pressure Pump Boring Machinery 1
Female Cloth Shop 1 Ambridary Machine 2
Snuf Selling 3 Carpenter/Plumber 3
Fertilizer 1 Sanitary Shop 1
Flour Business 1 Electrical Shop 10
Petrol & Diesel 1 Mobile Shop 2
Stationery 1 Welding Shop 2
Total:            179 Total              61
Livestock   Transport Vehicles  
Livestock 499 Horse Cart 1
Rice Cart ( Haat Reri) 1
Riksha 1
Poultry   Donkey Cart 1
Poultry Farming 4 Total                  4
Poultry Form 1
Total                        5


Enterprise Development

CMDO during 2011-12 undertook Enterprise Skills Development Program for more than 750 youth in KPK, Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas. CMDO through this program imparted basic business development and management skills among these youth and facilitated them in establishing small business and earning a sustainable livelihood for themselves and their families. CMDO on the basis of its previous sustainable livelihood interventions and experiences is now working on the establishment of small to medium scale enterprises and social entrepreneurship in FATA and KPK. The initial target is to first establish a strong demonstration of enterprise development in its already intervened districts Bannu and Laki Marwat and later expand such experiences in other districts of KPK and FATA agencies.

CMDO in partnership with PPAF is presently doing foundation work on the establishment of 2 district level NyK Markaz (Nukri Ya Karobar), and establishment of 30 small/medium enterprises and 200 social entrepreneurships in the already intervened union councils of districts Bannu and Lakki Marwat. The priority beneficiaries from such interventions would be unemployed youth and marginalized women groups. CMDO is also aiming to streamline all such institutional and human development activities by establishing two districts level NyK Markaz in Bannu and Lakki Marwat. The NyK Markaz would undertake district specific action research on the identification of potential trade and livelihood enhancement options for local youth and poor women groups. The information gathered and analyzed would include district level labor market information system, mapping of public and private organization and youth beneficiaries’ information.

200 youth members from already intervened union councils in district Bannu and Lakki Marwat would be enterpriseregistered with NyK Markaz and assessed for their potential individual or collective business opportunities at local level. As per the need identification, capacity building trainings would be organized for the registered youth including their effective internship and placement for enhancing their technical skills in the selected business fields. The trained 200 youth members of NyK Markaz would be later facilitated in job placement at relevant sectors or in the establishment of their own enterprises and social entrepreneurships in their respective areas. The NyK Markaz would establish strong networking with district/regional level commerce/industrial associations and concerned local level public institutions.

CMDO is presently also working on the establishment of 30 enterprises in the selected 8 union councils of districts Bannu and Lakki Marwat. The target groups for the establishment of such enterprises would include registered youth with NyK Markaz and marginalized women groups in already intervened communities. Each enterprise would include a group of 5-25 persons who work together for establishing their business in agriculture, agro-forestry, food processing, livestock, embroidery, garment, handcrafts, masonry, carpentry, electrification, plumbing, and tailoring sectors. The project would provide technical and credit support to such identified groups in business planning and later the establishment of enterprises in their respective areas.

In order to bridge the gap of low level of public facilities and service delivery infrastructure in the selected 8 union councils in districts Bannu and Lakki Marwat, CMDO in coordination with its existing CO Network in these areas would work on the establishment of sub-village level 200 social entrepreneurships in health, education, water, sanitation, energy and community extension services sectors. The selected individual youth and women would get extensive capacity building training before the start of their small scale businesses in these development sectors. Approaches like participatory self-help development would be encouraged in the establishment of social entrepreneurships in the targeted areas. The soft term loans as per the requirements would also be provided for establishing such business in the targeted communities.

Community Livelihood Funds

In order to strengthen community level social capital in its sustainable livelihood program areas, CMDO is particularly working on the institutional capacity building of COs. CMDO besides facilitating in the provision of basic infrastructure for the establishment and running of COs is also working on the arrangement and provision of Livelihood grants and Community Livelihood Fund (CLF) to these community level institutions. (CLF) is used to provide a one-time grant to a CO that meets specified criteria. The transferred funds will then be received as a loan by the recipient CO members. All such steps are contributing in the sustainable functioning of COs, building sound financial management practices and promoting community savings and inter-community lending discipline.

Monitoring, Evaluation and Quality Assurance

CMDO through an effective evaluation and monitoring mechanism ensure the qualitative implementation of designed sustainable livelihood interventions. CMDO’s evaluation and monitoring mechanism includes regular field visits by efficient monitoring staff, regular collection of data regarding activities and its analysis, providing regular feedback to staff after their periodical performance appraisal, use of modern techniques like GIS (Geographical Information System) for tracking activities & beneficiaries, maintaining a complete profile of each beneficiaries that include information regarding him \ her as well as of family and developing a comprehensive data base.

Beneficiaries Tracking & Success Stories

CMDO Program staff has developed a continuous tracking system for the direct beneficiaries of livelihood program. The concerned project staffs keep updating all required information of beneficiaries and regularly feed into a data base. The information of each beneficiary and even of the village can be easily obtained from the data base. This system facilitates the staff and the third party in the monitoring and evaluation of program inputs and impacts. Moreover it also ensures transparency and accountability. CMDO staffs also undertake research activities to document successful case studies of individuals/groups/communities benefited under the livelihood program.

CMDO’s Future Livelihood Program

In order to expand and upscale its already demonstrated Sustainable Livelihood (SL) model, CMDO would design a 5-year based sustainable livelihood program for the intervened districts/agencies of FATA/KP. The sustainable livelihood program activities are mainly related to the enhancement of agriculture and livestock sectors and skill building and asset transfer to the vulnerable ultra poor and poor groups. In order to reduce food insecurity in FATA/KP, the program’s advocacy activities emphasis would be mainly on undertaking research work on policies, strategies, legislations in sustainable agriculture/food security sectors, capacity building of Farmers Associations/local communities/district departments, establishing food security funds/safety nets/food support programs, improving food storage, reducing food wastage, and establishing information sharing system on food security.

The priority action in Sustainable Livelihood program would mainly include replicating of CMDO’s Livelihood model to 1000 communities in the intervened districts/agencies of FATA/KP over a period of next 5-year. Other program actions would mainly include establishment of small to medium enterprises in the intervened communities. Another important recommended action under the program would be to advocate for the land rights of homeless and marginalized poor communities of FATA/KP and influence public policy making to grant them government land for housing and farming purposes. The activities concerning to social development of communities, rights based advocacy, and public interest litigation should also be incorporated under the program.