Community Driven Environmental Health Program in KP Province, Pakistan

International Rescue Committee in Pakistan

Project Description

The primary focus of this project was a process of community engagement, through Participatory Learning and Action (PLA). Village WASH Activists in each village worked with committees (separately male and female) through a curriculum to analyse their own village environment, prioritizing initiatives and identifying resources that can be applied to solutions.  The implementation of these solutions was then managed and monitored by the village themselves. More than 100,000 villagers saw benefits of improved environmental health conditions through the project. 

The project worked closely with government at various levels.  Through the project, government developed their own capabilities, and became more closely engaged in both the WASH conditions in the communities, and the activities of civil society actors.  The development of a Project Oversight Committee led over time to a long-term multi-agency coordination platform known as the Provincial Steering Committee.

The project demonstrated that providing women and girls with a space to meet together and discuss their own community issues and challenges can lead to greater empowerment and voice and involvement in decision-making. 

Finally, the project demonstrated that robust community structures – with support from other stakeholders – can take increased ownership of their community’s environmental health, even in areas stricken by conflict, natural disasters, displacement and poverty.

Project Location

The project was focused on rural communities in Mardan, Peshawar and Nowshera districts of the Khyber Pakhtunkwah region of Pakistan.

The areas are conservative in nature, with a strong tradition of Islam. They are dependent on agriculture for livelihoods. They are also vulnerable to flooding and earthquakes. Open defecation was very common at the outset of the project, especially among men and children; hygiene knowledge was poor. Water coverage was higher, but quality of water remains variable, and the pardah culture limits access to water sources further from the home, as well as limiting access of girls and women to services and education.

Project Posters

Download the International Rescue Committee's project poster presented at the Fund Learning and Reflection Event (FLARE) in August 2017 here.

Click here for International Rescue Committee's project poster presented at the 2016 South Asia Regional Learning Event.

Project specifics

Location Duration (MM/YY) Working with Key approach Website
Location South and West Asia: Pakistan Duration 01-12-2014 to 01-12-2014 Working with Regional and district governments Key approach Community-driven, environmental health programming Website