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UNDP Pakistan in collaboration with IBA

UNDP Pakistan in collaboration with IBA

UNDP Pakistan in collaboration with IBA
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United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pakistan, in collaboration with the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi has initiated a pilot study on urban resilience for Karachi’s informal communities of Azam Basti and Rehri Goth.

The project seeks to strengthen the inclusion and resilience of migrants, displaced people and host communities in informal urban settlements across four dimensions: livelihoods, participatory urban planning and development, social cohesion, and climate change adaptation.

As part of this study, a Challenge Cup was held in Karachi to identify innovative community solutions to urban resilience challenges. This Challenge Cup – the second of two in a series followed a competition-based process with the participation of the residents of Rehri Goth and Azam Basti.

The themes aligned with the competition were Water Sanitation, Education, Women Employment and Livelihood, Environment, and Basic Amenities and Services. The adjudication panel included Mr. Umer Malik, Policy Analyst of UNDP, Mr. Azfar Hussain, Program Manager of National Incubation Centre (NIC)Karachi, Ms. Saman Jafri, former MNA and social activist and Ms. Hira Malik, consultant for Meta and program manager for FEMPROW.

The panel addressed the implications confronting Karachi’s informal settlements and how they may be addressed through community ownership and active participation of all relevant stakeholders.

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A day prior to the event, a rigorous boot camp was also conducted to refine the ideas and model them with reference to sustainability, social impact, inclusion, and community initiatives. Mentors were invited to aid this, and included Mr. Adeil Durvesh, CEO ParhaoSabaq and Learningbite; Ms. Hira Wajahat, Stimulus; Ms. Huma Jabeen, Educationist; and Mr. Sadeed Mirza, Trainer and Coach, Social Enterprises.

Ms. Ammara Durrani, Assistant Resident Representative and Chief Development Policy Unit UNDP Pakistan in her address to the audience emphasized the importance of innovation and co-creation in bolstering urban resilience in Pakistan.

Dr. Akbar Zaidi, Executive Director (ED) IBA Karachi and Lead Investigator of the UNDP-IBA research study, highlighted the role of data-driven approaches in development studies and policy initiatives and the important role played by academic institutions to achieve the same. Mr. Ghulam Mohiuddin Asim, Program Director, Sindh SDGs Unit by the Government of Sindh, appreciated the collaboration of UNDP, IBA and the Government of Sindh on this project.

He was particularly impressed by the community eagerness to do well for their neighborhoods and their willingness to spend personal time and energy in improving their surroundings.

Osama Izhar, MD Concepts Unlimited, highlighted the importance of such activities for uplifting of society where communities come together and provide feasible solutions to their problems. It shows the proactiveness of the residents of Azam Basti and Rerhi Goth, who are willing to go an extra mile to benefit their communities by implementing sustainable projects in their respective areas for the growth and prosperity of their future generations.

The themes for the first and second Challenge Cup were informed by research work carried out by IBA Karachi and UNDP Pakistan in the informal settlements of Rehri Goth and Azam Basti.

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This challenge Cup will prove itself pivotal towards enhancing the quality of life in these settlements. This would specifically contribute towards developing social cohesion, economic independence and urban resilience in some of Karachi’s most deserving informal communities with the aim to shape the way forward for future interventions.

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