Human Resource Development, broadly defined as increasing people’s knowledge, awareness and skills, plays a significant role in the development of individuals and families. Many of the rural poor lack marketable skills, which severely limits their opportunities for earning. On a wide scale HRD can improve socio-economic outcomes for families and entire villages. This is especially beneficial for men and women who do not have high levels of formal education and/or are operating micro-enterprises to support their families.
NRSP’s HRD Department was established in 1992 and in 2001 was transformed into the NRSP Institute of Rural Management (NRSP-IRM). For 20 years the IRM has met the training needs of NRSP staff and community members. It also met the training needs of other NGOs in Pakistan’s development sector. In 2010 IRM was registered as a separate entity under Section 42 of the Companies Ordinance, although its staff continue to provide staff training services for NRSP.
The IRM and NRSP-HRD sections link community members with Government-run training Institutes, donors, industries and research institutes. We also work with the Faculties of Training Institutes to bring their programmes into line with current employment requirements.
At NRSP we have seen broad scale changes happen in every sector in the last two decades, as a result of comprehensive HRD programmes. This is the case in subjects as varied as Health and Education, Micro Finance, Sanitation, Reproductive Health, Agriculture and Livestock and Physical Infrastructure. Our awareness raising courses have focused on numerous aspects of human rights, new protective legislation, including that for women and children and for people with disabilities, and human rights and violence. NRSP also engages in awareness raising activities to support, for example, reproductive health and vaccination initiatives.
Our skilled staff also teach men and women up-to-date methods of enhancing farming practices and raising livestock, as well as linking farm households with Government Extension workers. 57,609 people have utilised this opportunity since NRSP’s inception.
The acquisition of new skills and knowledge is fundamental to HRD. This process can help people find a job, establish or expand a business and improve their access to Government’s services. 37,342 people have taken our Enterprise Development training and more than 162,539 have participated in either a Vocational or Occupational training course. Job skill focussed courses taken through NRSP include the provision of training kits and support through market linkages and/or contacts with potential employers, suppliers or vendors.
HRD also provides vital inputs for the COs, VOs and LSO formed with NRSP guidance. Over 200,000 LSO and VO Activists have attended workshops conducted by IRM and NRSP. Over 134,000 members of COs, VOs and LSOs have attended courses in the Community Management Training programme. We have also trained over 3,000 School Council members in aspects of community-based school management.
Large scale projects require HRD input in order to ensure that staff properly understand concepts and procedures: a prime example is the training for over 5,000 staff who implemented the Benazir Income Support Programme survey.
Under the PPAF-funded Livelihood Enhancement Project, members of 2,072 Village Organisations were trained in managerial skills and 1,297 people have undertaken training on procurement processes. LSO members have also received training in financial management, procurement and HR management as part of the USAID-funded Assessment and Strengthening Programme.
During disaster responses, community members are in need of awareness on health, hygiene and sanitation as well as social protection. NRSP workshops for disaster relief have helped close to 70,000 men, women and children in these situations.