The Orangi Pilot Project (OPP) was established by the renowned Pakistani social scientist Akhtar Hameed Khan in the informal settlement of Orangi, Karachi, in 1980. The objective of the Project was to build models of participatory development that could overcome the problems faced by conventional development programmes in dealing with informal settlements and poverty related issues. Among other things, the Project worked at establishing producer and consumer cooperatives. These attempts slowly evolved into a Micro-credit programme, the first of its kind in Pakistan. Although this programme was originally limited to Orangi, through the OPP’s Charitable Trust (OCT), it soon moved to supporting NGOs and CBOs in the rural and urban areas of Pakistan in the operation of their own micro-credit programmes, aimed at small farmers, businessmen and rural women. This support consists of providing training-by-doing to local people in account keeping, market research, credit appraisal and issues related to defaults, for creating client associations that involve themselves in development and socio-political related affairs of their areas.
This book describes the evolution of the OCT programme, its current vision, unconventional methodology, the leadership of the OCT partners and the conditions that have produced it, and issues related to the programme’s management and sustainability. The book also describes the impact of the programme on human resource development and women, and changes in power relations between producers and market operators, and between different classes in the areas where the programme is operative.