Inclusive Growth for Sustainable Development
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..: Profile

Sustainable Resource Foundation (SuRF) had been conducting sporadic forays into social development since 1990 before it was formally transformed into a consulting organisation in December 1997. An NGO, under SuRF title, was registered under the Societies Act 1860 in December 2001 in Islamabad, Pakistan and has the mandate to work in diverse development sectors nationwide.

This transition followed after its current President decided to pool expertise of a group of professionals. Almost all the professionals of this talent pool had, at one time or the other, worked with social development in joint donor-funded and Government of Pakistan (GoP) projects ranging from sexual and reproductive health (SRH) to HIV and AIDS, STIs, nutrition, primary health care (PHC), child survival interventions, breastfeeding promotion, expanded program on immunisation, and participatory community development, energy and environment and many other aspects of development.

In most of the cases, we found out that:

  • There was a need to create harmony and understanding between the donor community and the local organisations in order to garner equitable and sustainable social development strategy;
  • The GoP officials and the donor representatives needed to be closer than they were in identifying, developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating various strategies aimed at capacity building and institutional strengthening;
  • A certain kind of "project mentality" existed on the projects. This "inclination" exhibited itself through a short-term interest in project activities, creating landmarks rather than do necessary follow-ups to ensure sustainability;
  • With both GoP and donors, sustainability had yet to considerably travel from the ad hoc "when the project is about to end, find another donor" position to one which really reflects the ground realities at home;
  • There was very little interaction between the GoP, donors, civil society, and the private sector as the focus was more on "duration of the project" rather than its impact; and
  • There was a dire need for developing, nurturing and promoting a public private partnership (PPP) to foster social development as development is neither an individual effort nor is it possible without participatory mechanisms aiming at involve-all-stakeholders approach.