Aga Khan Rural Support Programme
The Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) was founded in the early 1980s in what is now Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. Created by the Aga Khan Foundation, it worked on agricultural productivity, natural resource management, small-scale infrastructure and forestation. Its purpose was to improve agricultural productivity and raise incomes in a very poor, remote and mountainous part of Pakistan. Over the years, it was able to refine a number of best practices, among them a bottom up approach that began with the prioritization of development needs by villagers themselves rather than foreign bureaucrats. The first GM of AKRSP was Shoaib Sultan Khan who later on founded several Rural Support Programmes in different geographical locations of Pakistan and similar initiatives in several South Asian Countries such as India, Bangladesh, and others.
Today, the AKRSPs, as they are known, have grown in size and number. They now operate in 11 countries: Afghanistan, India, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Pakistan, Syria, Tajikistan and Tanzania.