In April 2008 ICMC initiated a two-year project: Promotion of Access to Services and Protection for Vulnerable People in Northern Pakistan. Its design was shaped by the findings of an updated needs assessment conducted by ICMC in December 2007. The project builds on the relief assistance provided by ICMC following the 2005 earthquake that wreaked havoc in parts of Azad Jammu & Kashmir and in the North West Frontier Province in Pakistan.
The project seeks to support communities to better engage with the state, especially at local government level, on development priorities that are also sensitive to the needs of most vulnerable individuals. It's three objectives relate to supporting planning processes at village and union council levels; enhancing livelihood security; and, increasing an understanding and protection of rights. It also seeks to improve linkages between local rural communities and public and private organizations. The project's overarching focus is on the extremely vulnerable, including women.
The project is implemented by ICMC in collaboration with two project partners: Sarhad Rural Support Programme reaching 20 villages of six union councils in District Mansehra of NWFP;
and, Strengthening Participatory Organizations reaching 20 villages of seven union councils in District Muzaffarabad in Azad Jammu & Kashmir.
In June 2009, ICMC commissioned a field-based gender review of its project. The review used a mix of tools/methods including documentation review, field visits and interviews of
project participants within communities and with project partners.
According to the review, the project shows significant achievements within the short timeframe of 14 months since its inception in April 2008. It has brought together the unique strengths of ICMC and its project partners in a mutually supportive partnership. The strong roots and credibility of project partners within communities included in the project area
and their institutional strengths in working with them has benefited the project. ICMC has helped the project and its partners in institutionalizing a focus on the extremely vulnerable including women.