by Zulfiqar Ali Khan
Gilgit, August 26: The ”‘LSO Convention 2008’ organized by Aga Khan Rural Support Program (AKRSP) has been started at Musharraf hall, Karakoram International University, Gilgit. The convention is scheduled from August 26-28, participated by delegates from different LSOs from Northern Areas and Chitral.
The main objective of this convention is to share experiences, lessons and ideas about strengthening the local support organizations (LSOs), and discuss and develop strategies and actions to institutionalize LSOs as localized democratic institutions of the people, by the people, and for the people.
AKRSP since 1982 has been fostering Village and Women Organizations (V/WOs) as informal institutional arrangements at village levels that served as receiving mechanisms for delivery of public services and creating human, social and material capitals through government, private and civil society support channels. These V/WOs promoted the values of self-reliance, accountability, efficiency and effectiveness using social mobilization, skill development, micro-infrastructure development and micro- savings/lending as key instruments. This approach has been widely replicated in Pakistan and globally.
For the last two years, in order to enable the V/WOs to professionalize their informal voluntary actions into a formal, professional organization and to strengthen and consolidate these basic social units of the civil society democratic initiative, AKRSP is supporting the V/WOs to form a second tier, formal, hybrid organizations known as Local Support Organization (LSO). So far around 38 such LSO are supported in the AKRSP Programme Area.
The Convention brings together delegates from all LSOs and LSO partners from the government, civil society and private sectors.
Further details are available at www.lsoconvention.org