The aim of the actions of OSDI is to empower people of rural communities to improve their quality of life, which translates into families being secure in terms of their food and nutritional intake, health conditions and their ability to guarantee the opportunities of the next generation as well as building a steady safety net to protect their assets.

Throughout the interventions of OSDI, the aim is to improve the income of households and support them to create and retain assets, to foster financial capability in order to sustain themselves out of poverty. During the Livelihood Assistance Programme (LAP), farmers are guided to more profitable agricultural practices, livestock development is introduced to the focus families, and community members are empowered to avail better opportunities to earn non-farm income. In addition to supporting households to increase their income, OSDI also facilitates their access to basic services: affordable health care, education, clean water and sanitation, all of which are the elements of the Community Development Program.

Achieving sustainable income is a factor that helps the households to break out from the cycle of poverty. The farmers are guided to invest their increased income wisely, in order to create a multiple layer of protection. Throughout the LAP, the participants are guided to invest the increased income in productive assets.

Having food reserves and livestock animals will guarantee that the focus families have food security as well as some assets they can turn into cash if needed. Furthermore, the next step should be insuring the assets. Crop insurance will cover the occasional losses of crops due to unpredictable weather conditions, such as flood or drought and pest infestations. Livestock insurance will protect the asset in the case of sickness or death of the animals. Health insurance will guarantee an opportunity to use good quality health care services. With these multiple layers of protection, households are prepared to cope with external shocks. It takes time to build such a multilayered system, but once the foundation is built it helps the households to overcome socio-economic shocks without falling back in poverty.

The role of the Community Development Program is to support the well-being of the community members by facilitating services such as healthcare, clean water and basic education. This program also has a role in improving the income of the focus families, as the aim is to make services more affordable and sustainable. To make them work, initiatives such as involving the community in the school management and supporting the system until the families are ready to contribute enough for the education of their children, are undertaken. There are different ways to ensure the sustainability of the services, and the strategy should be defined based on the situation of the community.

Follow OSDI_pk on Twitter