Mainstreaming the Marginalized
Established in 1999 as a nongovernmental organization, Indus Resource Centre (IRC) has come a long way to become a key player in providing sustainable and replicable models for integrated social and economic development in Sindh, Pakistan. IRC believes in equality of human beings; opportunity for all; human potential; dignity of labour and judicious use of resources. It has grown from a volunteer based small initiative to an effective organization with over 900+ employees in 2014. IRC has also increased its geographic outreach from its field operations in Khairpur and Dadu in 2000 to a total of 9 districts in Sindh by 2014, as evident from the map below. However, the major transformation has been in the thematic areas and special projects, so from an initial focus on girls education and capacity buildings of Community Based Organisations (CBOs) to current four thematic areas which includes: Governance, Democracy and Human Rights; Education and Literacy (where primary focus still remains on girls education); Sustainable Livelihoods; and Disaster Preparedness and Response with cross cutting themes of environmental sensitivity, respect for human rights and gender equality. Under these four pillars, IRC strives to achieve the following 4 of the 7 Millennium Development Goals (MDG):
Since inception, IRC has retained focus on Sindh, recognising that an integrated and holistic approach was necessary if sustainable positive changes were to be achieved. IRC has developed its programmes so they are linked with each other and are implemented within the same geographic areas and communities. Lessons learned from the field experience are fed into advocacy and policy dialogue.
The model used by IRC addresses issues of poverty and marginalisation by directly working with the communities. To support the program activities, IRC has over time developed effective organization management systems such as On-line Accounting System, Monitoring and Evaluation, Human Resource Management, Procurement and Administrative Systems. Strategies, policies, manuals and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are available to guide the staff and bring uniformity in functioning of all offices.IRC has been certified by PCP ( Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy) and has been awarded the NPO Certification Award. Special projects and consulting assignments mainly in education are run from the Head office, while other offices manage their respective projects. Sales outlets for IRC arts and crafts centre, Khazana, are operative in Khairpur, Kotdiji and Zamzama Mall, Karachi.