Community Based Livelihoods Recovery Project (CBLRP)

A joint initiative of four UN agencies including ILO, FAO, UNDP and UNIDO to promote community-based livelihoods.

Financial support for this project was jointly provided by European Commission (EC) and UNDP and funding was channeled through UNDP to other partners. The project activities were concentrated into the two severely affected sub-Districts, i.e., Balakot (District Mansehra) and Muzaffarbad (AJK).

Within the overall livelihoods recovery framework, ILO had a distinct role of rehashing “Non-Farm Sector” in the post-earthquake scenario – with particular focus on following two outputs:

  • 9,000 men and women trained in construction and other non-farm skills; and
  • 140 kilometers of rural link roads rehabilitated through labour-based technologies.

The project was successfully completed on April 15, 2009 by completing all its stipulated physical targets as mentioned below:




Needs assessment exercises & surveys (No.)



Skills trainings (persons)



Permanent skills development centres constructed and equipped (No.)



Employment information centres established (No.)



Microfinance clinics (No.)



Link roads rehabilitation (km)



Following are some of the significant achievements/outcomes of the project:

  • Skill culture: Previously in the two project areas, mostly people used to work as migrant workers but without having any formal skills. Balakot area had absolutely no facility for skills development. CBLRP was successful in creating a “Skill Culture” by introducing more than 50 innovative skills trades where people now vie for skills to have better jobs – at home as well as in foreign job markets;
  • Permanent facility for skills training: The project has left behind two permanent training centers established in Government fold to continuously impart trainings and produce skilled workforce for the job-market;
  • Locally grown skills providers: The project has established a good number of locally grown skill providers (local NGOs) whose capacity was built in imparting quality skills relating to market needs. These skills providers would continue to impart market-based trainings – even after the completion of this project;
  • Post-training facilitation / counseling culture: The two permanent Employment Information Centres have set a new trend of providing post-training facilitation/counseling to the skilled/semi-skilled workers and would continue to facilitate them in identifying decent job opportunities in local as well as foreign job-markets;
  • Stabilization of labour market: With the infusion of more than 9,000 skilled men and women, the labour market – particularly that in construction sector – was stabilized. Previously, skilled construction workers used to charge three-times higher than their original wages due to shortage in the market. However, this has been controlled and now most of the poor people are able to carry out such activities by themselves;
  • Replication: Seeing the advantages of skills and the enthusiasm of local people for skills, more than 10 new training centres have been established by the private sector in Balakot, Muzaffarabad and adjoining areas. The EICs are also going to be replicated in all districts of NWFP by the Government of NWFP;
  • Local economic development through tourism: The project established a strong-footed local economic development association titled “Tourism Promotion Association of Kaghan Valley (T-PAK)” with a primary mandate to promote local employment opportunities by harnessing local tourism potential of the area; and
  • Adoption of labour-based techniques: Having seen the dividends of labour-based technologies for local livelihoods, most of the community-based infrastructure works are now done through extensive use of human resources and less use of machines. The Government of AJK – through a World Bank-funded Project (Earthquake Additional Financing Project – EAFP) – has formally adopted Community-Contracting mode for reconstruction of 59 Schools in exactly the same manner as was done by CBLR Project in rural roads rehabilitation.

The project has earned accolades from the Government, donors, ILO social partners and other UN agencies.