Doing Development in Armed Conflict Zones: The Practitioners’ Voices from Balochistan
Author: Muhammad Shakeel Khan

After Second World War, the mode of armed conflicts shifted from inter-state to intra-state. All over world, internal battles have created challenges in the field for development agencies. The Balochistan, one of conflicted affected provinces of Pakistan is facing different forms of conflicts since seventy years and these conflicts are hurdles in socio-economic development of the province. Further, development practitioners are facing different challenges in the implementation of development projects in conflict zones of Balochistan. This research focuses on voices of development practitioners in implementation of development projects in conflict zones of Balochistan. The objectives of research are; first, to investigate that nature of project determines sensitivity of conflict, second, challenges faced by development practitioners in conflict zones of Balochistan for implementation of development projects and third, strategies adopted for implementation of development projects in conflict zones to overcome challenges. For conducting this research, qualitative case-study approach is used and the study is descriptive in nature. Four cases are selected for doing this study; two social sector projects are polio campaign in Balochistan focusing on districts of Quetta, Pishin, Killa-Abudllah and Khuzdar, and Balochistan Education Support Project (BEP) with selection of districts of Quetta, Khuzdar and Awaran. The remaining two infrastructure projects are Refugee Affected & Hosting Areas Project (RAHA) focusing on districts of Quetta and Chagai, and construction of Turbat- Buleda Road with concentration on Kech district. The tools used for data collection are structured observations and in-depth interviews. Moreover, for this research, purposive sampling is used along with sample size of forty with bifurcation of ten for each case. The results of four cases show that development practitioners face challenges in implementation of development projects and they use some strategies to deal with those challenges. Major challenges include dominancy of local customs and religious thoughts, security problems and lack of skilled labour for implementation of development projects in conflict zones of Balochistan. The main strategies applied for implementation of development projects are community based development, engagement with powerful actors, local approach and out of box solutions. Furthermore, from findings it is evaluated that social and infrastructure sector projectsvii are source of conflict in religiously dominated Pashtun and ethnically dominated Baloch areas of Balochistan respectively. Keeping in view findings of research, it is recommended that development practitioners should consider the environment before implementation of development projects. Moreover, for successful implementation of development projects, development practitioners may implement those schemes which are based on genuine needs of community called community based development. Secondly, they should adapt local approach for implementation of development projects because it makes tasks easy. Lastly, for doing development, development practitioners may use innovative methods because traditional methods do not give desired results. Supervisor:- Dr. Junaid Alam Memon

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Keywords : Balochistan, Conflict., Development, Project.
Supervisor: Junaid Alam Memon

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