Feature Stories



PPAF Community-Driven Development (CDD) Procurement Model, Pakistan




{This article is an abridged version of the submission on “PPAF CDD Procurement Model” made by Mr. Abdul Rehman, General Manager (Procurement), Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), for the South Asia Procurement Innovation Awards.}


In response to rising poverty, Government of Pakistan, with World Bank support, established an Apex institution, the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), to serve as a specialized funding institution that guides poverty reduction through civil society organizations. It operates as an independent entity to identify and develop civil society organizations, and funds them for specific interventions, leading to socio-economic development.

At present, with 134 Partner Organizations, PPAF is working with Community Organizations present in 100,000 villages and 130 districts of Pakistan. With 70% of the funding spent on procurement, the engagement of Community Institutions (CIs) in procurement process has enhanced the livelihood of people.


The interventions of PPAF are by and large in far-flung areas, where basic necessities of life are scarcely available. Initially, the Procurement Unit of PPAF did not have resources to design and deliver customized training programs on Financial Management, Record Keeping, and Community Procurement and Asset Management to over the then 1,200 Community Institutions (CIs). Responding to the situation, PPAF prepared “CDD Procurement Guidelines” in the local language Urdu, and presented all relevant procurement formats by way of animated films and pictorial booklets, so that they could be understood easily.

Around 70-80% of funding by PPAF is centered on procurement of assets to enhance livelihood options, schools and the community’s physical infrastructure schemes. Over time, there has emerged a shared understanding of accepting community-level procurement as a strategic underpinning to development.

Challenges Addressed

The Community Institutions (CIs) that the PPAF involved initially lacked expertise of managing financial and procurement activities, and thus needed capacity building to make them self-sufficient. CIs were hence brought under the supervision of Partner Organizations (POs), with PPAF as the apex body. Together with the other relevant members from PPAF and Task teams, processes were developed that met the objectives of participation, efficiency and cost-effectiveness, quality of goods and services, and transparency. Such departure from a standoffish procurement support to a participative one at community level paid dividends. Help also came by way of Community Resource Persons (CRPs) to build local capacities. Over 4,000 CRPs (both male and female) were trained to further train members of Community Institutions.

In case of Community Procurement, goods are generally manufactured at local level. Resorting to competitive procurement methods proved counterproductive to principles of procurement. The PPAF thus developed a Community Procurement Manual in local language, with animated films and pictorial booklets for easy understanding of the CIs and local communities. The manual provides solutions to overcome difficulties while carrying out different types of local procurement. It also provides different formats pertaining to procurement and suggests how community can procure goods in case of non-availability of verifiable quotations, goods, and vendors.

Innovations in the Solution

Animated movies have been prepared on Community-Driven Development (CDD), covering the core concept of CDD, formation of CRPs, how to develop Union Council Development Program (UCDP), Financial management, Procurement process, Record keeping, and Capacity building. The animations pertain to the procurement process, informing how to initiate the procurement process; how to prepare the procurement plan, and why it is important to prepare the plan before initiation of any procurement process. It highlights how to establish procurement committees and what should be their composition.

Similar pictorial booklets have also been prepared and disseminated among community members, which have become hands-on source of learning at any time and any place. To fortify the outcome, a similar mobile application will soon be developed and launched for community members.

Impact Generated


The Procurement Unit (PU) of PPAF intended to mainstream communities into the process, so as to reduce their dependency on social intermediaries. Turning this into a reality required that communities had a sound and sustainable financial, procurement and administrative systems. PPAF strategized procurement function in a way that empowered community organizations, i.e LSOs (Local Support Organizations, VOs (Village Organisations) and COs (Community Organizations). These were involved right from selection of assets to be procured till their handing over to the beneficiaries. Such empowerment has changed their lives and, now, they have become the custodians of the process, which has also given them a sense of ownership.

Further, the engagement of Community Institutions (CIs) in procurement process has enhanced the livelihood of people. Now, the livestock procured by beneficiaries themselves, with support of the procurement committee, is better in terms of health and breed than the ones they were handed over without their involvement. Healthier animals enhance income of the household and ultimately boost the economy of the area. The CIs are now working as proper institutes and are transparent in their approach. Goods and services are being procured more economically and efficiently. Women have been made part of the Community Procurement process by including them in procurement committees for the first time, which was almost impossible in far-flung and remote areas of the country. Involvement of women in decision making has also considerably enhanced the overall productivity.


Scalability and Sustainability

The PPAF is the pioneer of Community-Driven Development (CDD) approach in Pakistan. Earlier, there was no such concept in the country, though such models have been in place in neighboring countries, India and Bangladesh, where they are operating successfully. Pakistan’s implementation of Community-Driven Development model is highly replicable as marginal communities throughout the world have almost similar problems that the communities are facing in Pakistan. They are illiterate, non-technical and reside in far-flung areas. Lack of capacity is their major problem. Their requirements are also the same as those in Pakistan i.e. education, food, hygiene, physical infrastructure schemes etc. The innovative idea of training Community Resource Persons (CRPs) to further train communities would help a lot to prepare them to get ready for the driving seat. The manual, animation, and pictorial booklet would be the best approach for other organizations to implement Pakistan’s CDD model successfully

Lessons Learned

The building of local capacities by training young people as Community Resource Persons (CRPs) has been a successful strategy to engage youth and create a network of development activists at the community level. PPAF has developed an innovative approach for the ultra-poor, which has successfully helped increase income and expand the livelihood opportunities of the poor in a more effective and efficient manner through provision of productive assets and income-enhancing vocational and technical training opportunities.

An impact study on LEED (Livelihood Employment and Enterprise Development) beneficiaries in Kharan, a remote district in Balochistan, reports high degree of satisfaction with assets and training, and pulling out of around 54 percent of households out of the ultra-poor and vulnerable categories. Eighty percent of beneficiaries expressed a high degree of satisfaction with the asset transferred to them and reported utilizing it for income generation and positive effect on their household income.