II. Organization and Objectives of the Project

In 1959, the Pakistan Academy for Rural Development, Comilla, was founded as a Government Research and Training Institute at which civil servants were to be taught about the socioeconomic conditions of rural areas and about programmes for introducing social change. It is a semiautonomous institution under a board of governors consisting of high ranking government officers. The capital and recurrent costs are covered by the Government and some grants in aid.

The director and the members of the faculty are government employees. After initial studies of the area, the Academy launched a number of action programmes of Pilot projects in different fields such as rural development, cooperatives, agricultural technology, local government, work programmes, etc. In 1960, the Government turned over to the Academy the Kotwali Thana as "experimental laboratory" to develop and Lest patterns and Procedures which might be suitable for developing East Pakistan's agriculture.

Initial studies and experiences of the staff helped to define in detail the tasks of the Academy:

a) In order to improve the living of the Population, the Primary need is to increase the productivity of the land by more intensive cultivation.

b) This requires an infrastructure of roads, flood control, irrigation and drainage.

c) To introduce more intensive cultivations in order to improve the living conditions of Farmers, new institutions to satisfy the economic, administrative and training needs of the population are required.

d) In order to make use of the underemployed labour potential, a suitable works programme is necessary to develop infrastructure and supply additional work and income.

By trial and error rather than preplanning, the Academy developed a comprehensive approach to rural development which seems well adapted to the local circumstances and which did not only prove to be of benefit to the Population but aroused the interest of social scientists from all over the world. In retrospective, this approach can be summarized as follows.