I. Disaster Recovery: Earthquake-Displaced People Livelihood Restoration Program (Pakistan)

Project Name:Earthquake-Displaced People Livelihood Restoration Program (ADB) Country:Pakistan Sector(s):Disaster

Implementing Organizations:
Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA)

Funding Partners:
ADB, Government of Pakistan, other funding partners

Budget (US$):
Total Costs (2007): 1,142 million

ADB: 416 million (2007)

World Bank: 400 million (2007) plus 300 million (2009)

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD): 26.4 million (2006)

Others: 209 million (Bilateral agencies)

Government of Pakistan: 177 million

Some of the funds were pooled, some were managed as parallel financing, others as co-financing.

ADB (2007–2008);World Bank (2006–2010);IFAD (2005–2011)

Project Objectives:
(Source: ADB 2007b;World Bank 2011c)

  • To support the efforts of the Government of Pakistan to (1) reduce the immediate suffering resulting from the effects of the earthquake and restore livelihood destroyed by the earthquake;(2) restore basic services to the affected population and rebuild public infrastructure;and (3) start the recovery and reconstruction process (World Bank)
  • To finance the reconstruction of seismically compliant houses (ADB)
  • Help build the capacities of the ERRA and other related institutions in seismic training, financial and strategic management, and environmental and social protection to support ADB’s reconstruction and rehabilitation program.

Notable Gender-Related Activities and Processes:

  • Female-headed households (widows, divorcees, separated, or single) identified amongst vulnerable target groups eligibility criteria, in particular for the Housing Reconstruction program activities (ADB) and Livelihood Cash Grant Program ($85 million for the World Bank)
  • Gender-equality was at the core of the capacity building program (ADB)
  • A comprehensive Gender and Vulnerability Action Plan (GVAP) was included in the ADB project preparation documents and its implementation was covenanted in the loan agreement
  • The World Bank and IFAD project documents did not have a similar GVAP, but female-headed households were identified among the most vulnerable groups targeted for the Housing Reconstruction program and the Livelihood Support Cash Grants
  • Implementation agency-ERRA and ADB staff were mandated to report quarterly on GVAP implementation progress
  • Gender-sensitivity training was conducted for ERRA, volunteers, NGOs, and other local implementation agencies included in project design
  • Vulnerable groups, including women, were to receive priority assistance to acquire land rights and house ownership
  • Completion surveys and workshops addressed some of the projects’benefits to female-headed households.

Notable Gender-Related Results:

  • Training in Disaster Rehabilitation and Reconstruction
    (DRR): Of the 720,000 people trained, 200,000 women were included through 27 partner organizations in 232 union councils. Women represented 30 percent against a target of 50 percent.
  • Housing
    : Over 55,000 houses (16 percent), of the 319,304 reconstructed, are owned by female-headed households;7 percent in KP and 11 percent in AJK.
    Access to housing
    : 233,344 households, or 52 percent of the total, were the identified vulnerable population (elderly, disabled, orphans, female-headed households), of which 96,581 are the latter. The Rural Landless Program provided 5 marlas (125 yd
    ) of land to 12,311 landless households, 10 percent of which were female-headed households.
  • Over 200 new
    rural model houses
    were built by partner organizations for extremely vulnerable women.
  • Skills training
    : Over 200,000 (27 percent) women participated, against the original target of 50 percent. Skills included seismic building techniques, financial management, M&E, protection of vulnerablegroups, and environmental and social safeguards.
  •  Against the GVAP goals of 10 percent women in senior management positions (at all levels) in ERRA and 20 percent in technical positions at ERRA, State Earthquake Reconstruction, and Rehabilitation Agency, and Provisional Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Agency achievements have been 1 percent and 10 percent, respectively (20 percent in Provisional Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation in June 2010, 8 percent a year later). In ERRA, only the gender advisor and media advisor are women. In ERRA a
    Gender Working Group
    was formed, composed of program managers from all sectors, who met regularly to discuss and resolve issues regarding gender-issue integration and mainstreaming.
  • Representation in Village Reconstruction Committees (VRCs)
    : Against a 50/50 target, of the 5,595 VRCs formed, 22 percent were for women only and nearly 7 percent were mixed, with men and women equally represented. The rest were all male.
  • Representation of women in social mobilization teams
     for community outreach: Thirty percent achieved against a target of 50 percent.
  • National Identity cards
    (needed for property rights and entitlement to benefits): Over 9,000 National Identity Cards (CNICs) were issued. Of those who registered at the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) mobile van for CNICs, 33 percent were females. The Authority also appointed 13 female lawyers to help the women. CNIC requests accounted for 63 percent of the cases documented by the legal assistance centers.
  • Medical rehabilitation program
    : 56 community rehabilitation workers, including 19 women, have been trained. The program has reached 35,553 beneficiaries, of which 40 percent were women.
  • Women development centers (WDCs) and social welfare centers (SWCs)
    : Eight WDCs were built in the earthquake-hit areas. Of these, one WDC and one SWC were operational (June 2010) and had provided services to 1,000 women;the SWC has provided services to 800 women. The SWC has been offering training in a number of marketable skills (e.g., knitting, sewing, embroidery, small rug making, block printing, graphic arts).


Asian Development Bank. 2004a. Disaster and emergency assistance policy. ADB, Manila, the Philippines.

———. 2007b. Report and recommendations of the President. Proposed loan and Pakistan Earthquake Fund technical assistance Grant. Islamic Republic of Pakistan: Earthquake-displaced people livelihood restoration program. ADB, Manila, the Philippines.

Asian Development Bank and World Bank. 2005. Pakistan 2005 earthquake: Preliminary damage and needs assessment. November. ADB and World Bank, Islamabad, Pakistan.

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). 2011. Islamic Republic of Pakistan: Restoration of earthquake affected communities and households (REACH). Project Completion Report Validation. IFAD, Rome.

World Bank. 2011c. Pakistan – Earthquake emergency recovery credit project. World Bank, Washington, DC.

World Bank. 2012a. Implementation completion report (ICR) review- Pk: Pakistan earthquake Erc. World Bank/Independent Evaluation Group, Washington, DC.

ERRA Deputy Chairman.
Maj Gen Muhammad Azeem Asif HI(M).

1. Introduction

The October 2005 earthquake that struck Pakistan was devastating, killing almost 80,000, destroying over 600,000 homes, and leaving 2.8 million[55]
without shelter and 2.3 million without adequate food. Almost 18 months after the disaster, about 30,000 people were still living in tents and 3.5 million more were living in temporary or semi-permanent shelters. In 2007, there was fear of another earthquake. Given the harshness of the preceding two winters, the government was determined to complete housing reconstruction by May 2008.

The first loans and grants from the international community for the EEA Project were approved in 2005 and targeted the reconstruction in several infrastructure sectors, including power, roads, health, and education. The Earthquake-Displaced People Livelihood Restoration Program was the second loan of the ADB for earthquake reconstruction and rehabilitation in Pakistan following the devastation caused by the October 2005 earthquake. The World Bank made a first loan in 2005, and a supplemental loan in 2009. IFAD became a co-financier in 2006. There were several other major partners (UNDP, WHO, UNICEF, and bilateral agencies).

Besides reconstructing housing, the program was to strengthen the capacity of agencies, skilled workers, and households in seismically compliant reconstruction design and standards. Shortly after the earthquake, the World Bank and the ADB undertook a joint impact and vulnerability assessment. Female-headed households (widows, wives of disabled husbands, divorcees, separated, single, orphans) were amongst the most vulnerable groups. The reconstruction and livelihood restoration program maintained a strong gender focus throughout design and implementation.

2. Summary of Program

General description of proposal preparation
(Source: ADB 2007b).

  • Shelter and livelihood were the two most pressing needs
  • The ADB staff team included a social development specialist and a safeguard specialist
  • A tight deadline for completing housing reconstruction was set (May 2008)
  • An owner-driven implementation approach was to be followed, where money was to be provided to a large number of individual households which would procure needed materials and build their own houses based on the seismically compliant housing designs provided by ERRA.
  • Restoration of livelihoods
    : The reconstruction of housing and infrastructure was also expected to create many jobs for skilled workers in the construction industry. Owing to the increased demand, the region was facing a shortage of such skilled workers.
  • The ADB provided financing through a technical assistant project to provide additional support for all the institutions related to the earthquake Rehabilitation and Reconstruction program in key areas. This support included (1) community-based training on seismic standards and construction monitoring techniques, (2) financial and strategic management, and (3) environmental and social protection (emphasizing gender and vulnerability aspects of social protection). Special attention was paid to capacity building at the state, provincial, and district levels.
  • An independent firm was used to carry out monitoring and data collection and another independent firm used to conduct annual evaluation of the program.

Gender integration during project design/formulation and proposal preparation

  • Lessons were learned from previous experience in disaster reconstruction programs, in particular the need for strong community participation, consultations with affected populations, and due attention to gender issues and the needs of the most vulnerable.
  • On-the-ground investigations confirmed that the earthquake has shifted gender roles of women and men in the earthquake-affected areas. Owing to the loss of male partners, some of the women’s responsibilities had increased, having to assume the additional burden of caring for orphaned children and persons with disabilities, while also emerging as heads of households (23 and 31 percent, respectively, in the two major zones affected by the earthquake). This new reality required rethinking social conditioning, as well as the type of contributions that members of the household and the community could make. In particular, stakeholders reported that women-headed households, widows, and orphaned children (mostly girls) had little access to supplies and services due to their limited mobility or absence of proper identity documents to support these claims.
  • A GVAP was prepared to ensure that essential needs, constraints, and priorities voiced by women, and extremely vulnerable individuals and families, were reflected in the design of the program and monitored during loan implementation.
  • A comprehensive social protection strategy was developed with assistance from development agencies and NGOs. The strategy aimed to ensure that vulnerable groups would be provided with basic social services, livelihood assistance, and support for rehabilitation, primarily within their own families and communities. It also strived to establish links with the mainstream social welfare structures and services.

Gender integration during project implementation

  • A comprehensive gender policy was prepared for earthquake-affected areas. The policy aimed at promoting the principles of inclusion, equality, and sustainability in reconstruction and rehabilitation to increase the likelihood that benefits will accrue equitably to women, children, and other vulnerable groups.
  • A report prepared in 2007, “Services of Interest to Women and Gender Programming in the Earthquake-Affected Areas of Pakistan,”mapped out the interventions implemented by organizations to meet the needs of women and girls specifically, and to address gender-related issues in reconstruction and rehabilitation. A research study concluded in March 2009, “Economic Opportunities for Women in Earthquake-Affected Areas,”highlighted important areas and issues regarding economic equity and the extension of benefits to women. All these efforts both at policy and operational level were based on inputs provided by the women of the affected areas regarding their needs and concerns.
  • Forty gender awareness workshops were conducted under the plan for over 900 persons in the province, state, and districts. These workshops were aimed at improving understanding of the purpose and practice of promoting gender-equality considerations during planning;sensitizing the participants to the importance of gender-related analysis and planning;transferring skills in gender analysis and diagnosis;translating skills into planning practices;and highlighting the importance of sex-disaggregated data in gender programming.
  • On-the-job coaching for priority sector staff was carried out.
  • A gender-training manual on integrating gender considerations into responses to disaster situations was published, and was seen as a valuable resource for trainers.
  • A gender-specific budget was allocated for some priority areas, including livelihood, education, and social protection. Projects involving women’s economic empowerment were initiated. The project involved training in Kashmiri embroidery and stitching, and is being implemented in collaboration with Aik Hunar Aik Nagar, a local NGO.
  • ERRA’s management commitment to gender
    : Gender and reconstruction and rehabilitation networks were set up in all the earthquake- affected districts. They were formed to “connect the voices of the vulnerable groups and women, men, boys and girls from earthquake-affected areas to decision makers, policy makers, program planners and implementers in reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts.”The project was operational until March 2011.
  • Technical supervision
    : The findings of visiting teams were disseminated among relevant stakeholders. Several departments—including the Social Welfare and Women Development Department, Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal, the Department of Zakat and Ushr, and the Benazir Income Support Program—worked together to address the grievances of vulnerable people. More than 95 percent of camp population had moved back into temporary shelters next to their houses within six months of the earthquake.
  • Gender checklists and key performance indicators were defined and reported on periodically.

Key gender-related results

Outcome results are listed in the project form above. No comprehensive impact evaluation is available to document the impact of the reconstruction effort on women’s and men’s quality of life, livelihoods, and incomes.

3. Conclusions

(Sources: ADB 2007b;and World Bank 2011c, 2012a)

  • The approach from the start of the gender mainstreaming effort developed a sense of ownership on the part of all the stakeholders, so they could carry the agenda forward with or without guidance and support from ERRA. A conscious effort to actively engage all stakeholders from the start, particularly the relevant government departments, was made in all gender-related initiatives.
  • Efforts were also made to ensure that the required gender mainstreaming skills were transferred to ensure continued action by the relevant government departments, particularly the social welfare and women development departments and line departments in the province, state, and districts.
  • Joint donor gender vulnerability assessments were effective, with one donor taking the lead on the preparation of the GAP and on capacity building.
  • Donors seemed to work from their comparative advantage (e.g., the Livelihood Support Cash Grant provided by the World Bank). From the Completion Workshop, it seems that livelihoods were restored within one percent of pre-earthquake levels. Overall satisfaction with the economic situation was, however, lower (minus five percent) than before the earthquake.
  • Significant progress was made on women’s empowerment. They gained identity (through registration for their identity card), land and housing ownership, and experience in community leadership through the various VRCs. For some, this was the first time they had a bank account—and in their own name.

Lessons learned and missed opportunities

Major lessons include:

  • A post-disaster program provides an opportunity to address gender gaps and gender equity.
  • Gender targets help monitor progress.
  • Gender parity in representation is difficult to achieve.
  • Good sex-disaggregated data are necessary to target interventions.
  • Sustained commitment for the project implementation agency is indispensable, to align all local institutions (public, private, or NGOs) and the donors. The publication of ERRA’s gender policy is worth noting.
  • Sustainability of interventions requires an exit strategy for gender programming. In this case, such a strategy has been developed over the last five years, and capacity-building workshops were organized to improve the understanding of the purpose and practice of promoting gender equality considerations in planning processes. The Ministry of Women Development has committed funding for the WDCs (once completed) for three years, by signing a memorandum of understanding with the regional departments for social welfare development. Furthermore, in line with ERRA’s exit strategy, the provincial/state social welfare departments are already being encouraged to get more actively involved in the Gender Restoration and Reconstruction Network, so that they can carry forward ERRA’s responsibilities on their own. Through the skill development projects, vulnerable women in the earthquake-affected areas will get vocational training and access to job markets. They will also be required to train other women, thereby steadily increasing the pool of beneficiaries in the target communities.

Missed opportunities:
(Sources: IFAD 2011: ADB 2007b)

  • IFAD’s livestock replacement program was barely implemented. Livestock were an important source of income for women and of nutrition for the whole population. Roughly 30,000 head of livestock were killed in the earthquake. IFAD’s $3.0 million was to help replace 4,000 head;only 318 were actually replaced. The balance of the funds were reallocated to housing, which still benefitted the most vulnerable groups, including women.
  • Small improved water supply and sanitation works, irrigation, and road access improvements had been planned in IFAD’s financing to benefit the health and livelihood of women and children in particular. However, these were not considered priorities by the communities. The few drinking water and sanitation facilities implemented were of poor design and lacked maintenance.
  • Income surveys at program completion did not provide sex-disaggregated data. So it is not known whether women and men were equally satisfied with the restoration of their livelihood and incomes.