Research and Projects

Tawana Pakistan Programme

Tawana Pakistan Project is a Rs. 3.6 billion social development pilot project of the Government of Pakistan that seeks to address two serious discernable trends prevalent in the rural areas of Pakistan i.e. severe malnutrition (30-40% of children are stunted and 14% wasted) and low enrollment rates (female literacy is 24%), using an innovative participatory approach for building partnerships between government departments and local communities.

The Project focuses on primary school-aged girls, 5-12 years, in 29 of Pakistan's poorest districts by providing a freshly prepared balanced mid-day meal form locally available food items; multi-micronutrient supplementation and de-worming medicine could not be implemented due to certain bureaucratic issues. The project is predicated on community participation and empowerment through decision making at the School Tawana Committee, which comprises mothers and other community women, teachers and students, and is responsible for planning, preparing and managing the feeding process.

The objectives of the Project are to:

  • Improve nutritional status of school aged girls (5 - 12 years) in primary schools and the community
  • Increase enrollment and sustain attendance in primary school and accessing girls in the community who do not attend school by motivating them to join the school nutrition program
  • Increasing awareness of the importance of balanced nutrition in child health and development and the implications of malnutrition on the development of the child and future generations of society

Implemented by the Ministry of Social Welfare and Special Education, the Aga Khan University, supported by 11 partner NGOs, has been engaged to participate in the design, education and training, research and evaluation aspects and to support implementation of the project. The Project commenced in 2002 and feeding has concluded in June 2005, in line with the PC-1, successfully benefited approximately 420,000 girls in around 4,200 schools.