• Awarded: 2006
  • Issue Areas: Education · Secondary Education
  • Region: Southeast Asia
  • Web:
  • About the Organization

    The Institute for Development Studies and Practices (IDSP) is a Pakistani national institution that offers open learning spaces to nurture and develop individuals and communities. IDSP aims to change power structures by demystifying education and development, and generating value-based partnerships and practices at all levels.

    The purpose of IDSP’s interventions are to reduce and eventually end the exclusion of the majority of young people from mainstream education and livelihood opportunities in Pakistan. More than 60 percent of Pakistan’s population is between 15 and 35 years of age, and almost 80 percent of them are excluded from meaningful education and livelihood opportunities.

    IDSP opens learning spaces for this population, to empower them to respond to the challenges of education, livelihood, peace, and pluralism.

    In Balochistan, Pakistan’s poorest province, 98 percent of students do not complete primary school. IDSP offers basic education, and training in literacy, human rights, and community organizing.

    Quratul Ain Bakhteari aims to help young Pakistanis become educated, contribute to their communities, and live a purposeful life.

    Ambition for Change

    Develop a cadre of effective development thinkers, planners, and practitioners at the grassroots level, who will launch organizations and enterprises, or pursue careers in government and civil society, achieving real development in Pakistan.

    Path to Scale

    Collective Impact of Graduates

    Graduates organize communities, manage development projects, and mentor new students.

    Business Model

    Philanthropic and public support.

    Quratul Ain Bakhteari grew up in a refugee camp on the outskirts of Karachi after the creation of Pakistan in 1947. She earned a bachelor’s degree and worked providing basic health care and education to refugees coming from Bangladesh. Later, she earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. and established 2,000 government girls’ primary schools in rural Balochistan, resulting in the enrollment of 200,000 girls — a record in Pakistan’s history. Frustrated with a lack of efficacy in internationally sponsored development projects, she developed the blueprint for Institute for Development Studies and Practices and launched it in 1999 with support from The Asia Foundation. IDSP offers basic education, and training in literacy, human rights, and community organizing. At the time of the Award, IDSP had graduated some 1,200 students, half of them women, 80 percent working in positions of authority among national development organizations. The other 20 percent remained with the organization, either as faculty, researchers or mentors to new students. Eighteen women graduates were then running for or had been placed in Pakistan’s parliament.

    Impact & Accomplishments

    • The number of graduates has reached 6,000, with 13,751 students enrolled in 2012
    • IDSP graduates have formed numerous community-based groups, entered government service, won seats in local elections, and formed village-level community boards.
    • 12 IDSP Senior Fellows (six women) from Balochistan, who had no prior education or experience in development, went on after graduating from IDSP to design, implement, and manage development projects ranging in size from $30,000 to $1.3 million.

    See All Awardees →