Pakistan Academies for Rural Development. [1957 – 1972]

Co-Principal Investigators

Non-AFRE Co-Principle Investigators: R. Niehoff, Project Director (Administration & Higher Education/ International Studies and Programs); C. Brembeck (Institute for International Studies in Education) MSU

Project Name:           Pakistan Academies for Rural Development.*
Donor:                        Ford Foundation
Contract No:               Not available
Account No:               71-2034
Location:                    Pakistan and Bangladesh
Duration:                    1957-1972
Budget:                       $2,163,183

Key MSU Faculty:       R. Niehoff, Project Director (Administration & Higher Education/ International Studies and Programs); C. Brembeck (Institute for International Studies in Education) Robert Stevens and Glen McBride (Agricultural Economics)

Documents:                (Click here to view)

Project Goals:           To assist officials of the Pakistan Government responsible for the development and administration of rural development programs through the establishment of two academies for rural development, one at Comilla in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and one at Peshawar, West Pakistan.

Project Plans/Objectives:

  • To train economists, sociologists, statisticians, educators, and agricul¬turalists in research for rural development.
  • To provide laboratory experience for the integration of research, evaluation, training, and extension in collaboration with villagers, staff, and government officials.
  • To establish viable voluntary cooperative units at the village level with strong administration that emphasizes developmental activities, training of local leaders, and continuing education for villagers and officials.

Cooperating Institutions: Peace Corps, specialists from Japan, Denmark, and the Population Council of New York, the academies at Comilla and Peshawar

Project Summary: The following was excerpted from Education & World Affairs, The University Looks Abroad, New York: Walker & Co., 1965:  At the request of the Pakistani government and the Ford Foundation, an MSU survey mission visited Pakistan in 1956 to look into the training needs and possibilities in connection with that country's Village Aid and Basic Democracies program, aimed at providing political and general leadership at the village level to stimulate agricultural and industrial development and full utilization of resources on a community basis. As a result of this survey, MSU agreed to help develop two Village Aid academies, one at Comilla in East Pakistan (Bangladesh), and the other at Peshawar, in West Pakistan. These academies were to provide additional university-level education for rural development leaders.

The academies started virtually from scratch. Faculties were recruited from Pakistani applicants, and during 1958 most of them received training at MSU. The academies opened for classes in 1959, with six MSU faculty working with the Pakistani faculty members.  Both academies became actively involved in rural development programs in Pakistan and have undertaken instruction, research, and experimental demonstrations in the fields of cooperatives, agricultural production, local government and rural credit formation, mechanization in agriculture, education, family planning, youth work, women's work, and related fields.

Documents About/From This Project:

A number of other publications on the Pakistan projects have been produced. Among these are:

  • Edgar A. Schuler and Raghu Singh, The Pakistan Academies for Rural  Development. Comilla and Peshawar 1959-1964. Michigan State University, Asian Studies Center, Spring 1965;
  • Arthur F. Raper, assisted by Harry L. Case, Richard O. Niehoff, William T. Ross, and Edgar A. Schuler, Rural Development in Action: The "Comnrehensive Experiment at Comilla. East Pakiltan. Ithaca, N..Y .•  Cornel University Press, 1970;
  • An article by Harvey M. Child in entitled "An Organizational Analysis of Rural Development Projects at Comilla, East Pakistan" in Economic Development and Cultural. 1970

*This description is adapted from work by Nancy E. Horn, an MSU alumnus from the Anthropology Department, published in 1985 “A Project History of Michigan State University’s Participation in International Development for the period 1951 – 1985”.  See AFRE Emeritus Faculty - Acknowledgements