Aga Khan Planning and Building Services

The Aga Khan Planning and Building Service [http://www.akdn.org/agency/akpbs.html (AKPBS)] was established in 1980 as an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network [http://www.akdn.org/ (AKDN)] . The agency works to improve the built environment, particularly housing design and construction, village planning, natural hazard mitigation, environmental sanitation, water supplies, and other living conditions. It does this by providing material, technical assistance and applied research, as well as planning and construction management services for communities in both rural and urban areas.

Organization and Governance

AKPBS acts through a series of national service companies that plan, organise and finance activities and operate facilities and programmes in close collaboration with other AKDN institutions, government, and select partner agencies. The national service companies are officially registered as not-for-profit, non-governmental organisations in each country. Their international sponsor is the Aga Khan Planning and Building Services S.A., a not-for-profit company based in Geneva, Switzerland. The Chairman and some or all of the directors of the AKPBS boards in India and Pakistan are appointed by the sponsoring company. All directors serve as volunteers on an unremunerated basis.

National Service Companies

* Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, Pakistan (AKPBS, P):Established in 1980 with a mandate to plan and implement infrastructure and technology related development initiatives to improve living conditions within various provinces and regions, such as the Northern Areas of Pakistan, the Punjab, North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Sindh in development program areas such as habitat risk reduction, energy efficient building and construction improvement, water supply and sanitation, and natural resources conservation.

* Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, India (AKPBS, I):Active since 1970, a major focus of their programmes has been the installation of sanitation units in the villages of Gujarat state. AKPBS,I also assists communities with the improvement of village water systems, the construction of water harvesting systems, and water quality monitoring.

Making use of the experiences in Pakistan and India, there are advanced plans for the establishment of AKPBS companies in both Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

Awards

World Habitat Award 2006

The Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, Pakistan won the World Habitat Award for 2006 for its efforts to improve housing conditions in Pakistan. Princess Zahra Aga Khan received the award in Naples on behalf of the AKPBS. [cite web |url=http://www.bshf.org/en/about/dih/projects.php?pID=312 |title=Building and Social Housing Foundation - World Habitat Award 2006 |accessdate=2006-12-01] [cite web |url=http://www.brecorder.com/index.php?id=483419&currPageNo=1&query=&search=&term=&supDate |title=Aga Khan planning and building service wins award - Business Recorder, October 4, 2006 |accessdate=2006-11-30]

The objectives of the AKPBS have been inspired by His Highness the Aga Khan's philosophy that "a proper home can provide the bridge across that terrible gulf between poverty and a better future". [cite web |url=http://www.akdn.org/speeches/2006october04.htm |title=Speech by Princess Zahra at the Presentation of the World Habitat Award, Kazan, Russian Federation, 4 October 2006 |accessdate=2006-12-01] The AKPBS developed over 60 low-cost, seismic-resistant, energy and resource-efficient housing construction methods and standards. These range from smoke-free stoves and screened kitchen cabinets for storing food to water heaters and ventilation systems. [cite web |url=http://www.unhabitat.org/content.asp?cid=3791&catid=7&typeid=5&subMenuId=0 |title=Press Release: The World Habitat Awards 2006 - UN-HABITAT, September 27, 2006 |accessdate=2006-12-01] Many of these products and low-cost technologies are designed to address the prevailing housing conditions in poor areas of the developing world.

The programme has created a self-sustaining industry in low-cost home improvement. Community members identify the need for new products, provide feedback on existing products, raise awareness of problems such as respiratory illnesses caused by smoke from cooking fires, market the products and manage the programme. The products are built and sold by local entrepreneurs. Since 1997, AKPBS has trained over 200 entrepreneurs and artisans, who have in turn sold over 14,000 house improvement products. The Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance, a sister agency, now offers small loans to help poor people finance housing improvements.

The World Habitat Awards were established in 1985 by the Building and Social Housing Foundation [http://www.bshf.org (BSHF)] as part of its contribution to the United Nations International Year of Shelter for the Homeless. Two awards of £10,000 are given annually at the United Nations global celebration of World Habitat Day to projects from the global north as well as the south that provide practical and innovative solutions to current housing needs and problems.

Alcan Prize for Sustainability, 2005

In 2005, the Aga Khan Planning and Building Service received the US $1 million Alcan Prize for Sustainability for its efforts to improve housing conditions as well as water and sanitation facilities in Pakistan through its Water and Sanitation Extension Programme (WASEP). [cite web |url=http://alcanprizeforsustainability.com/2006/en/media/eng_press051207.asp |title=US$1 Million Alcan Prize for Sustainability Awarded to Pakistan’s Aga Khan Planning and Building Services |accessdate=2006-11-30] WASEP was launched in 1997 to reduce the risk of water-borne diseases through the provision of potable water as well as improved hygiene and sanitation practices. [cite web |url=http://www.akdn.org/news/2005Dec05_Pakistan2.htm |title=Press Release: Aga Khan Planning and Building Service Pakistan Awarded US$1 Million Alcan Prize for Sustainability - AKDN, December 7, 2005 |accessdate=2006-12-01]

Alcan Inc, a global leader in aluminium and related products, created the Alcan Prize for Sustainability to recognise outstanding contributions to the goal of economic, environmental, and social sustainability by not-for-profit, non-governmental, and civil society organisations. To ensure credibility and objectivity, the Alcan Prize is managed by a third-party, the Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum.

References

ee also

* Aga Khan Development Network

External links

* [http://www.akdn.org/agency/akpbs.html Aga Khan Planning and Building Services (website)]
* [http://alcanprizeforsustainability.com Alcan Prize for Sustainability]


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