Skoll Foundation


Institute for Development Studies and Practices

Skoll Awardee(s): Quratul Ain Bakhteari
Award Year: 2006
Issue Area(s) Addressed: Education

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 “IDSP gives young Pakistanis an opportunity to become educated, contribute to the development of their communities, and live a purposeful life for themselves and for the rest of humanity.”

Sub-Issue: Secondary Education In Balochistan, Pakistan’s poorest province, 98 percent of students do not complete primary school. Nationwide, only five percent of the population completes secondary school and goes on to higher education, the surest path out of poverty.

The Skoll Awardee: 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 since joining the portfolio in 2006:

  • 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.



© 2015 Skoll Foundation.