Akhtar Hameed Khan

Full name: 
Akhtar Hameed Khan
Arabic name: 
اختر حمید خان
Date of birth: 
15 Jul, 1914
Date of death: 
09 Oct, 1999
Akhtar Hameed Khan was a Pakistani development activist and social scientist. He promoted participatory rural development in Pakistan and other developing countries, and widely advocated community participation in development. His particular contribution was the establishment of a comprehensive project for rural development, the Comilla Model (1959). It earned him the Ramon Magsaysay Award from the Philippines and an honorary Doctorate of Law from Michigan State University. Ralph Smuckler wrote in his book, "His Scandinavian colleagues and other advisors had nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize"
In the 1980s he started a bottom up community development initiative of Orangi Pilot Project, based in the outskirts of Karachi, which became a model of participatory development initiatives. He also directed many programmes, from microcredit to self-finance and from housing provision to family planning, for rural communities and urban slums. It earned him international recognition and high honours in Pakistan. Khan was fluent in at least seven languages and dialects. Apart from many scholarly books and articles, he also published a collection of poems and travelogues in Urdu.