Aga Khan Development Network

Aga Khan Development Network

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The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) is a group of private, non-denominational development agencies that seek to empower communities and individuals to improve living conditions and opportunities, in sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East. Founded and guided by Prince Karim Aga Khan IV
Aga Khan IV
Prince Karim, Aga Khan IV, NPk, NI, KBE, CC, GCC, GCIH, GCM is the 49th and current Imam of the Shia Imami Nizari Ismaili Muslims. He has held this position under the title of Aga Khan since July 11, 1957, when, at the age of 20, he succeeded his grandfather, Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan...

, the Network focuses on health, education, culture, rural development, institution-building and the promotion of economic development. The AKDN is dedicated to improving living conditions and opportunities for the poor, without regard to their faith, origin or gender. Its annual budget for not-for-profit endeavours exceeds US$500 million, and it employs over 80 thousand paid staff, mostly in developing countries.

The Aga Khan Foundation
Aga Khan Foundation
The Aga Khan Foundation is a private, not-for-profit international development agency, which was founded in 1967 by . AKF seeks to provide long-term solutions to problems of poverty, hunger, illiteracy and ill health in the poorest parts of South and Central Asia, Eastern and Western Africa, and...

, including the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme
Aga Khan Rural Support Programme
The Aga Khan Rural Support Programme was founded in the early 1980s in what is now Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. Created by the Aga Khan Foundation, it worked on agricultural productivity, natural resource management, small-scale infrastructure and forestation...

 and the Mountain Societies Development Support Programme
Mountain Societies Development Support Programme
The Mountain Societies Development Support Programme is a branch of the Aga Khan Development Network dedicated to improving the quality of life of the people of the mountainous oblasts of Tajikistan....

, the Aga Khan University
Aga Khan University
The Aga Khan University is a coeducational research university spread over three continents. It was granted its charter in 1983 as Pakistan's first private, autonomous university. AKU was founded by His Highness the Aga Khan, and is part of the Aga Khan Development Network...

, Aga Khan Health Services
Aga Khan Health Services
The Aga Khan Health Services is an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network that supports activities in the health field, and manages more than 200 health facilities including a network of Aga Khan Hospitals....

, Aga Khan Education Services
Aga Khan Education Services
Aga Khan Education Services is one of four agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network supporting activities in the field of education...

, and the Aga Khan Planning and Building Services
Aga Khan Planning and Building Services
The Aga Khan Planning and Building Service was established in 1980 as an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network . The agency works to improve the built environment, particularly housing design and construction, village planning, natural hazard mitigation, environmental sanitation, water...

, operate in social development.

The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development
Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development
The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development ' is the sole for-profit agency of the Aga Khan Development Network and works in partnership with international organizations and governments to stimulate the private sectors of developing economies, with the aim of generating capital for investment...

 with its affiliates, the Tourism Promotion Services, Industrial Promotion Services
Industrial Promotion Services
Industrial Promotion Services is the industrial development arm of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development . AKFED is a member of the Aga Khan Development Network.-Location:...

, and Financial Services
Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance
-Meaning:Microfinance is the provision of a broad range of financial services, for those who often do not have access, such as - deposits, loans, payment services, money transfers and insurance products - to low-income households to help them raise their income levels and improve their quality of...

, seek to strengthen the role of the private sector
Private sector
In economics, the private sector is that part of the economy, sometimes referred to as the citizen sector, which is run by private individuals or groups, usually as a means of enterprise for profit, and is not controlled by the state...

 in developing countries by supporting private sector initiatives in the development process. The Fund and the Foundation also encourage government policies that foster what the Aga Khan first called an "enabling environment" of favourable legislative and fiscal structures.

The Aga Khan Trust for Culture
Aga Khan Trust for Culture
The Aga Khan Trust for Culture is an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network . It focuses on the revitalization of communities in the Muslim world—physical, social, cultural, and economic...

 co-ordinates the Imamat's cultural activities. Its programmes include The Aga Khan Award for Architecture
Aga Khan Award for Architecture
The Aga Khan Award for Architecture is an architectural prize established by Aga Khan IV in 1977. It aims to identify and reward architectural concepts that successfully address the needs and aspirations of Islamic societies in the fields of contemporary design, social housing, community...

, the Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme, and the Education and Culture Programme. The Trust also provides financial support for the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological education and research.Founded in 1861 in...

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

.

While each agency pursues its own mandate, all of them work together within the overarching framework of the Aga Khan Development Network so that their different pursuits can interact and reinforce one another. Their common goal is to help the poor achieve a level of self-reliance whereby they are able to plan their own livelihoods and help those even more needy than themselves. A central feature of the AKDN's approach to development is to design and implement strategies in which its different agencies participate in particular settings. To pursue their mandates, AKDN institutions rely on the energy, dedication, and skill of volunteers as well as remunerated professionals, and draw upon the talents of people of all faiths.

AKDN Agencies


AKDN consists of the following organisations:
  • Aga Khan Academies
    Aga Khan Academies
    The Aga Khan Academies are a network of residential schools in Africa, South and Central Asia and the Middle East. Founded by His Highness the Aga Khan, the academies are part of the Aga Khan Development Network....

     (AKA)
  • Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance
    Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance
    -Meaning:Microfinance is the provision of a broad range of financial services, for those who often do not have access, such as - deposits, loans, payment services, money transfers and insurance products - to low-income households to help them raise their income levels and improve their quality of...

     (AKAM)
  • Aga Khan Education Services
    Aga Khan Education Services
    Aga Khan Education Services is one of four agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network supporting activities in the field of education...

     (AKES)
  • Aga Khan Foundation
    Aga Khan Foundation
    The Aga Khan Foundation is a private, not-for-profit international development agency, which was founded in 1967 by . AKF seeks to provide long-term solutions to problems of poverty, hunger, illiteracy and ill health in the poorest parts of South and Central Asia, Eastern and Western Africa, and...

     (AKF)
  • Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development
    Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development
    The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development ' is the sole for-profit agency of the Aga Khan Development Network and works in partnership with international organizations and governments to stimulate the private sectors of developing economies, with the aim of generating capital for investment...

     (AKFED)
  • Aga Khan Health Services
    Aga Khan Health Services
    The Aga Khan Health Services is an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network that supports activities in the health field, and manages more than 200 health facilities including a network of Aga Khan Hospitals....

     (AKHS)
  • Aga Khan Planning and Building Services
    Aga Khan Planning and Building Services
    The Aga Khan Planning and Building Service was established in 1980 as an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network . The agency works to improve the built environment, particularly housing design and construction, village planning, natural hazard mitigation, environmental sanitation, water...

     (AKPBS)
  • Aga Khan Trust for Culture
    Aga Khan Trust for Culture
    The Aga Khan Trust for Culture is an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network . It focuses on the revitalization of communities in the Muslim world—physical, social, cultural, and economic...

     (AKTC)
  • Aga Khan University
    Aga Khan University
    The Aga Khan University is a coeducational research university spread over three continents. It was granted its charter in 1983 as Pakistan's first private, autonomous university. AKU was founded by His Highness the Aga Khan, and is part of the Aga Khan Development Network...

     (AKU)
  • Focus Humanitarian Assistance
    Focus Humanitarian Assistance
    Focus Humanitarian Assistance is an international group of agencies established in Europe, North America and South Asia to complement the provision of emergency relief, principally in the developing world...

     (FOCUS)
  • University of Central Asia
    University of Central Asia
    The University of Central Asia was founded in 2000 by the governments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and His Highness the Aga Khan...

     (UCA)

Long-term Commitment


Development models require time to demonstrate their effectiveness and to enable local communities to take on full responsibility for their own future development. The AKDN agencies, therefore, make a long-term commitment to the areas in which they work, guided by the philosophy that a humane, sustainable environment must reflect the choices made by people themselves of how they live and wish to improve their prospects in harmony with their environment. Sustainability is, thus, a central consideration from the outset.

The experience of the past three decades of development effort shows that even when government, non-government, commercial organisations, and international development agencies work together, they are not able to meet most, let alone all, of the needs for shelter, health, and sustenance of the world's populations. AKDN institutions work in close partnership with the world's major national and international aid and development agencies. The AKDN itself is an independent self-governing system of agencies, institutions, and programmes under the leadership of the Ismaili Imamat. One of their sources of support are the Ismaili community with its tradition of philanthropy, voluntary service and self-reliance, and the leadership and material underwriting of the hereditary Imam and Imamat resources.

Philosophy of AKDN


The Aga Khan Development Network
Aga Khan Development Network
The Aga Khan Development Network is a group of private, non-denominational development agencies that seek to empower communities and individuals to improve living conditions and opportunities, in sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East...

 is working to improve the quality of life of the people. Exemplifying the same is the network of institutions active in more than 35 underdeveloped countries to provide support in the fields of health care
Health care
Health care is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in humans. Health care is delivered by practitioners in medicine, chiropractic, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, allied health, and other care providers...

, education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

 and economics
Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

, and has become the symbol of hope for the under-privileged people.

Highlighting the functions and philosophy of Aga Khan Development Network
Aga Khan Development Network
The Aga Khan Development Network is a group of private, non-denominational development agencies that seek to empower communities and individuals to improve living conditions and opportunities, in sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East...

 (AKDN), The Aga Khan
Aga Khan
Aga Khan is the hereditary title of the Imam of the largest branch of the Ismā'īlī followers of the Shī‘a faith. They affirm the Imamat of the descendants of Ismail ibn Jafar, eldest son of Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq, while the larger Twelver branch of Shi`ism follows Ismail's younger brother Musa...

 said,

"The engagement of the Imamat in development is guided by Islamic ethics
Islamic ethics
Islamic ethics , defined as "good character," historically took shape gradually from the 7th century and was finally established by the 11th century...

, which bridge faith and society. It is on this premise that I established the Aga Khan Development Network. This Network of agencies, known as the AKDN, has long been active in many areas of Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

 and Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 to improve the quality of life of all who live there. These areas are home to some of the poorest and most diverse populations in the world."

(Keynote address at the Governor General's Canadian Leadership Conference, 9 May, 2004)

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