OPRCT formerly OPP-OCT is a Non Banking Financial Institute under the domain of Orangi Pilot Project. The Orangi Pilot Project (OPP) was established by the renowned Pakistani social scientist Dr. Akhtar Hameed Khan in the informal settlement of Orangi Town Karachi, in 1980. The objective of the Project was to build models of participatory development that could overcome the problems faced by conventional development program in dealing with informal settlements and poverty related issues. Among other things, the Project worked at establishing producer and consumer cooperatives. These attempts slowly evolved into a Micro-credit program, the first of its kind in Pakistan. Although this program was originally limited to Orangi, through the OPP’s Orangi Charitable Trust (OCT), it soon moved to supporting NGOs and CBOs (Community Based Organization) in the rural and urban areas of Pakistan, in the operation of their own micro-credit program, aimed at small farmers, businessmen and rural women. This support consists of providing training by doing to local people in account keeping market research, credit appraisal and issues related to defaults, for creating client associations that involve themselves in development and socio-political related affairs of their areas. Dr. Akhter Hameed Khan involved the people of underprivileged areas to solve their own problems without relying on external sources. Innovative methods were used to provide adequate low cost sanitation, health, housing technology, education support services, microcredit and income generation, social forestry and a rural project. After the success of the initial phase, Orangi Pilot Project program was transformed into four autonomous institutions:
1. OPP Research and Training Institute (OPP-RTI) – www.opp.org.pk
It manages the sanitation, housing, education, research and training program and is responsible for training NGOs, government agencies, members of donor agencies and community organizations and their representatives for all OPP programs.
2. OPP Orangi Charitable Trust (OPP-OCT) currently OPRCT – www.oprct.org
Now OPRCT which is responsible for managing and promoting the credit program for small scale entrepreneurs in urban and rural sector
3. OPP Karachi Health and Social Development Association (OPP-KHASDA)
Which is responsible for managing the health program
4. OPP Rural Development Trust (OPP-RDT)
Which is managed directly by the OPP with technical support from the RTI
Evolution of the Microcredit Program in Pakistan
The Orangi Pilot Project – Orangi Charitable Trust (OPP-OCT) registered in 1987 to support the people’s economic efforts through the provision of small loans. Working both in the urban and the rural sector, OPP-OCT provides loans not only to individuals but also collaborates with other NGOs, CBOs, and Cooperatives to strengthen small scale entrepreneurs. Loans, without formal collateral, are given to established entrepreneurs. The entrepreneur may be one who wishes to expand an already running business, or one who has been engaged in business with others and wishes to start on his own. Loans are also provided to NGOs, Community Organizations and Cooperatives. The theory behind this outreach program is not to seek new clients, but to form partnerships with those already working the field. The ultimate aim is to withdraw once these organizations and cooperatives are able to manage the microcredit program on their own. The evolution of this innovative program, the principles governing it, and its many achievements, as well as its failures will be highlighted in this website.
Replication of OPP-OCT Program
Organization for Poverty Reduction and Community Training Program (OPRCT) formerly Orangi Charitable Trust (OCT) is a non government institution formed in 1984 and registered in 1985 under the Trust Act. OCT started its credit operations in Orangi Town, Karachi since inception to provide financing facilities to existing micro enterprises to enhance low cost enterprise. OCT decided to expand its credit model when it benefitted target market. The expansion was made through replication of model rather than program approach. Similarly the model was replicated outside Karachi through partnerships with local organizations, NGOs and CBOs(Community Based Organization). Under the concept of replication, local NGOs and CBOs are identified that are aligned with the mission of Orangi Pilot Project.