This description of Shoaib Sultan Khan's work was prepared when Shoaib Sultan Khan was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2009.
Shoaib is breaking the cycle of poverty in the rural communities of Pakistan. In 1982, he established the Aga Khan Rural Support Program (RSP), a citizen sector organization that targets poverty-stricken villages and engages their inhabitants in development programs, with a larger goal of involving the public in policy change. Based on the philosophy that the poor are willing to overcome barriers to sustainable livelihood but lack the capacity to do so, the RSP focuses on monetary independence, education, community organization and capacity building. Now a national program in Pakistan, and also established in eight countries in South Asia, and Iran, Shoaib’s Rural Support Program continues to expand its influence and success.