Fellow Since 2003
Citizen Action Committee
This profile was prepared when Abdul Baseer Baseer Naveed was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2003.
The New Idea
Abdul is bringing together trade unions, community organizations, and associations of doctors, teachers, lawyers, and journalists to challenge government actions that, in the name of development, run counter to the public will. Through his Citizen Action Committee, he is orchestrating effective citizen participation and forcing the government to negotiate plans and design projects with citizen input. The committee meets frequently to prioritize problems, determine a plan of action, and set in motion a series of actions–signature campaigns, surveys and data-gathering projects, meetings with government officials–that stand the best chance for successful negotiation. Through these measures, Abdul has been successful in helping citizens shape municipal policies relating to school tuition and fees, workers' compensation, transportation charges and route permits, and allocation of women's seats in buses and wagons. Now he has turned his attention to countering development projects that seek to displace the poor in favor of private interests. Most notably, he is leading the way for a proposed redesign of the Karachi Expressway to prevent about 40,000 people from being displaced. By setting a precedent in this case, he would save another million who are threatened with eviction without compensation in similar projects around the country.