ISLAMABAD - Some thirty-five local leaders from the areas of military operation announced that the rapid assessments undertaken by international NGOs and Pakistans development partners can be dangerous and misleading if they do not involve local people, said a press release issued here on Saturday. These appraisals are likely to determine future investments for the development of conflict-torn areas but they are carried out in hurry without systematic of local people and expertise. This group of local leaders is all educated people, some with masters or Ph.D degrees. The group was convened by LEAD Pakistan in partnership with Care International. The group reviewed about a dozen such rapid assessments conducted by international NGOs, UN and other development agencies and identified several shortcomings. The group underwent three days training on how best to conduct rapid assessments and how to engage local people, demonstrate sensitivity to local cultures and development needs. Trained in carrying out rapid assessments, the group of local leaders showed its willingness to help any organisation that was planning to undertake rapid assessment in the troubled areas. The rapid assessment methodology is an instrument for coordinating actions-based on information compiled from the area by local and national teams with international standards and is set to prioritise the needs and actions to be followed for the humanitarian response actions. The training has been timely as well as pertinent to the prevailing situation in the north of country. More than ever, there is the need for local leadership to emerge from within the communities to take on challenges of the ongoing rehabilitation and recovery work. The leaders trained in the workshop have also been provided with a common platform for exchange of information and coordinate action to participate in the ongoing development work. LEAD Pakistan is confident that this group will be able to spearhead the local efforts towards reconstruction and development of the area as well as provide a valuable resource to the humanitarian and development community.