Saturday, 05 December 2015 15:34

Goals and objectives: The solution offers access to finance for small and medium enterprises. About 40-50 percent of potential borrowers who approached banks did not obtain the required amount of loan for the development of their businesses due to insufficient collateral. Inadequate supply of credit resources of the banking system for a high demand did not allow cutting interest rates on loans.

Implementation: In 2010, the USAID Local Development Program addressed and resolved this issue by introducing a new financial structured Guarantee Fund, which provides a guarantee to an entrepreneur to obtain the required loan amount in case of insufficient collateral. The Guarantee Funds are designed to facilitate lending to small and medium enterprises and the core organizations supporting entrepreneurial activities. The main objective of the Guarantee Fund is to provide businesspeople guarantees to banks for loans and leasing contracts under insufficient collateral.

In 2013, the Law on the Guarantee Funds in the Kyrgyz Republic was adopted, governing activities of guarantee funds. Under the law, the Guarantee Fund (GF) may be established as a joint stock company, a limited liability company, a public fund or an institute, and depending on the founding members it can function throughout the republic or region. In Kyrgyzstan, GFs are regional (municipal), as the founders of the GFs are local governments and they operate in the region where they are established. GFs operate in five regions (Kara Balta, Karakol, Osh, Jalal-Abad cities and Sary Aiyl Okmot of Osh region) and on 23 March 2015, one more fund was registered in Kant city. The GF "Karakol" operates throughout the Issyk-Kul region, while all others do so within their municipality.

Association of Guarantee Funds of the Kyrgyz Republic coordinates the activities of all the GFs and all are members. The Association of Guarantee Funds of the Kyrgyz Republic has been a member of the European Association of Mutual Guarantee Societies (AECM) since October 2014.

Achievements: as of 30 June 2015 the solution has achieved the following:

  • Established six guarantee funds in Kyrgyzstan;
  • Guarantees issued reached 400;
  • Capital of guarantee funds rose by 31 percent compared to 2013;
  • Amount of guarantees issued to banks equals KGS 35.3 millions and amount of bank loansprovided to entrepreneurs accounts for KGS 172 million;
  • Repayment of loans and guarantees is 100percent;
  • From guarantees/loans received, entrepreneurs earned income in the amountof KGS 600 million;
  • Created 332 new jobs and supported 887 existing jobs;
  • Increased budget revenue of municipalities by 70 percent.

Replication: Tajikistan paid a study visit to Kyrgyzstan to learn from the experience of the Kyrgyz colleagues.

Budget: Required minimum capital for the operation of the guarantee fund (in various countries, the capital requirements may be different). In Kyrgyzstan the capital requirements for the guarantee fund is KGS 6 million, or $100,000.

Partners: USAID, municipalities of Kara-Balta, Jalal-Abad, Osh, Karakol, Kant, Saray and others.

Contact details: 
Kyrgyzstan 
Association of Guarantee Funds of the Kyrgyz Republic 
Malik Abakirov, Chairman 
Address: 209/1, Moskovskaya str., Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic 
Phone number: +996-557-574454 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Saturday, 05 December 2015 13:20

Solution: Following the approval of the new law of the Kyrgyz Republic on Pastures in 2009, which opened opportunities for more decentralized management of pastures through introduction of pasture committees at the local level, a new and innovative solution for addressing pasture degradation issues was introduced and tested in frames of the UNDP-implemented, Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded project on “Demonstrating Sustainable Pasture Management in the Suusamyr valley” -- information system “Electronic Pasture Committee.”

Goals and objectives: The system helps to make decisions on pasture management in real-time by tracking pasture areas, amount of pasture users and livestock, livestock vaccination, payment for livestock grazing and maintaining the database of pasture tickets. In addition, the system allows accessing to data on borders, geo-botanical conditions, economic value and livestock grazing capacity of pastures and regularly monitoring of the degradation of pastures and timely action for sustainable pasture management.

Implementation: The project was implemented in 2008-2013 and having tested and proved the solution’s efficiency, is now being replicated by the UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative in other districts.

To introduce the Electronic Pasture Committee in five rural areas of At-Bashy district of Naryn oblast and two rural areas of Batken and Osh oblasts, a group of pasture experts conducted an inventory, economic and geo-botanical assessment of the pasture territories of the target local self-government units and developed cattle grazing plans.

The system had been introduced in 11 districts of Chuy, Talas and Jalal-Abad oblasts within the UNDP/GEF project in the Suusamyr valley. As a response to the interest coming from other districts of the country, UNDP-UNEP PEI project supported the replication of the system in seven rural self governments of Naryn, Batken and Osh oblasts.

Achievements:

  • Improved pasture committees management and increased transparency due to availability of the information on the key aspects of the sustainable pasture management such as load on the pasture areas, cattle grazing plan and vaccinations.
  • Informed decision-making towards better planning the economic benefits as a result of economic assessment of the pasture value. Such assessment in the five ayil okmoty of Naryn oblast concluded that a proper management of the pastures can generate income equal to $13 million.
  • Pasture Committee (PC) in Suusamyr ayil okmotu has become an exemplary organization with a fully operational information system tomanage the pastures of the ayil okmotu in a sustainable way.

In 2014, after successful approval of the solution the rights to the Electronic Pasture Committee were transferred to the Ministry of Agriculture and Melioration of the Kyrgyz Republic. The Government is committed to integrating the information system into national pasture management plans by 2017.

Replication: The experience can be used in other developing countries with the similar conditions and so far two neighboring countries like Kazakhstan and Tajikistan have already expressed their interest in it.

Budget: The first project expenditure is approximately $75,000 (including the e-software development, experts’ fee and upgrading the software).

Partners: GEF, local governments

Contact details: 
Kyrgyzstan 
Address: 160 Chuy Ave., Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan 
Mr. Daniar Ibragimov 
Team Leader, Environment and DRM/PEI focal point 
Environment/Energy and Disaster Risk Management Programme 
UNDP in the Kyrgyz Republic 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone number: +996-312-611211 ext. 122 (w.) +996-772 550-450

Saturday, 05 December 2015 21:28

Solution: High Technologies Park (HTP) of Kyrgyz provides low-tax regime and regulatory advantages for companies and specialists in the sphere of ICT and elaboration of software. The tax benefits offered are: 5 percent income tax, 10 percent social contributions and 2 percent pension funds with average monthly salary in country, 1 percent deductions from company turnover to the directorate of HTP.

Goals and objectives: The mission of HTP is to stimulate the development of the ICT industry in Kyrgyzstan through favorable tax software, the concentration of specialists and companies in the sphere of software, provision of openness and paving the way for IT industry. Thus, it is an opportunity for specialists to live in Kyrgyzstan and at the same time work for the whole world. Companies and individual specialists can send an application for registration to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Implementation: HTP development was initiated by Kyrgyz Software and Services Developers Association (KSSDA) in cooperation with the Ministry of Transportation and Communication and had been realized since 2008.

Residents - A resident of the HTP is any individual or organization registered as an HTP resident in the manner prescribed by the HTP Act. An individual or organization can become an HTP resident if at least 90 percent of their income comes from the activities listed below.

Activities of HTP residents:

  • Software development, including: Analysis, design and development ofinformation systems, including off-the-shelf software;
  • Analysis of information needs and user issues;
  • Design, development, supply and documentation of proprietary and/or off-the-shelf software, including custom products;
  • Software patching as requested by users;
  • Exports of information technologies and software products;
  • Setting up interactive service (call) centers and providing interactive services.

Foreign individuals and organizations can also become HTP residents. Any individual or organization wishing to join ITP should submit an application in a form approved by the Supervisory Board.

One year after final registration, no less than 80 percent of goods and services produced by the resident should go for export and/or no less than 80 percent of resident’s revenues should be from the exports of goods and services.

Achievements: There are eight company residents and for 2014 total income was $1,407,366. 80 percent of customers are from abroad: Kazakhstan, Russian Federation, Ukraine and elsewhere.

Replication: the solution can be replicated in countries where is demand to governmen’s stimulation for development of the ICT sector.

Contact information: 
Azis Abakirov 
Tel: +996772662536 
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Saturday, 05 December 2015 12:49

Solution: Organic aimak is an integrated model of sustainable development of rural and mountainous communities, based on a synthesis of traditional culture and modern organic technologies.

Goals and objectives: This model has been developing since 2012 under the common agreement that farmers work together using traditional technologies and waiving chemicals for production of agricultural goods, such as potatoes, beans, nuts, apricots, berries, honey etc., that are in high demand in the market and profitable. An important feature is preservation of fragile mountain ecotypes and bio-cultural diversity.

Implementation: The solution is based on consolidation of efforts of local farmers for sustainable development of agricultural production. In Kopuro Bazar village, Talass region, 20 farmers pooled their land and allocated some of it for public use.

This uses social resources based on the traditional mentality of indigenous inhabitants, as well as traditional instruments of social control and motivation:

  • “Ashar,” a traditional method of community construction of large facilities for general or for family use. For example, in one of the aimaks, people improved the main street of the village - the main thoroughfares – in three days by using "ashar" method.
  • "Yntymak kurzhunu" (literally, "Treasury of agreed cooperation," "treasury agreement") is a local microcredit fund, organized by farmers. Each family contributes small amounts of money to the fund to be able to borrow relatively large amounts of money from the fund in turn. This approach allows farmers to have access to autonomous (albeit modest) funding, and so they do not depend on grants and external loans. In addition, this form of credit breeds mutual trust.
  • Small local festivals, festivals of koumiss (popular traditional drinking of sour horse milk), garlic, apricot, berries or birds of prey that contribute to the promotion and distribution of organic aimak model in remote mountainous communities.

Achievements: This model brought changes to depressed villages where farmers used to not receive money for their products and lived a natural exchange life for many years by earning relatively large, by local standards, amount of cash. At the Organic Products Fair in 2014, only one village - Kopuro Bazar - sold agricultural products at 30,000 Kyrgyz Soms (about $5,000) in two days.

As products labeled organic must be certified, the federation “Bio-KG” has now been introducing private organic standards and the Ministry of Agricultures presented the National Plan on Organic Agriculture Development for the Government’s endorsement.

Replication: The solution can be replicated in countries where there are many small-scale farms with "patchwork" landholdings, especially in depressed areas and in fragile or degraded ecosystems like mountains, deserts, tundra zones. Sustainable profitable farming with minimal cost can be reproduced in poor countries through community mobilization and application of traditional techniques for financial and material support.

Budget: The first year of the program implementation international organizations (such as ICCO, The Christensen Fund, and others) allocated $60,000 for 4 aymaks, composed of 9 villages.

Partners: Local farmers of 23 villages – implementation of organic farming technologies; Ministry of Agriculture of Kyrgyz Republic – rules and regulations development; National Agricultural University – knowledge sharing; international organizations, such as ICCO, The Christensen Fund, Helvetas, and GIZ – technical and financial support.

Contact details:
Kyrgyzstan
Federation of Organic Development “Bio-KG» (FOD «Bio-KG»)
Director Mr. Aidaraliev Iskenderbek
Phone number; +996 553 332167
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thursday, 07 July 2016 13:09

Solution: In Kyrgyzstan, 30.6 percent of the population lives below the poverty line (World Bank, 2014) and needs various help, starting with food, clothes and housing up to expensive surgeries.

Goals and objectives: The problem is not enough connection and trust between people in need and those who are able and willing to help them. To contribute to solving the problem, the Charity Public Foundation “Elim Barsynby?” launched an initiative called “A Good Penny.”

Implementation: Traditionally, most Kyrgyz families have money boxes to collect odd money (called pennies for the purpose of initiative) time from time and to spend later for small household expenses. The initiative mobilizes people to bring their money boxes to be organized events and give pennies to the poor.

To mobilize people and resources, the foundation implements the following steps:

  • Dissemination of information about the event through social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media (in each network’s page the foundation has tens of thousands subscribers);
  • Social involvement of businesses such as video producers, commercial singers and shopping malls;
  • To increase interest, video studios volunteer to produce dedicated social videos and photos. To encourage producers the video is marked with trademarks and information about volunteering for charity;
  • In each video and photo, popular singers make advertising speeches and perform at the charity event for free;
  • Negotiation with administration of shopping malls to give a space for the event for free.

Achievements: As a result of four charity events organized in Bishkek, the capital, and Talas region, the initiative has collected $16,876, which was distributed to people who need surgeries to be done in Kyrgyzstan.

The initiative has had an essential social impact:

  • More than 2,000 families “invested” their money boxes for social support. Such contributions, apart from building the sense of social solidarity within the society, have an educational aspect for the young generation. It raises awareness of children about needs of the poor and motivates them to collect pennies/money for the poor. Children are awarded small prizes to acknowledge their contributions;
  • 15 people received brain, heart, cataract and cancer surgeries and other treatments;
  • Increased social responsibility of business: the shopping malls, which provided spaces for free, have their own special programs “Social events and responsibilities” with the initiative being part of it;
  • New fund-raising and crowdfunding methods are introduced to contributors and beneficiaries.

Replication: The solution can be replicated in countries to help people in need through social mobilization. Budget: $6,000 for all expenses.

Partners: Ministry of Labour and Social Development of the Kyrgyz Republic, administrations of shopping centers "Bishkek Park" and “Vefa Center,” popular singers.

Contact information:
Charity Public Foundation “Elim Barsynby?”
Federov street 28, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Contact person:  Khabibulla Arzykulov, Director
Тел.: +996 312 89 86 22
https://www.facebook.com/elimbarsinbi/

Tuesday, 12 June 2018 20:51

UN, donors, government counterparts’ discussion in 2013 on phasing out of the Humanitarian-Architecture, leads to discussion on resilience building as a plausible way forward in Zimbabwe. To this end, UNDP with the support of government ministries, UNRCO, and WFP generated a series of evidence pieces to inform the development of the Zimbabwe Resilience Strategic Framework and the set-up of the Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund to cover programming gaps. Beyond management of the platform, UNDP remains involved in evidence-building and the application of this evidence in policy making for resilience in Zimbabwe. RC is an integral part of the ZRBF Steering Committee. 

The fund has recently been launched and the 3-year community projects have only recently started. However, through the particular set-up, the ZRBF constitutes a broad Platform for building resilience in Zimbabwe (noting that the new GCF proposal will also build on this foundation). Importantly, all three engagement areas of ZRBF (1. Evidence; 2. Increased absorptive, adaptive and transformative capacities of at-risk communities; 3. A flexible Crisis modifier built-in have gained substantial trust and go beyond being experimentation spaces for the government and the beneficiaries – they are now becoming drivers of change for UNDP core programming Additionally, ZRBF positions UNDP within the Zimbabwean context to coordinate or jointly coordinate thinking around: SDGs 1,2,5,6 and 13.

Over the last decades, Zimbabwe has experienced a number of unprecedented economic, climatic and social shocks and stresses, many of which will have long-lasting impacts. Poverty, food insecurity, malnutrition, and environmental degradation are serious challenges in Zimbabwe, particularly in rural areas. Due to effects of climate change or extreme weather conditions and poor economic development Zimbabwe has for the last fifteen years, experienced a social and economic crisis that entrenched high levels of poverty. The national poverty rate stands at 62.6% while the rural poverty rate is at 76%, with 30.4% of the rural population living in extreme poverty and 33% of under-5 children stunted (chronically malnourished) . Frequent droughts have resulted in poor cropping and consumption seasons over the last 15 years with an estimated 4.2 million people in need of food assistance between January and March 2017. Total cereal production in 2016 was estimated at 512,000 metric tonnes: 27% lower than in 2015, and about 50% lower than the 2011–2015 average. With this background and increased frequency of hazards, the resilience approach is the most likely successful pathway to development for most affected communities.

The Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund (ZRBF) is a long-term development initiative with an overall objective of contributing to increased capacity of communities to protect development gains in the face of recurrent shocks and stresses enabling them to contribute to the development of Zimbabwe. Importantly, the facility is distinct from traditional development projects as it has no fixed log frame but rather works on the basis of calls for proposals defined by the actualized needs on the ground. ZRBF has developed a governance mechanism and vetting process to ensure that funding is allocated to the highest quality of proposals that deliver value for money to eligible partners (UN agencies, INGOs, CBOs, Academia, local government and private sector) to respond to the growing demand for greater collaboration amongst a wide range of actors and support achievement of the results of the engagement areas. The fund also consists of a crisis-modifier which provides appropriate, predictable, coordinated and timely response to risk and shocks to benefitting communities thereby ‘protecting’ the resilience investments made. The ZRBF adds value to fine-tune the design and increase the effectiveness of delivery for integrated solutions to complex development settings that require multi actors’ partnerships and multi-sectoral action across economic, social and environmental issues. 

Partners: The ZRBF is funded through the EU (US$ 28 million), DfID (US$ 34 million), SIDA US$ 12 million) and with some seed-funding from UNDP (US$ 2 million). To date, ZRBF has made a total allocation of US$ 37 million to 7 Consortia with a total of 29 partners (UN agency, NGOs, CBOs, FBOs, Academia, Private Sector and Local government targeting) a total of 800,000 beneficiaries in 18 prioritized vulnerable rural districts.


Government Partners of Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund:

  • Ministry of Land, Agricultural and Rural Resettlement
  • Ministry of Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare
  • Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate
  • Ministry of Local governance, public works & national housing
  • Minister of Finance and Economic Development
  • Food and Nutrition Council

Implementing Agency:
Ministry of Land, Agricultural and Rural Resettlement and Fund is managed by United Nations Development Programme, with some coordination with the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Contact details:
United Nations Development Programme in Zimbabwe
OIC The Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund
Rufael Fassil
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018 08:08

Rwanda’s economy and its people's livelihood are highly dependent on natural resources that are under increasing pressure from unsustainable use, soil erosion, deforestation and the impact of increasing climate variability and climate change, especially in rural areas.

In partnership with the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), and a range of other ministries including Local Government, Infrastructure and Agriculture and under the leadership of the local women’s-led cooperative, the UNEP-UNDP Poverty-Environment Initiative (PEI) from 2010 to 2018, supported the adoption of a range of economic and environmentally sustainable approaches and technologies making Rubaya the country’s first ‘Green Village’.

Scaled up under the “Integrated Development Programme (IDP) Model Villages”, today, more than 44 village models allow to halt environmental degradation, provide green energy, livelihoods and improved infrastructure for the local inhabitants.

Rwanda’s economy and its people's livelihood are highly dependent on natural resources that are under increasing pressure from unsustainable use, soil erosion, deforestation and the impact of increasing climate variability and climate change. As such, unsustainable use of the environment and natural resources hinders the achievement of national development objectives.

Because of the natural topography in Rwanda, the “Land of 1000 Hills”, the rural population is vulnerable to natural risks and disasters, especially flooding and landslides, which are exacerbated by increasingly extreme weather events caused by climate change.

In many rural areas, over-cultivation of land, inadequate soil conservation and deforestation from firewood collection causes fertile soil to be washed away during heavy rains resulting in lower agricultural productivity and food security. Women and children often have to walk long distances to carry firewood or collect water, leaving little time for other activities and formal education.

Solution: 
Since 2010, Rubaya, a rural village nestled among the hills of Gicumbi District, located in North Rwanda and one of the poorest districts in the country, has been quietly leading a sustainable development revolution. In partnership with the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), and a range of other ministries including Local Government, Infrastructure and Agriculture and under the leadership of the local women’s led cooperative, the UNEP-UNDP  Poverty-Environment Initiative (PEI) supported the adoption of a range of economic and environmentally sustainable approaches and technologies making Rubaya the country’s first ‘Green Village’.

Terracing and tree planting has reduced soil erosion and deforestation which improved agricultural productivity, and reduced flooding, siltation and water pollution from fertilizer run-off. The new biogas plants have provided Rubaya with a clean source of energy, reducing smoke-related health problems from open fires and dependency on firewood, thereby reducing rates of deforestation. Rainwater harvested and stored in reservoirs and underground tanks is used for crop irrigation and household consumption. With these resources now available close at hand, women and children have more time to engage in other productive activities. The project has also increased crop productivity, allowed to build better houses, a school and a health centre.

A cost-benefit analysis of the project (2017) has proven that the green village project is very cost-effective. The village cost about US$636,000 to construct and costs about US$22,000 per year to run. Using conservative figures, the project demonstrates an internal rate of return of 5.8 percent, 7.7 percent and 8.9 percent over 15, 20 and 30 years, respectively. The study also estimated that investing in an additional 30 villages of 100 households each (1 green village per district) would generate net benefits of about US$21million at a 6 percent discount rate over 30 years, generate further indirect economic benefits equivalent to 0.8 percent of GDP and lead to a 0.71 percent decrease in the extreme poverty rate of 16.3 percent (now at 39%), as villagers have been selected from the poorest strata in the country.

Based on these results and experiences of all stakeholders involved, the Government of Rwanda decided to scale-up the initiative under the “Integrated Development Programme (IDP) Model Villages” under auspices of the Ministry of Local Government and the Rwanda Housing Authority. So far 44 IDP Model Villages have been established, with Government investing USD25million in the Financial Year 2016/17. And in the newly drafted National Strategy for Transformation (NST) for the period 2018-2024, the government targets 4 IDP Model Villages per District, which will be reflected in District Development Strategies and yearly performance contracts (“imihigo”) of government officials. To support this process, REMA with UNDP-UNEP PEI support has developed “Green Village Toolkits” and provides training to national and district technical staff, and village inhabitants.

The green village model has also raised attention among other countries in the region who learned about the green village practice through study exchanges, e.g. through regional PEI events, or study tours from Burkina Faso, Tanzania and other countries.

Partners:
Rwanda’s Environment Management Authority (REMA), supported by the UNDP-UNEP Poverty Environment Initiative (PEI)

For more information:

Other useful links: 

Contact Details:
Jan Rijpma
International Technical Specialist
UNDP-UNEP Poverty Environment Initiative (PEI)
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thursday, 24 May 2018 09:03

Solution: EduFocal is an online social learning tool for the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) and Caribbean Examination Certificate exam (CSEC) students in Jamaica.

Goals and objectives: EduFocal is created to enable social learning, specifically test preparation through utilizing “gamification” and helping to keep students interested in the service.

Implementation:  EduFocal was launched on March 15, 2012 and currently has over 600 students utilizing the service to practice for their exams.

Users who are registered to the EduFocal service start at level 1 in all the subjects that are offered, that is, the most basic level. To “level up”, users need to answer questions that are created by teachers on the EduFocal service; the more questions students answer correctly, the faster they level up.

The difficulty of questions depends on the level, at which the student is: the higher the level, the more difficult the questions. When students attain level 65 in a particular subject they are considered “EduSparks” and have the ability to write questions/content for others on the EduFocal service.

Another element of the EduFocal service that is adopted from game mechanics is the leader board. The leader board is a system wide feature where students compete against each other for the number one spot on the service. The student who is consistently at #1 will win a scholarship from EduFocal.

As of now EduFocal facilitates test preparation for students sitting for GSAT test in Jamaica and the Caribbean CSEC exam, but the platform was made to facilitate other exams, e.g SATs, CAPE etc. EduFocal has been endorsed by the Jamaican Minister of Education.

Achievements: Since December 2012, students have taken over 22,000 tests on EduFocal and parents have reported that students are on the service as early as 5:00 AM. One parent claimed that her child’s performance in school has seen drastic improvement since she started using EduFocal.

EduFocal is expected to impact thousands of students over the next 5 years by giving them an appreciation for learning, and not only to see it as a boring, rote thing that is done to get by in the world.

EduFocal was created out of a need to change the educational landscape in the Caribbean, a very modest goal. The most valuable part of the service isn’t the gamification, but the data that is collected on each and every student on the service. This can be used to generate reports on each student.

Contact details:
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  

 

Thursday, 24 May 2018 08:58

Solution: Self-Employed Workers Association Kendra (SEWAK) is an innovative project improving skills of rural youth in India through employment generating services and trainings.

Goals and objectives: Unemployment is one of the major problems faced by rural youth in India today. Even though a number of schemes are being implemented by various Government Departments to provide self-employment to the youth, a large number of youths still continue to be unemployed. Lack of technical training, unawareness of available opportunities, lack of motivation, and declining entrepreneurship are some of the reasons attributed to the large-scale unemployment among rural youth. SEWAK’s prime objective is to provide quality entrepreneurship and employment generating services to improve the living conditions and livelihood opportunities of young people between 15 to 35 years from the most challenged and economically disadvantaged sections of the society.

Implementation: To address this vital issue, Nehru Yuva Kendra Palakkad started SEWAK in 2000 by registering under the Societies Registration Act of 1860. The project runs through providing young people with quality advanced training in various vocational fields so they can become self-employed. Trained youth then become part of SEWAK Skilled Workers Panel and they are eligible to work on several public work projects for the Panchayati Raj Institutions and other Government and other quasi-government agencies in the Region. Through these projects, sustainable employment is provided to trained youth.

The innovative approach of SEWAK is to generate money locally to solve unemployment challenges within the community.

Achievements: SEWAK has made remarkable achievements in generating employment avenues for poor and disadvantaged communities by mobilizing resources locally.

  • 60 to 80 young, from disadvantaged sections of the society, have access to regular and continuous employment through the project every year.
  • The trained youth is able to generate employment earning approximately Rs. 45 to 50 Lakhs (65,968 – 73,298 USD) every year.
  • The State Government and the District Planning Committee have approved SEWAK as an Implementing Agency for the works of PRIs in the district.
  • The project is run on a self-financing basis and non-profit basis.

Contact details:
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 06622-237146

  

Wednesday, 23 May 2018 08:13

Solution: Holistic assessment (HA) is a process of using multiple sources to continually gather information on a child’s development, to provide feedback to support and guide learning throughout the education.

Goals and objectives: In 2009, the Singapore Primary Education Review and Implementation (PERI) Committee made recommendations to realize a more holistic primary education and prepare youth for the future. HA aims to support student learning and development, and build their confidence and desire to learn.

Implementation: key strategies for implementing HA:

  • developing a systemic implementation approach and plan
  • building school leaders’ and teachers’ capacity
  • providing resource support
  • engaging stakeholders’ support

Ministry of Education implemented HA in three stages (see figure below), starting with prototyping in sixteen schools in 2010, and extending to all 190 primary schools by 2013.

singapore peri1

HA focuses on achieving greater balance, quality and child-centricity in school assessment systems to increase student motivation and success in learning). Teachers use assessment information formatively to adjust instruction and provide students with feedback and targeted practice to move learning forward. Students clarify learning intentions, assess themselves and one another, set goals for improvement, and track and communicate their progress.

singapore peri

Schools adopt Child-Centric Holistic Reporting Systems (comprising Holistic Report Card, Pupil Progress Report and Development Portfolio) to give parents a fuller picture of their child’s holistic development. This enables greater student involvement in communicating their learning (e.g., through Parent-Child-Teacher Conferencing) and helps develop confident learners.

Achievements: Primary schools have ranked HA as one of the most beneficial MOE initiatives for each of the past four years (2011-2014).

singapore peri2

Teachers generally indicated higher confidence in delivering quality classroom assessment after one year of implementing HA. More than 97% of teachers surveyed indicated that they were:

  • able to provide effective feedback to support student learning
  • more reflective about their teaching practices
  • constantly making refinements to their teaching.

Students found learning more enjoyable and became more confident and motivated to learn. They were more aware of their strengths and areas for improvement as a result of feedback received from their teachers. They had more opportunities to set goals for their learning and communicate what they had learnt to their parents and teachers. Many teachers also reported that students were more engaged during lessons, participated more actively in class and took greater ownership of their learning.

Parents gave the “thumbs up” to HA implementation despite initial reservations. They became less anxious after seeing the positive effects of HA on their children. Parents appreciated the regular feedback provided on their child’s progress and performance as it helped them to better support their child’s learning and development.

Replication: There are plans to implement HA practices in the secondary schools. PERI-HA implementation has been shared with secondary schools, junior colleges, pre-schools and special education schools as well as with overseas delegates visiting Singapore schools (e.g., from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Fiji, Hong Kong, Kenya, Korea, Lesotho, Nigeria, Oman and Thailand). Many visitors have found PERI-HA interesting and indicated an interest in adapting HA practices to their own context.

Budget:  Approximately US2.2 million (2010 figure)

Contact details: Ministry of Education
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Sunday, 27 May 2018 06:56

Solution: Job Link-Up is an initiative targeted at young people from the ages of 15 and 24 who are considered ‘at risk” of remaining unemployed. Within the framework of this initiative, “at-risk” refers to those young persons who, due to particular socio-economic factors may experience greater difficulty in finding a job and integrating into the job market; thus they are considered to be involuntarily out of work.

Goals and objectives: Job-Link Up is aimed to engage “at-risk” youth to strengthen personal development and employment skills, improved chances for employment and opportunities for further education and thus, to reduce their interest to participate in deviant behaviours.

Implementation:  in 2009, the Department of Youth and Culture launched the Job Link-Up initiative that has been running since then.

For this initiative, those considered ‘at-risk’ must exhibit 3 or more of the following “hindering” factors:

  • non-completion of high school;
  • personal disability;
  • current or past health and or substance abuse related problems;
  • the individual is a single parent;
  • low levels of literacy and numeracy;
  • English is a second language;
  • regular contact with justice, probations, child welfare or social assistance systems;
  • homelessness, or at risk of becoming homeless;
  • inadequate social supports (family, friends or community supports);
  • poor self-and/or behaviour management.

Each young person attached to the programme is assisted in developing action plans that plot their entry into the workforce. These action plans includes individual counselling, group counseling, job shadowing, mentorship, job placement, academic and skills training coupled with ongoing personal development sessions.

The concept behind Job Link-Up is that by completion of each programme cycle, participants would have been fully integrated into the job market. Each programme cycle runs for 6 months and targets 15 at-risk youth per cycle.

Young people accessing the Job Link-Up programme must be referred by a select group of referral agencies, through the ‘Job Link-Up Referral Form’. These agencies are:

  • The Departments of Social Development, Probation and Education
  • Her Majesty’s Prison
  • The Youth and Community Development Centers
  • Churches
  • Community based organizations

All decisions concerning acceptance to the initiative are made by a management team. After reviewing the forms, an initial short list of potential clients is made. These clients are then interviewed. The clients selected to commence a cycle must:

  • Be between the ages of 15 and 24 years on entering the programme.
  • Possess at least 3 or more of the stipulated ‘at-risk’ factors.
  • Demonstrate willingness to commit to the completion of the programme.
  • Demonstrate willingness to positively adjust his/her lifestyle.

The following remuneration is provided to clients attached to a workplace:

  • Clients from 17 to 24 years old receive a minimum monthly stipend of EC$1000.00 (USD368.00)
  • Clients ages 15-17 (school aged) are only attached to a work place for the maximum of 16 hours a week. They receive the minimum weekly stipend of EC$80.00 (USD30.00)

Remuneration is provided to clients along the agreed ratio: Department of Youth and Culture 60%; and the agency of employment 40%.

Achievements: From the inception of the programme in 2009, Job Link-Up has assisted seventy-five (75) young persons. Of these persons, five percent (75%) successfully completed the programme and approximately forty- five percent (45%) have gained fulltime employment.

From the experience gained through this initiative, some participants have ventured into their own small enterprise. In addition to gaining fulltime employment, reviews have shown that participants now possess greater self-confidence, have enhanced social skills and are making a more meaningful contribution to their communities.

Partners: The Departments of Social Development, Probation and Education, Her Majesty’s Prison, the Youth and Community Development Centers, churches, Community based organizations

Budget: The Job Link-Up Programme, which runs for a six (6) months cycle has an annual budget of EC$56,601.41 (USD20, 833.00).

Contact details:
Anguilla Department of Youth and Culture
Bren K. Romney, Director
Telephone: 264 498 3792
Fax: 264 497 7999

Monday, 14 May 2018 12:23

According India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) of 2008, in the course of the 20th century, the average temperature in the country increased by 0.6°C. Rainfall is becoming scarce but intense, increasingly affecting the use of natural resources and agricultural productivity. In addition, almost 60% of agriculture in India is rain-fed and the majority of farmers are small and marginal, especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. NAPCC combines existing national plans on water, renewable energy, energy efficiency, agriculture and others, bundled with additional ones, into a set of eight missions, one of which is especially relevant for the project: the National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA). The NMSA seeks to devise appropriate adaptation and mitigation strategies in the agriculture sector in the context of risks associated with climate change. It promotes improved access to climate-relevant information and advice, and pursues a strategy for adapting agriculture to climate change. The core problem for building the capacity for climate changes adaptation is the lack of network to provide effective and timely updated information for farmers as well as policy makers and service providers at different levels (village, district, state and national level).

The Climate Change Knowledge Network in Indian Agriculture (CCKN-IA) was created in the Indian states of Jharkhand, Odisha and Maharashtra under the project run from 2013 to 2017 with the objective to support relevant actors in agriculture at national, state and district level increasingly use information provided by the climate change knowledge network.

The project’s target group is defined as small-scale farmers (men and women) threatened by climate change in the three selected states. Jharkhand, Odisha and Maharashtra are characterized by differing socio-economic development and exposure to the effects of climate change. The project works in three states, six districts and twelve blocks.

The objective is to be achieved by two outputs with the following theory of change as outlined:

  • Output A: Public, non-government and private partner organisations of the network provide climate change relevant services: Based on baseline surveys, vulnerability assessments and stakeholder analyses, network partner organisations are identified and detailed work packages formulated. Local level experts develop and validate local climate change adaptation extension contents (so-called “advisories”) to address climate variabilities and climate changes. At the same time, a web-based knowledge management system (Network for Information on Climate (Ex)Change, NICE, http://nice.cckn-ia.org) is developed, tested and adjusted. NICE allows multiple stakeholders from domains like meteorology, agriculture science, extension systems and others to share and adapt knowledge to address local needs. The online system is accessible also through a tablet application which capacitates Field Extension Agents (FEAs) equipped by the project with tablets to receive timely, quality-checked, relevant climate change adaptation information through multiple modes (one-pagers, SMS, video links). FEAs are local farmers (“Farmers Friends”) or field level extension workers (the different states apply different models). They share the information obtained at village level by means of notice boards and farmer group meetings. In addition, farmers pilot proven, easy-to-adopt, low-cost sustainable agricultural practices of climate change adaptation.
  • Output B: Lessons, concepts and guidelines of the network become part of the national decision making processes/strategies of MoA (policy advice): The learnings of the project are shared with all stakeholders. Policy briefs and policy guidelines to institutionalize the project approach are developed. The State Agricultural Departments continue using the network. State governments have new adjusted block level contingency plans which enable them to specifically react to climate change-induced extreme events at local level. MoAFW appoints a nodal agency as “owner” of NICE so that network experiences become part of national decision making.

By establishing two-way communication channels through the network, the project could contribute to mainstreaming climate change relevant knowledge through governmental structures directly to all stakeholders involved.

Project Achievements

Objective indicator 1: The number of network members engaged in content development is in at least 70% of the months in the second year of network operation higher than in the previous year;

Objective indicator 2: The number of times the members log into NICE is in at least 70% of the months in the second year of network operation higher than in the previous year

  • Achievements of Indicator 1 and Indicator 2 verify an increased use of information provided by the network. The values extracted from NICE showed an interesting pattern: In the main agricultural season when climate change adaptation information is especially important, i.e. from July to October (monsoon season or Kharif), content development activities were especially high, both in terms of number of users as well as number of logins. This confirms that content development is done according to seasonal needs of farmers, indicated by the local agricultural calendar

Objective indicator 3: At least 70% of stakeholders at district, extension agent and community level confirm that the information provided by the network is up-to-date, comprehensive, understandable and relevant. 

  • Achievement of the indicator 3: The results of the impact survey conducted by an Indian consultancy company in October 2016 showed that the respondents at the district, extension agent and community level assessed the information provided by the network to be up-to-date (74% of the 605 respondents), comprehensive (82%), understandable (91%) and relevant (89%). At community level, respondents found the information especially understandable (91%) and relevant (90%). 

Objective indicator 4: By the end of the project, block-level plans to adapt to climate-related contingency situations are available in the project areas which are based on information of the network.

  • Achievement of the indicator 4: For each of the twelve project blocks, a contingency plan was developed under leadership of the responsible organization, the Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA), involving all levels, in consultation with farmers which was an innovation.

Objective indicator 5: In the six project districts, 25% of channels to communicate the information on adaptation are specifically targeted at women. Channels comprise short messages services, notice boards, farmers groups meetings, and women SHG meetings.

  • Achievement of the indicator 5: In order to improve its outreach to women, the project trained nine (female) leaders of women SHGs in Ranchi District, Jharkhand in December 2016, and equipped them with tablets. The women had been selected by the local women groups; it page 7 was expected that they conveyed the information obtained through the tablets among the village’s SHGs without any payment. According to project data, the nine SHGs leaders cover in total 59 SHGs. The women highly appreciated the agriculture-related information which they got through the discussions in the SHGs. According to a KVK staff, the SHG leaders are more active in responding to information and provide more frequent feed-back through NICE than men. However, the project could not transfer the new approach to the remaining five project districts because of early project termination. Thus, only in one of its six districts (17% of the project area), 25% of the channels to communicate the information on adaptation are specifically targeted at women.

Partners: Rainfed Farming System Division (RFS) under the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoAFW). Implementing organisations: the National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE) and the State Agricultural Departments.

Important intermediaries are the State Extension Management Institutes, Agriculture Science Centres (Krishi Vigyan Kendra, KVK), the Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA), State Agricultural Universities, India Meteorological Department (IMD) as well as non-governmental organisations NGOs such as Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR) and private sector partners

Budget: 4,000,000 EUR

Contact details: 
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
Bonn and Eschborn Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 40 53113 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 44 60 0
Fax: +49 228 44 60 1766
Dag-Hammarskjöld-Weg 1–5 65760 Eschborn, Germany
Phone: +49 61 96 79 0
Fax: +49 61 96 79 1115
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.giz.de

CCKN Help Desk
Call at- +91-9873874421

National Administration
Mr. Florian Moder or Mr. Navin Vivek Horo for project related issues
Phone: +91- 9650102669 (Mr. Florian Moder)
Phone: +91- 9953325457 (Mr. Navin Horo)

State Administration

Maharashtra
Mr. Somnath Chaudhary for Maharashtra project related issues
Phone: +91- 8975765685

Jharkhand
Mr. Rajesh Kumar Singh for Jharkhand project related issues
Phone: +91- 9470307848

Odisha
Mr. Zakir Hussain for Odisha project related issues
Phone: +91- 8826897278