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:
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

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.

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.

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, 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.

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

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

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

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

Thursday, 26 April 2018 17:18

Cities Alliance Operational Structure Establishes during the Initiation Phase (2015-2016)

The main result of the initiation phase is the formulation of the operational structure which consists of the four following key pillars:

infographic1 text3

  1. The Cities Alliance is the overarching organizational body, membership based.

  2. The Cities Forum is an annual conference which gathers mayors and senior representatives from member cities and institutions. It discusses and provides guidance to the work of the Business Council and the various specialized committees.

  3. The Business Council is a committee established with special focus on promoting business collaborations between private sector entities from member cities of the Cities Alliance.

  4. The Specialized Committees are multi-stakeholder committees established to organize and conduct sector-specific activities based on demands of the member cities and institutions.


Full-fledged Project Phase (2017-2021)

1. Goal

The overarching goal of the Cities Alliance is to “facilitate the building of partnerships for development and trade and investment at the city level, to assist countries [in] tackling their social and economic development challenges”.  The full-fledged MCSR Cities Alliance project seeks to further align its support to the five priority areas of the “Belt and Road Initiative” namely policy coordination, infrastructure connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bond. One specific focus of the full-fledged phase is to facilitate formulation, coordination and consolidation of sectoral action plans and projects in a green economy, smart city, tourism, culture, trade and investment, among others.

Building on the achievements of the initiation phase, the Cities Alliance will reprofile as a global platform to facilitate regional and inter-regional South-South and triangular exchanges at the city level towards achieving sustainable development.

The Cities Alliance will focus on sharing knowledge and strengthening public institutions, capacities and institutional mechanisms so that participating cities can adequately address their development challenges.

South-South cooperation modality will be adopted in the management of the project. The project will be guided by principles of South-South cooperation including respect for national ownership and independence, equality, non-conditionality, mutual benefit and demand driven.

The project has been developed using a demand-driven approach. The Cities Alliance will be responsive to the needs of participating members, including any local, national, or regional development frameworks.

Since cities in participating Southern countries are the primary contributors and beneficiaries, it is envisioned that they will take ownership of the project and set the overall agenda. A strengthened Cities Alliance apparatus will only support exchanges and terms of cooperation that abide by these principles.

The project will focus heavily on engaging support and building partnerships through a multi-stakeholder approach. It will bring together actors from a wide range of sectors—the United Nations system, national and local governments, civil society, and private sector.

The following proposed activities will be conducted in line with above:

  • Expand membership base of the Cities Alliance.
  • Pool of knowledge, expertise and resources from members to address development challenges.
  • Redesign the Cities Forum to enable the sharing of policies, programmes and knowledge; and improve the management and operation of the Forum.
  • Business Council focuses on boosting trade and investment between cities in line with the goal of the Cities Alliance.
  • Demand-driven specialized committees bring together experts to develop plans for action. These multi-stakeholder plans will enable cities to collaborate and share experiences to address specific sectoral and cross-sectoral development challenges.

2. Operational Modality 

The full-fledged phase will operate according to the structure established during the initiation phase.

  • At the request of the Government of China, UNOSSC, through the direct implementation modality (DIM)., will act as a coordinating body and facilitate implementation.
  • The Cities Alliance Secretariat, based in Beijing, will manage day-to-day operations. UNOSSC in New York will oversee and support the Secretariat, with support from the UNDP country office in China.
  • As the project continues to expand, UNOSSC Regional Offices, UNDP country offices, and other UN entity in-country teams will be engaged to support various initiatives and activities.
  • With more countries participating, the proposed SSC project modality that applied to the project will allow multiple implementing partners.

3. The Key Pillars of the Cities Alliance

  • The Cities Alliance
    The Cities Alliance is the overarching organizational body, membership based.
  • The Cities Forum
    The Cities Forum is an annual conference which gathers mayors and senior representatives from member cities and institutions. It discusses and provides guidance to the work of the Business Council and the various specialized committees.
    It is anticipated that agreements on business, trade, development and cultural exchanges will be signed as the result of the conference. More follow-up activities will be facilitated.
  • The Business Council
    The Business Council was established in the initiation phase focusing on promoting business ties and contracts between private sector firms in the Cities Alliance. As of 2016, it comprised 25 group members, 36 individual members, and 21 observers.
  • Group members are industrial and/or commercial groups such as chambers of commerce.

  • Individual members are entrepreneurs and executives in major business associations or enterprises.

  • Business Council Observers are organizations or individuals who have obtained approval from the Business Council chairman to attend meetings. After a one-year term as an Observer, organizations or businesses can apply for Business Council membership via nomination of the General Director.
  • Specialized Committees
    The Secretariat will facilitate the establishment of specialized committees which are multi-stakeholder bodies established to organize and conduct sector-specific activities based on demands of the member cities and institutions.
    Members of the committees will be responsible for mobilizing financial and other resources to support the activities and initiatives envisioned in their action plans.
    The committees are encouraged to work together to develop cross-sector plans, and sector specific action plans. Sectoral action plans are expected to result in tangible cooperation agreements. When an initiative was incubated and implemented, a task-specific working group will be established to manage the project.

4. Financial Modality

  • Project funding is allocated to support the operation of the Cities Alliance Secretariat. This includes operational support, project management costs such as monitoring and evaluation, capacity building activities, and small seed funding for the development of sectoral action plans.
  • Project funding will also support selected activities formally submitted by the specialized committees and approved in the Project Annual Work Plan.
  • The host city will be responsible for costs associated with hosting the annual Cities Forum.
  • The Business Council and the specialized committees will mobilize resources to support their operation and the activities envisioned in their action plans.
  • UNOSSC will support resource mobilization efforts in collaboration with partners.

5. List of Established and Preparatory Specialized Committees

Established Specialized Committees:

  1. Business Council;
  2. Education, science and culture;
  3. Sports and Outdoor Activity;
  4. Smart cities and emerging industries;
  5. Investment and trade;

Preparatory Specialized Committees (pipelined to be established)

  1. Tourism;
  2. Environmental protection, renewable energy and climate change;
  3. Financial markets;
  4. Information and communications technology;
  5. Logistics and infrastructure;
  6. Traditional medicine and health;
  7. Green industrial development;
  8. Sustainable urbanization; and
  9. Peace and development.

This list may be reduced in the future if committees fail to gain active membership or produce results, or it may be expanded as new themes emerge.

The terms of reference for each specialized committee will be developed and agreed by the proposing entity, and main partner institutions; and will be submitted to the Secretariat for review and approval. Two to three representatives of the specialized committees will serve as rotational members of the Project Board.

6. Highlight Activities from the Specialized Committees 2018 Workplans

Business Council:

  • participate in the preparation of the 4th China Quanzhou Maritime Silk Road International Brand Expo and organize its 3rd Chairperson Meeting;
  • Organize cultural and tourism exchanges with Chamber of Commerce of Iran;
  • Organize study tours to Tianhong Industrial Zone in Gunagning Vietnam, and to Bangladesh, Indonesia and Cambodia; and prepare case studies for good practices and lessons learned during project implementations.

Sports and Outdoor Sports Specialized Committees

  • Establish Silk Road Sports Academy
  • Promote youth exchanges in sports

Science, Education and Culture Specialized Committee

  • Silk Road Culture Heritage project
  • promote creative economy
  • Organize Maritime Silk Road cultural exchanges and Youth Cultural Exchanges
  • Set up Silk Road Academy
  • Promote environmental protection
  • Appoint goodwill ambassadors

Smart City and Emerging Industry Specialized Committee

  • Uzbekistan Industrial Zone project
  • Partner with cities in Pakistan
  • Bavaria-Chongqing Smart City Cooperation Forum
  • Silk Road Smart City and Emerging Industry International Academy
  • A case study of Chongqing urban-rural development model

Investment and Trade Specialized Committee

  • Set up project database
  • Set up cross-border e-commercee export industrial zone

Traditional Medicine Preparatory Specialized Committee

  • Establish specialized committee in traditional medicine
  • MCSR Traditional Medicine Cooperation International Seminar

Financial Market Preparatory Specialized Committee

  • MCSR Financial Market Forum and Launching Ceremony

Logistics and Infrastructure Preparatory Specialized Committee

  • Organize “Belt and Road International Logistics Summit” and Specialized Committee Launching Ceremony
  • Establish in Mongolia “China Mongolia and Russia logistical information center" jointly organize with Mongolia and Russia in Irkutsk, Russia “Transit Mongolia 2018” forum

Information and Communication Technology Preparatory Specialized Committee

  • Build Virtual Belt and Road
  • Research on E-governance and smart city from overseas

Think Tank Preparatory Specialized Committee

  • Organize “Belt and Road Think Tank Seminar”

Environment Protection Preparatory Specialized Committee

  • Carbon trade report and City Carbon Trade platform 

Contact Us


Thursday, 19 April 2018 07:23

Solution: Supporting Teachers’ English through Mentoring (STEM) is an innovative pilot project designed by the Rwanda Ministry of Education to help primary school teachers in a remote parts of Rwanda enhance their classroom English language and pedagogical skills to improve learner outcomes.

Goals and objectives: Since October 2008, Rwanda Ministry of Education has required teachers from Primary 4 upwards to teach their subjects in English: previously they had taught in French. One of the main interventions to facilitate their transition to English medium instruction was the 2009 – 2011 nationwide Rwanda English in Action Programme (REAP). Feedback from REAP indicated a strong desire for further inputs and support to teachers to help them develop specific classroom competencies in English, as well as classroom teaching strategies.

Implementation: STEM was initiated in 2012 under the management of the British Council and its project implementation partners were the International Education Exchange (IEE) and the Association of Teachers of English in Rwanda (ATER).  The implementation has involved activities ranging from the initial creation, review and revision of appropriate self-study materials to the support provided by school-based personnel to their peers in learning the materials and applying their learning in the classroom. Some of the specific steps taken by the project team include: conducting a baseline survey, from which classroom English expressions and vocabulary were selected and verified against the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) levels A1-B1 in order for them to be used in the creation of twenty units of printed and audio self-study materials. A total of 120 teachers in ten schools from two sectors of Nyamasheke district in the far west of Rwanda were selected to pilot the innovation. The STEM implementation team were then prepared for conducting learner support activities and monitoring evaluation and learning activities in the field. The STEM approach was trialed with teachers through a ‘taster’ unit and, after some revisions, the completed set of materials was distributed and teachers were inducted into the STEM approach.

Four months after the first 120 teachers started working with the materials, the project team launched a mini scale-up which has involved working with an additional twenty-six schools, an additional 413 participants and two additional sectors of Nyamasheke district. In addition, the team applied a slightly different model of STEM, based on lessons learned during the initial pilot.

The current number of direct beneficiaries is 533, including primary school leaders as well as teachers. Indirect beneficiaries are the 32,400 estimated school children whose learning experience in the classroom is improving.

Achievements: The solution has had a positive impact on the lives of teacher beneficiaries in the following ways: their knowledge of classroom English has improved, as evidenced by the mean score of classroom English tests taken in May 2014 being 52% compared with a mean score of 27% in February 2014; they are creating a more effective learning environment, with pupils more actively involved in lessons, as evidenced by improvements in scores against a range of criteria during observations carried out by the STEM monitoring and evaluation team; and teachers are developing their skills in self-assessment, as evidenced by data collected from case study teachers.

The Ministry of Education and its implementing partners (the British Council, ATER and IEE) have developed their capacity considerably as a result of working with STEM (e.g. they have developed observation, feedback, interviewing, planning, reviewing and presentation skills) and these organizations have developed their knowledge and ability in relation to managing projects and to planning for nationwide scale-up in consultation with local stakeholders.

Strong evidence for the success of self-directed study as a mode of continuing professional development in other (European and Asian) contexts gave the implementers the initial idea that this intervention could work in Rwanda. This belief was especially due to Rwanda’s ambitious and positive approach to developing its education sector. Since initial results suggest that this Good Practice has been very successful in four sectors of one district in one of Rwanda’s five provinces, there is evidence to suggest that it can work, through a phased roll out process, both nationally and in other Commonwealth countries that have similar contexts, e.g. where their teachers have relatively poor classroom English and pedagogical knowledge and skills, where there is an urgent need for them to improve these and where there is also high motivation to work towards this improvement.

The solution was the winner of the Steve Sinnot Award (an award that goes to one of the finalist of the Commonwealth Education Good Practice Awards with the strongest teacher professional development component) was presented to a representative of the Ministry of Education, Rwanda at the 19th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (19CCEM), held in 2015 in Nassau, The Bahamas.

Partners:  the British Council, the International Education Exchange, the Association of Teachers of English in Rwanda (ATER)Local community leaders, local activists, Youth, volunteers, Theater Group Team, community. 

Budget: USD 900, 000

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

Tuesday, 17 April 2018 08:29

Egypt scores 3 out of 10 on rule of law, 3 out of 7 on executive constraints and 1.72 out of 7 on transparency and anti-corruption.  These scores signify the need to strengthen the accountability framework.

Solution: Mainstreaming Social Accountability (SA) in the Emergency Labor Intensive Investment is a mechanism of introducing accountability framework into government operations and holding public service providers accountable through a common platform, on which different actors, including government, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), media, private sector, can work together to ensure improvement of service delivery.

Goals and objectives: The overall aim of the project is to generate better governmental responsiveness to the needs of the target population. SA aims to lead to opening a dialogue between citizens, CSOs, youth groups, and media outlets on one hand and also to increase the degree of responsiveness of the government authorities (MSMEDA headquarters and regional offices and implementing partners.

Implementation: The solutions was launched by CARE International in cooperation with the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (MSMEDA) in Egypt in August 2014 in Beni-Suef, Assiut and Sharkeya Governorates of Egypt. The implementation was built on on CARE International in Egypt’s TPM model, which includes different phases and SA tools summarized by the input tracking, site visits, public hearings and review meetings that represent transparency, participation, accountability and responsiveness for good governance indicators.

The 1st phase starts by clarifying with the MSMEDA exactly what information we should expect to receive, so that we are tracking information that is useful to our key stakeholders, including the headquarters itself. Once the most relevant information is clarified, each party ought then to release information for the monitoring groups. The monitors then track the release of this information against stipulated obligations.

The 2nd phase includes input tracking. In order to track inputs from project-related data and budgets, the team first had to design an input tracking and reporting format, effectively an extraction format in excel in order to elicit and order key information. Youth were then trained on how to use the reporting format. The monitors then collected and compiled information into the reporting format, and periodically updated them. Monitors were then charged to write up observations on the data in their reports.

At the 3rd phase, joint site visits take place. These field site visits take place where the relevant stakeholders from the monitoring groups, CARE, the MSMEDA, the media, and others were able to corroborate or challenge the data published by CSOs and public works agencies.  

Through the 4th phase, monitors were supported by CARE’s field supervisors to analyze commonalities and discrepancies between input tracking and site visits – data validation and to write a report with observations and recommendations. These observations were then shared with the EDA and local CSOs from whom data was gathered. The reports illustrate whether there were discrepancies between the input tracking reports and the field visits.

At the 5th phase, public hearings take place; such that it is worth having a meeting to redefine the key stakeholders and key issues to be addressed, as these may change over the course of the initiative. The team had specific meetings with individual stakeholders. These were designed as pre-meetings before the forum, briefings for media partners and focus group discussions with other key actors. Invitations were then sent out to different stakeholder groups, including CSOs, the local MSMEDA office, media, and direct and indirect project beneficiaries. The public hearing was then carried out. Following the public hearing, a report was written with a summary of the findings, a monitoring plan was developed to track commitments, and a press release was prepared for journalists.

The MSMEDA had implemented 24 corrective actions based on the recommendations resulting from implementing the SA model; while its implementing partners had applied 174 corrective actions. For the remaining recommendations, the MSMEDA and its implementing partners either clarified the non-applicability of these recommendations, are still debating them or considering other means of applying these recommendations.

MSMEDA SA Leaders started to have conviction for this experience and to take the lead at some SA model’s activities and most importantly facilitate the last-held public are cooperating to share their knowledge and experience and transfer them to other regional offices in Qena and Minia governorates.

Youth Monitoring Groups as the main implementers of SA-ELIIP, by the end of the project, youth monitoring groups were conducting the SA model activities on their own and facilitating public hearings. This had shown concrete building at their capacities.

TPM model was fine-tuned during the duration of the project and tested to be used and replicated by other entities within Egypt and/or within other countries.

Budget: USD 730,000

Partners: Ford Foundation, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Contact details:
Medhat Massoud
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
CARE International in Egypt

Mays Abou Hegab
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: +201099913128

Amr Lashin
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 201097773161