Thursday, 25 January 2018 10:58

This project sought to respond to the problem of the exclusion of the formal secondary education system in Cape Verde, which leaves many young people lacking in skills and competences, and hinders their capacity to integrate the labor market, placing them at the margins of society and fostering juvenile delinquency. Based on the experience of the Brazilian NGO AfroReggae in some of the most violent favelas in Rio de Janeiro and in other countries, the project has developed a series of initiatives aimed at investing in the potential of disadvantaged children in three pilot neighborhoods of Praia. education, culture and art to environments marked by urban violence.

The population of Cape Verde is mostly urban (urban centers concentrate 62% of the population) and young (with an average age of 26.2 years). About 192,000 children and adolescents between 0 and 17 years old (corresponding to almost 40% of the population) live in the archipelago. Although basic education is practically universal in Cape Verde, with the great majority of students enrolled in public schools, secondary education continues to be one of the challenges for education in the country. Despite the strong expansion of secondary education between 2001 and 2009, school drop-out rates remain very high, particularly for students over the age of 14 from disadvantaged social classes. The fact that the secondary study is not gratuitous and tends to be perceived by the families as an expense and not as an investment favors the exit of the adolescents from school before the end of the secondary level, some looking for work (although of precarious nature), others looking for easy money in less desirable activities. It is estimated that in every five 17-year-olds two are out of school.

The official unemployment rate in the country was 16.8% in 2012, being highest in the urban area (19.1%). With a rate of about 21%, young people aged 15-24 are the hardest hit by unemployment. This situation in which the urban and youth segments of the population are the most affected contributes to the perpetuation of the cycles of poverty, with a potentially significant impact on school drop-out, migration and street violence, one of the problems that have been growing strongly in the last years.

In addition to unemployment and low schooling levels of youth, several other factors have been advanced as possible causes of the emergence of street gangs and the increase in urban violence in Cape Verde, in particular: the growth of social inequality among the layers of society; the expansion of the supply of consumer products and the low purchasing power of the vast majority of young people; and the process of urbanization without planning, leading to the expansion of peripheral informal neighborhoods without adequate equipment in terms of basic services.

In the environment of the marginalized neighborhoods of Praia (a city that concentrates half the urban population of the country), there is a deficit in the articulation between civil society movements and public policies, dependence on financing, especially international, for the survival of the actions of development, embryonic network of cooperation among social movements, and lack of access to information on existing public policies directed to the low-income population, mainly related to youth and education. This limits the coordinated access of young people to social services, education (secondary - especially technical and vocational - and higher) and employment opportunities.

The project for the Promotion of Social Inclusion of Young People through Culture was implemented in the Cape Verdean capital between 2013 and 2015, with the general objective of combating school evasion and social precariousness, and promoting the social participation of young people. Funded in part by revenues collected through the "Football Match Against Poverty", organized in Brazil by UNDP in December 2012, the project aimed to provide young people who are victims or at risk of social exclusion with alternative, viable and beneficial life paths for the society, through the promotion of cultural and artistic manifestations, reconciliation with the school universe, approaching the labor market and the development of social skills.

Through the transfer, with appropriate adaptations, of the social technology of the NGO AfroReggae, agents from four local organizations were trained in three districts of Praia to work in mobilization networks aimed at: return of evaders to school education; the strengthening of cultural and educational policy; and the development of debates that contribute to improving the quality of life of disadvantaged young people and to positive changes in their lives.

The project promoted cultural and artistic workshops as strategies to combat violence and social mobilization in favor of inclusion, integrating and training 70 young local multipliers in cultural expressions (such as circus, music, percussion, theater and graphite) in order to continuity to the initiative after its formal implementation period and to extend it beyond the three pilot communities initially focused. Through research involving the application of UNDP's Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) methodology, the project also included the social monitoring of the families of at-risk youth, in order to direct them to existing public policies and improve their access to public services and basic rights.

The project was recognized as the fourth most innovative of 54 initiatives evaluated on the African continent within the framework of the "Innovation Knowledge Fair", organized by UNDP in December 2013.

Supported by:
UNDP, UNICEF and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

Implementing Agency:
On the Brazilian side: AfroReggae
On the Cape Verde side: Ministry of Youth, Employment and Human Resources Development, and four local organizations: Association of Disabled Children (ACRIDES), Zé Moniz Association, Current Activists and Hope Foundation

Contact person:
Cape Verde
Joint UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF Office
Nelida Rodrigues
Head of the Human Capital Development Unit
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NelidaRodrigues ONU CV


Tuesday, 23 January 2018 07:08

The bilateral cooperation project Escola de Todos aims to strengthen Cape Verde's education system in relation to inclusion, with the training of teachers for the care of students with disabilities and special educational needs (SEN), the development of support documents for the elaboration of a national policy of inclusive education and provision of specialized spaces for complementary educational activities with these children. Implemented by the Brazilian and Cape Verdean ministries of education in partnership with the Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM, Brazil), the initiative seeks to offer children and young people with SEN with the same quality as the other students in the country.

UNESCO has promoted as an international goal the provision of access to quality education for all people, regardless of factors such as gender, ethnicity and disability. Although there is no precise data, UNESCO estimates that 5% of the world's children are disabled, with about 80% of them living in developing countries. At the same time, children with special educational needs (such as intellectual impairment, visual impairment or deafness) are less likely to complete basic education. This has negative individual and collective repercussions, in particular social exclusion and the feeding of a vicious circle around poverty. There is thus a need for inclusive education that promotes greater autonomy for children with disabilities, with their integration into traditional school systems. This orientation requires additional resources, both in terms of teachers with specialized training and access to adapted teaching materials.

Following the perspective advocated by UNESCO, Cape Verde has developed initiatives in the area of ​​special inclusive education, including the drawing up of specific plans which include the training of teachers in SEN. According to the 2000 census, 3% of the population living in Cape Verde has some type of disability, and 2001 and 2002 surveys identified about 1,000 children with SEN enrolled in the country's schools (being visual impairment and deafness the most frequent cases ). However, the number of teachers and technicians trained to deal with this audience was therefore insufficient to meet demand.


  1. The project School of All aims to support the Cape Verdean education system in the development and offer of inclusive education in its various interfaces. In a first phase (2006-2007), multiplier teachers were trained in three areas: Braille system and unified mathematical code; orientation and mobility (for students with visual impairment); and teaching the Portuguese language to the deaf, with the provision of didactic material and specialized pedagogical kits. In a second, more comprehensive phase, begun in 2008, the project has been carrying out activities in three main strands:
    Conducting a teacher training course (250 hours) for the specialized educational service complementary to schooling, comprising 11 modules: Distance education; Specialized educational assistance; Assistive technology; Physical disability; Intellectual deficiency; Visual impairment; Deafness; Autism; High skills / giftedness; Pedagogical evaluation of students with disabilities; and Curricular adaptation. Two-thirds of the modules were carried out at a distance (virtual learning environment) and the remainder through face-to-face classes (both in Cape Verde and Brazil).
  2. Development of guidelines for public policies in inclusive education and assistive technology, with a view to strengthening the process of inclusion of students with SEN in regular schools. In this context, several studies were carried out in Cape Verde that resulted in documents and activities to guide the elaboration of a national policy of inclusive education, of which the actions related to the Cape Verdean sign language are outstanding. For example, the registration of signs used by hearing impaired people in the different islands of the country, the development of a sign language in Creole (in print and digital formats) and the provision of sign language and interpreter training courses were included. This part resulted in 2012 a book in which is described part of the activities carried out in the project until then.
  3. Implementation of three multifunctional resource rooms to carry out specialized educational services in order to serve students with SEN. The Cape Verdean government provided rooms in schools in the islands of Santo Antão, Santiago and Fogo, which were renovated and equipped with the support of the Brazilian government, serving as a reference in accessibility for students with disabilities. The country thus has nine multifunctional resource rooms. This strand also included the training of teachers and students to practice in the multifunctional resource rooms, through a classroom course using the materials available in the rooms.

In all, about 300 teachers from Cape Verde's primary and secondary schools have already been covered by the program, as well as 50 teachers trained in specialized educational services, 40 multiplier teachers in transcription and adaptation of Braille material, and 4 multiplier teachers in deafblindness and assistive technology.

The School of All project, in a similar format, was also developed in Angola between 2008 and 2015, with the support of the Brazilian Ministry of Education.

Supported by: Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC)

Agency of implementation:
On the Brazilian side: Ministry of Education and UFSM
On the Cape Verdean side: Ministry of Education, Directorate General for Basic and Secondary Education (DGEBS / ME)

Contact person:
Federal University of Santa Maria, Education Center (CE / UFSM)
Ana Cláudia Oliveira Pavão, Project Coordinating Teacher
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AnaPavao UFSM



Held between 2009 and 2014, this initiative was the first South-South cooperation project developed by Brazil, whose formulation and implementation was carried out by social movements, coordinated by a Brazilian NGO (IBASE). Involving peasant organizations in Brazil, Mozambique and South Africa linked to family agriculture, the project focused on the rescue of Creole seeds and technical strengthening on planting and harvesting of them, as a way of promoting, at the same time, income generation, community empowerment and the preservation of agrobiodiversity.

Challenge: Based on large corporations and intensive monocultures that use mechanization and the use of agrochemicals, commercial seeds and chemical fertilizers to increase productivity, the dominant model of agricultural development was propagated in the 20th century in order to solve the problem of hunger in the world. However, it has been found that this model has triggered significant socio-environmental imbalances (such as the impoverishment of small-scale agriculture, the gradual impoverishment of agrobiodiversity, soil depletion and increased vulnerability of production to atmospheric variations, pests and diseases) , which, on the contrary, focus on maintaining a vicious circle between poverty, hunger and environmental degradation. Thus, agribusiness has been questioned in terms of its capacity to generate development that is both inclusive and sustainable.

According to the FAO, family farming is the main form of food supply in the world, and is the basis of livelihood for the majority of the population of African countries (although in rural areas, the majority of the population poorer). Declaring 2014 as the "International Year of Family Farming", the UN aimed to increase the visibility of this production sector, which plays a key role in food security and sovereignty, as well as in the generation of employment and income, particularly in the countries less developed countries.

For example, in contrast to the homogenization and simplification of agricultural agribusiness procedures, family farming has been responsible for perpetuating the knowledge and practice traditionally developed over time for the selection and improvement of plants and seeds adapted to particular contexts . With energy needs and industrial inputs much lower than those of monocultures, the complex and diversified systems associated with family farming have persisted even in environments with hostile conditions (such as those subject to drought), thus contributing to the preservation of genetic heritage and cultural heritage. This is especially relevant considering that, as estimated by FAO, about 75% of agrobiodiversity disappeared in the last century.

In response to this situation, peasant movements and agroecology scientists have sought to promote the rescue of creole seeds - varieties specifically adapted to the place of cultivation - and the traditional community practices associated with them, in particular seed banks (to ensure their storage until the next planting) and the trade fairs. Thus, among the main challenges are the rehabilitation and dissemination of such practices by peasants.

Solution: Prepared with the participation of members of civil society and community leaders from the countries involved, the project of community banks of creole seeds for family agriculture aimed at the training of peasants in procedures of rescue, multiplication, storage and use of native seeds. From the transfer of social technologies and agroecology, the project also aimed at the establishment of community seed banks and the training of peasants in the processes of exchange and commercialization of these, thus contributing to the organizational and economic strengthening of family agriculture in Mozambique and South Africa.

The activities focused on the exchange of professionals for the exchange of knowledge among the three countries, through technical visits, courses and testing of planting with the participation of agronomists accustomed to working with popular movements. Representatives of Mozambican and South African peasant movements were in Brazil to exchange experiences and know techniques of planting and harvesting of creole seeds used by Brazilian social movements and, on another occasion, to visit a fair of exchange of seeds, in the state of Goiás.

With content and methodology collectively defined by the social movements of the three countries, the training courses involved peasant technicians and leaders on issues related to the cultivation and preservation of seeds, as well as cross-cutting themes related to organization, functioning, challenges and the needs of peasant social movements. The participants of the courses were also trained on how to disseminate the knowledge acquired, so that they functioned as multipliers of the initiative. The project took particular account of gender issues in family agriculture, by including a seminar especially dedicated to peasants, held by representatives of the Peasant Women's Movement of Brazil. This seminar had repercussions on the mobilization and empowerment of women in both Mozambique and South Africa, having influenced the creation of specialized structures and events in those countries.

The project also trained peasants in the methodology of implementing and operating community seed banks, carried out an inventory of the native seeds present in the areas covered by the project in the two African countries (mainly grains, roots and vegetables) and developed concrete seeds creoles. The results of the project also include recognition by the two African governments involved of peasant social movements and closer relations between them.

The main difference of this South-South cooperation project was to have rural social movements in Brazil, South Africa and Mozambique as agents to define the demands and activities and their implementation, which both strengthened the sustainability of the initiative and promoted the reinforcement of local economies.

Supported by: Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC)

Agency of implementation:
On the Brazilian side: General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic, Brazilian Institute of Social and Economic Analysis (IBASE), Popular Peasant Movement (MCP) and Peasant Women's Movement (MMC)
On the Mozambican side: Ministry of Agriculture (National Directorate of Agrarian Extension) and National Union of Peasants (UNAC)
On the South African side: Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and Trust for Community Outreach and Education (TCOE)

Contact Details:
Athayde Motta
Executive Director, IBASE
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AthaydeMotta IBASE

Tuesday, 27 October 2015 10:24

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification was issued in response to the international community to coordinate efforts to combat desertification and rehabilitation of degraded lands and to mitigate the negative effects of desertification on natural resources and human societies. The agreement focused on work at different levels through national action plans (NAPs) and regional / supra-regional programs (RAPs - PAS) to promote cooperation between countries in the region or under the same region through coordination of work in the region. field of monitoring and control of desertification and exchange of information and experiences in this area.

As a result, the preparation and implementation of the program was undertaken to combat desertification in West Asia in cooperation between the United Nations Environment Program / Regional Office for Western Asia UNEP / ROWA and the Arab Center for Studies on Arid Zones and ACSAD Drylands and the International Program for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas ICARDA

Objectives of the Program:
The program focused on two main themes: water and vegetation, so the program was implemented through two networks: sustainable water management (TN1) and sustainable management of plant cover (TN2) for the following objectives: a. Support the countries of the region to implement strategies for the sustainable management of water resources and vegetation. B. The development of innovative activities to improve water resources and vegetation management. T. Contribute to the development and implementation of programs to combat desertification and build partnership among all parties. W. Support the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification at national, regional and sub-national level. C. Facilitate the exchange of information and experiences among the countries of the region.

Program Activities:

  1. Choosing websites in cooperation with government institutions and NGOs
  2. Implementation of an initial workshop with the participation of all stakeholders to develop a plan of action.
  3. Implementation of social, economic and environmental studies.
  4. Conduct a national training course for national knowledge to strengthen the capacity to implement proposed actions to combat desertification and rehabilitation of degraded lands.
  5. Carry out awareness activities for local communities on issues of desertification.
  6. Training of national cadres to adopt national policies to support the implementation of national action programs to combat desertification and integration into the activities of national development plans.
  7. Applying different procedures to restore degraded land rehabilitation, such as water harvesting, planting and maintaining pastoral terraces of plants and fighting against water erosion and wind.
  8. Establishment of a monitoring and evaluation system for desertification processes using remote sensing technology and integration of geographic information systems with the commercial field.


The project was implemented between 2003-2006. In addition to the positive results obtained in terms of mitigation and rehabilitation of degraded lands and improved vegetation and increased productivity of land degradation, the project achieved the following successes:

  1. Improve the living conditions of the local population as a result of improved pasture productivity and income generation through project activities.
  2. Identify successful environmentally sound procedures and appropriate technologies to combat desertification and reduce land degradation.
  3. Sensitize the communities and decision makers concerned about the dangers of desertification in human and environmental systems.
  4. Improve water resources and vegetation databases.
  5. Identify ways and means and technologies to improve pasture productivity.
  6. Determine the proper procedures for collecting water and re-publish it.

Lesson learned:

It turns out that it may be re-rehabilitation of pastoral lands that the percentage of vegetation covers more than 32% could raise that percentage to 80% after rehabilitation.

  1. The topographic diversity in the rehabilitated areas helps to a wide application of the procedures for the harvesting of water.
  2. The best ways to harvest the water were semicircular departments and Maanah's form of basins.
  3. Mild or moderate deterioration of land can be rehabilitated through protection and little direct intervention for rehabilitation.
  4. It can mitigate losses from soil erosion by applying suitable maintenance roads and mountain terraces are considered to be maintenance of these roads.
  5. It was observed that field visits and workshops were basic tools to increase awareness.
  6. It was noted that the training of national cadres and enable participation of the necessary measures to sustain employment and to maintain the positive results of projects to combat the approach to desertification.

Owner: International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas ICARDA Program

ACSAD - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
00963-11-2266250 / 2266251

Thursday, 25 June 2015 10:01

Geographic focus: Brazil, China, India, South Korea

Thematic focus areas supported by the mechanism:

MDG 8 on Global Partnerships for Development; As in the whole Arab region, youth empowerment is a growing challenge in Saudi Arabia, with about 60% of the population under 30 years of age. While local efforts are under way to improve education systems and expand the non-oil employment-generating industry, another need is to empower Saudi youth to emerge as globally connected citizens by sharing development experiences and lessons with partners across the emerging South .

In support of the government's push for greater intercultural dialogue, UNDP has partnered with a South-South youth exchange project through which young Saudis and women visited counterparts in Brazil, China, India and South Korea in 2012 to explore role models youth employment, urban development, green economy, ICT for development and generation of knowledge economy.

Stages / stages in the practical application of the mechanism:

The South-South youth exchange mechanism is based on a process of identification of thematic priorities to empower young Saudis and relevant exchange countries for specific themes, identification of young men and women from regions of the country, developing an agenda rigorous training for exchange visits and undertaking evaluation and follow-up to capture the lessons learned and ways to integrate these lessons into local youth empowerment activities in Saudi Arabia. It also involved a process to continue involving young people across the South as alumni of the initiative. The exchange is overseen by a Project Council with various government and private sector partners that provide guidance, quality assurance and funding.

Results to date:

The facility has been a hit with positive ratings from Saudi institutions and host partners in Brazil, China, India and South Korea.

Young Saudis benefited greatly from exposure to development models in other emerging economies and began to apply the lessons learned in their work in the Kingdom. It served as the basis for new potential South-South cooperation on specific issues of bilateral interest between countries. For example, in the Saudi-India Youth Exchange process, which focused on the role of ICT for development, was presented an innovative idea for the web-based platform for contributions of citizens to global development for development as an initiative diverted now under review by UNDP and the Government.

Most Recent Annual Budget (USD): 500,000

Total budget (USD): 1,000,000

Focal Point and Contact:
Haifa Al Mogrin
Program Associate
UNDP Saudi Arabia
UN sites, diplomatic quarter, Riyadh 11614
Saudi Arabia
Tel: + 966-1-4885301
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Tuesday, 23 January 2018 13:46

Several districts around the Tanzanian shores of Lake Victoria severely suffer from overfishing and deteriorating ecosystems in the lake. Local Government Authorities are piloting fish culture techniques and integrate them into district development plans and fisheries investment plans to address this challenge. Supported by UNDP, the programme also includes prior studies to assess the feasibility of planned interventions, the establishment of demonstration sites and the formation of fish farming groups. Learning visits to neighbouring countries, trainings and cost benefit analysis for advocacy purposes allow to further scale up the interventions.

Lake Victoria, the largest lake on the African continent lies between Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya. About 35 million people depend on its waters for their livelihood. Initially known as a resource rich home to endemic fish, overfishing in the second half of the 20th century, combined with pollution and the introduction of non-native species has led to a rapid deterioration of its ecosystems.

Based on recommendations from a 2014 UNDP-UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative (PEI) study identifying institutional, legal and financial bottlenecks for the implementation of pro-poor environmental sustainability, Bunda District has in 2015 included measures to enhance sustainable fish farming in its district development plan. The District also developed an investment plan outlining how to finance the implementation of the district development plan. This is further informed and buttressed by a recent (2016) PEI commissioned study on the costs benefit analysis (CBA) of the nature-based enterprises that confirmed fish farming as a highly environmentally, socially and economically viable enterprise.

As part of the implementation of the plan, the District has identified local champions such as progressive farmers and the National Service and facilitated the formation of 14 fish farming groups (312 members in total out of which 40% are women) with the aim of strengthening local capacities and enhancing productivity and financing options. Two of the groups have in 2015 applied and received loans of $6,200 combined from Twiga Bancorp to initiate cage fish farming which is a more sustainable fishing option than the current practices.

In March and December 2014, different learning missions took place between institutions from Tanzania and Uganda/Kenya. These knowledge exchanges allowed to study management and technology for fish farming with a specific focus on fish culture techniques between key stakeholders involved in fish farming from Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya. This includes district officials as well as local champions and research institutions.

Following these exchanges, the identification of local champions and the formation of the fish farming groups, farmers have been trained on how to operate fish-ponds and use fish rearing techniques. In addition, a demonstration site was established at the National Service, where on-site training is conducted for local fish farmers, women’s groups, and Beach Management Units. The National Service also constructed a hatchery for production of fingerlings, which has reduced the cost and improved the quality and constant supply of fingerlings.

Following the piloting of the sustainable fish farming practices, the government and private sector have taken steps to scale-up cage fish farming in Tanzania. So far, 9 private companies have been licensed to undertake fish cage farming in Lake Victoria and the revised version of the national fisheries policy of 2015  aims to promote a conducive and enabling environment for the fish sector.

Implementation Timeframe: 2014-2016

Provider Countries: Kenya and Uganda

Supported by: UNDP

Implementing Agency: 
Implemented by Bunda District Council in collaboration with National Service, private sector, the Economic and Social Research Foundation and the Ministry for Livestock and Fishery

More information:

Contact details:
Mr. Ambrose Mugisha
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Ms. Kristina Weibel
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Tuesday, 23 January 2018 13:29

To address challenges of unsustainable harvesting of natural resources and water-source encroachment, UNDP Tanzania supported the establishment of demonstration sites on aquaponics and hydroponics, a learning visit to Kenya for key stakeholders and training of champion farmers with the aim of introducing the technology in Tanzania. Based on the shared Lake Victoria ecosystems, the advanced experience in Kenya provided rich lessons and insights to the prospecting fish farmers in Tanzania.

Tanzania's fast-growing population of 50 million (including 1.3 million living on Zanzibar) is highly dependent on the environment and natural resources for its livelihood. Especially in rural areas alarming levels of food insecurity persist. Unsustainable harvesting of natural resources, water-source encroachment and unchecked cultivation, coupled with the increasing impact of climate change, pose challenges to maintaining previous achievements and for reaching the SDGs.

Especially in Lake Victoria, decades of overfishing and illegal fishing activities have left the previously extremely rich fish population depleted, degraded fish breeding habitats and diminished the complex biodiversity of the lake, therefore threatening livelihoods of millions of families who depend on the lake for their living. In addition, fish farming has traditionally been a male dominated occupation and women are often excluded from the fishing value chains.

As part of a poverty-environment-gender mainstreaming initiative, UNDP Tanzania facilitated a study tour in 2015 to Kenya, a pioneer in aquaponics and hydroponics technology across East Africa.

10 key stakeholders (2 women and 8 men), including farmers, district officials, and representatives from the National Service, the private sector, and research institutions participated in the tour in order to learn from Kenyan farmers and livestock keepers about the hydroponic fodder technology with the aim of introducing the technology in Tanzania.

Upon their return, 31 additional farmers (10 women and 21 men) in the Lake Zone were trained on aquaponics and three demonstration sites were established in the Coast Region as well as Bunda and Bukoba Rural districts around the technology of aquaponics. These demonstration sites are used for on-site learning as other farmers in the districts come to learn about the new technologies, which will allow the production of fish and fodder in a circular system that uses 90% less water than conventional agriculture.

The technology has been localized to suit the local situation. For example, the locally adapted systems are not automated and do not depend on electricity and the temperature and humidity inside the hydroponic fodder system are controlled using only a hydro-net and a hydro-cloth, to ensure higher growth and the best nutritional value possible.

The private sector has also shown interest to adopt the technology. Milkcom Farms, the producer of Dar Fresh products has installed the hydroponic fodder system at their factory at Kigamboni in Dar es Salaam.

Provider country: Kenya

Supported by: UNDP

Implementing Agency: 
National Service and local champion farmers with support from Economic and Social Research Foundation

More information:
Smart Farming: Living Labs

Contact Details:
Mr. Ambrose Mugisha
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Ms. Kristina Weibel
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Tuesday, 23 January 2018 13:00

The Gambia, which encompasses the smallest countries in West Africa, face severe challenges of high poverty rates (48.6%), food insecurity, youth unemployment and vulnerability to climate change. In order to fully explore the potential of the agricultural sector for economic expansion, employment, and food production, the Government of the Gambia is working with the Benin Songhai Centre to develop a functional agricultural water farming and young-entrepreneurs training system. This allows for increased agricultural productivity, raised incomes and to address food insecurity and youth unemployment.

The Gambia is a youthful nation with over 60% of its population under the age of 30 years. However, unemployment among the youth is highest (38.6% of youth are poor) and remains a major challenge. The agricultural sector, the most critical sector for the countries' economic expansion, food production and poverty reduction, only employs 20% of the employed youth.

Inspired by the Songhai model, a highly successful agro-industrial, organic and self-sufficient farming model launched in Benin in 1985, the Gambia is developing both a functional agricultural water farming system and a young-entrepreneurs training system. In line with Vision 2016 adopted by the President, the project puts a particular emphasis on youth employment and agricultural transformation through value addition and sustainable practices.

The project was developed following a knowledge exchange visit of the Gambia's Ministries of Youth and Agriculture into the Songhai Regional Centre Benin in 2014, allowing officials to study the center's integrated sustainable agricultural development strategy for employment creation and poverty reduction. Following cabinet’s approval of the mission report and recommendations for a replication of the development strategy commenced in 2015. 29 Gambian youth graduated successfully from a 6-month training in Benin and returned to Gambia to transfer their skills.

The establishment of a mother farm in Chamen/The Gambia was overseen by five technicians from Benin. Since August 2015, the center is operational and has trained 137 youth and currently enrolled 40 trainees (25 female &15 Male) as the fifth batch for the third year in 2017. Farming at the Gambia Songhai Initiative is fully organic and continues to be managed by foreign instructors and the youth instructors trained in Benin. A local team of instructors are prepared by the technical team from Benin for eventual takeover.

The center now operates diverse agricultural related activities such as market gardening, agroforestry, control poultry, free-range poultry, livestock (sheep, goats, and cattle), a feed mill and is currently working on the fish ponds which are almost reaching self-sufficiency. The center has commenced generating substantial funds for the above activities which are lodged in a bank for use once external support should cease.

For the past two years, the government of The Gambia has contributed substantial amounts in its national budget as counterpart contribution to the project/ initiative and has reaffirmed its strong commitment to further develop the initiative.

Provider Country: 
Songhai Regional Centre - Benin

Supported by: 
The Government of the Gambia, the United Nations Development Programme joined by the Food and Agricultural Organization and the Youth Employment Project implemented by the International Trade Centre funded by the European Union.

Implementing Agency: 
Ministry of Youth and Sports in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture

Contact Person:
UNDP Gambia
Abdou Touray
Programme Specialist
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Monday, 15 January 2018 12:00

Amel Association International (Amel) is a non-governmental organization NGO) founded by Dr.Kamel Mohanna in 1979 in Lebanon. Active in emergency response as well as in long-term development programs, Amel aims to support the most vulnerable population, whether they are local or hosted, by implementing accessible activities in health and psychology, education, rural development, livelihood, food security, child protection, gender equality and human rights. Amel provides the services through its 24 centers, 2 mobile educational units, 1 protection mobile unit and 6 mobile clinics spread in the most deprived areas of Lebanon.

Currently, AMEL is working in some of the closest areas to conflicts, next to the Syrian border. Historically, AMEL has always worked in sensitive areas, for example, during the Israeli occupation and the Lebanese Civil War, the association worked in territories that were being disputed by rival political and sectarian militias. AMEL has always been independent, placing the human being above all. Through its experience, AMEL has proven that a non-sectarian approach is the most effective way to acquire durable peace and appeasement. Such an approach should be part of a global response to the current challenges faced by the Arab world.

Why is Amel an Excellence Center? A long-established institute, Amel serves as a center of excellence for basic service delivery for and capacity development of the most vulnerable population, including refugees, on a national and a regional scale. After more than 38 years of continuous efforts and dedication, AMEL still works through a field-based approach and has shown how local and national NGOs can make a difference and can contribute to alleviate hardship of destitute communities and empower individuals without discrimination. The work of AMEL is extremely valuable for Lebanon, which is not only a country that has suffered a very long and violent conflict between 1975 and 1990, but also a country suffering chronically from external instability of its neighbors and where the role of the State is weak and public services deficient. Amel, as a Center of Excellence, implements initiatives, particularly in relation with research, innovation and learning. Amel’s high standards of conduct, based on the humanitarian principles and particularly humanity, solidarity and dignity, guide its field intervention. In the sector of research, Amel’s action inform key publications related to international humanitarian law, right to health, right to education, among other topics. Amel is also contributing to various studies, through its field offices, particularly in the sector of health. As for innovation, Amel has a wide range of actions which are reshaping traditional humanitarian and development initiatives including mobile educational, protection and medical units. The learning stream is disseminated in all Amel’s activities through regular capacity building, monitoring, evaluation and capitalization processes, conducted in partnership with external consultants and universities.

International Cooperation. AMEL promotes the strengthening of the South-North cooperation through its partnership with Médecins du Monde over the 3 decades, but also the regional cooperation, such as the project in partnership with Youth of the Middle-East setting up a training course about communication and conflict management, coupled with a cultural exchange in Lebanon between young Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians. AMEL is a member in the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the International Council of Voluntary Associations and in the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership, an extensive network of NGOs favoring better coordination of humanitarian action worldwide. In 2017, Amel has been recognized as an observer at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and as a member of the Geneva Global Health Hub.

The organization has offices in Switzerland, USA and France to replicate its approach with the vulnerable populations in Europe. Moreover, AMEL was one of the most active NGO participating in the dialogue related to “reshaping humanitarian action” as part of the preparatory process of the World Humanitarian Summit held in 2016. Thereby, AMEL essentially aims to promote a fairer balance between international and local NGOs working in Lebanon or other parts of the world.


  • 10 million services since its establishment:
  • 250 000 consultations per year (Generalists, Pediatrics, Gynecologists, psychologists, laboratory test, Basic specialists) in the centers;
  • 40 000 consultations per year with our Mobile Medical Units;
  • 3 000 beneficiaries of the program “Migrant Domestic Worker” since its creation 2011;
  • 10 000 beneficiaries of the program “Youth Empowerment” since 2011;
  • 3 000 beneficiaries of the program “Women Empowerment” since 2011;
  • 52 000 students follow the program “Children Education” since 2011;
  • 5000 students enrolled in the vocational trainings per year;
  • 1 500 children followings educational programs by the end of 2017;
  • 5000 children and parents enrolled in the protection program per year;
  • 450 street children supported individually in 2017;
  • Capacity to put in place emergency response during a migration crisis.

Contact details:
Dr Kamel Mohanna, President
Telephone: + 961 3 202 270
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Saturday, 06 January 2018 21:48

There are many factors influencing the productivity of honey bee colonies. Although some of these factors are environmental and beyond the control of the beekeeper, some of them can still be improved. Beekeepers can increase the productivity by controlling the productivity of the colony, individual productivity of the worker bees and synchronization of flight activity and honey flow.

In order to increase the productivity of honey bee colonies and enable the production of natural swarms and rearing the queens Professor Dr. Muhsin Dogaroglu from Turkey developed the innovative solution on the colony support management system.

The colony support management system is a method based on setting pair colonies which produce honey from each colony in every pair. Of this colony pair, one is called the supporter and the other is called the producer. Observations showed producer colonies able to produce honey more than any other usual colonies in all varying conditions and the system is able to increase total honey production of the apiary. By changing tasks during the next period of honey producing, supporting colony becomes the producing colony and the producing colony becomes the supporting colony. The system targets approximately 75.000 bees in the production colonies and 50.000 bees in support colonies at the beginning of main nectar flow and these numbers are reversed for the end of the season. The number of colonies in the system depends on the economic status of the beekeepers and it is optional.

The system is basically based on individual productivity enhancement. It aims to increase brood production in all colonies in the apiary 6 weeks before the main nectar flows. The brood produced in this period will increase the number of foragers that will work efficiently in honey production during main nectar flows. These eggs become adults after 3 weeks and the colonies are divided into two parts, supporters and producers. So that two groups work as a team, supporting each other alternately.

Brood transfers to the production colony should be started 3-4 weeks before the main honey flow, and it should be completed 1 week before the main nectar flow. Every week 1 or 2 frames with sealed broods of support colonies are transferred to production colonies. When the production hives begin to produce honey, the young broods are transferred to the supporter colony to reduce honey consumption. The supporter colonies can be fed to the required amount.

This method gives excellent results especially for 2 consecutive main nectar flows (each of which lasts for an average of 3 weeks) or longer main nectar flows. Traditionally, the brood production will be decreased after the first main nectar flow, the number of consumers increases in colonies that makes almost impossible for colonies to accumulate honey. In the new system, for the next honey flow, the support colonies are prepared as production colonies and this time the production colonies of the previous period support them by passing to the support position. Thus, for both nectar flows, support colonies will be able to survive and collect enough nectar and pollen for brood production.

As a result, for the honeydew honey producers, this system allows to increase the production 4 times more as well as provides warranted honey production from their colonies especially in autumn.

The method was tested successfully by a few hundred Turkish beekeepers. Colony support management systems applied by beekeepers have effective roles in maintaining the increase in colony size and productivity, given that it is applied in a correct way. Incorrect applications may cause decreases in crop production and lead to winter losses.

Solution budget: The system has no additional cost to normal production methods.

Contact details:
Professor Dr. Muhsin Dogaroglu
Telephone: +90 532 496 22 59
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thursday, 21 December 2017 12:21

In Kenya, it is estimated that only a ⅓ of the population has access to safe drinking water close to their homes, at an affordable price. Therefore, school-going children have to walk long distances (at least 4km) so as to secure water for their families before/ after going to school causing absenteeism and resulting to school drop-outs.

In 2013 International Transformation Foundation members worked together on a countrywide research project about a sustainable clean drinking water system. One of the main insights gained is that all communities wish to improve their water system. Some communities do not have a working tap water system at all, prompting school-going children and women to walk very long distances to secure water from neighboring communities’ wells/ rivers. Other communities especially in per-urban areas have a small number of taps within and would like to increase this number. 

The problem  with current water projects in communities in Kenya are:

  • the water system with the technical components to get groundwater to the tap and
  • the paying system that describes what to pay for, how to maintain the system and how the business is set up; the social system.

That is how A Water Kiosk at School was created as a (primary) school-based business, managed by the students, selling clean tap water to community residents. In this context, the organization works with community schools to set up on-site water kiosk with specially designed and sustainable products for children to transport tap water to their homes straight from school. A water kiosk at school is both an educational and profitable business teaching students business and entrepreneurial skills. It also generates much-needed income for schools.

It provides practical education bridging the gap between school and work and contributes to the development of a community with a school which is able to support itself without relying on subsidies and yet is able to afford the best facilities and the best teachers.

Since November 2014, ITF has built 10 Water Kiosks in 10 schools & communities in 4 counties (Nairobi, Bungoma, Siaya and Homabay) across Kenya.

Methodology Used:  A Water Kiosk at School is set up in a school located in a generally poor and/ or rural community with no working tap water system. In a community, it set to be the main source of clean water for all households. 

A water kiosk at school is characterized by the following environment-friendly products developed in partnership with Join the Pipe Foundation:

  1. Water Saving Tap Station - The water stations not only provide clean drinking water but also saves water. No water is wasted with our auto-stop tap. They are also Vandal resistant.
  2. DRIP TAPS For Hand Washing Facilities- They build toilets and hand washing sinks to prevent waterborne illnesses to spread. Drip taps technology reduces 90% of water usage.
  3. Water Bottles - They provide refillable water bottles for the children to drink from.
  4. Jerry Carry Karts - These Jerry Carry Karts reduce the physical injury from constant lifting and carrying heavy loads of water on heads of the children.

Within 24 months, the school earns enough money from selling water to community residents at an affordable price and are able to repay the setup cost which is then redeployed to an additional school/community. Below are activities that  are carried out (chronologically)  in setting up A  Water Kiosk At School:

  • The school’s expression of interest to adopt A Water Kiosk At School. The expression is made by filling an application form documenting the school; community background and water situation in the school and around the community.
  • The community involvement & cost estimation. ITF, the school, and community residents work together to estimate the setup cost within community resources context. This way, the school will be able to sell water profitably and return the setup cost.
  • ITF sources for funding to set up the kiosk.
  • Legally binding agreement. An agreement is signed allowing ITF to place the kiosk management to the school and community residents. In the case that the school violates the kiosk principles, the school is held liable.
  • Permits & Licenses: The School requests and obtains kiosk construction and water connection permits and related licenses from the relevant authority.
  • Kiosk construction & water connection: An ITF technician with help from the community residents set up the kiosk at school.
  • Kiosk launch. The kiosk is opened to the public after training students & teachers how to run the day to day operations of the kiosk.
  • Monitoring & evaluation:

Day to day operations & records:  A Water Kiosk at School is managed by two students per day with two roles. One receives money and does the book records. The other one is responsible for assisting customers at the tap. The bookkeeper records include time, buyer name, quantity purchased and paid the amount. The bookkeeper also records any expense if any. At the closing of any business day, both kiosk operators sign and submit the records book to the responsible teacher.

Weekly and Monthly report: The information is recorded every day in the records book is used to compile a weekly and monthly report prepared by students with the support of a teacher.  The report is sent to ITF and essentially contains information such as the number of students and non-students that used the kiosk, the amount of water purchased and money spent, names and details of students that managed the kiosk, etc.

Monthly Kiosk Visit: The ITF project coordinator visits the school /kiosk to review the day to day book records.

User Survey: This is done every quarter to get user feedback.

Repayment: The school repays the setup cost on a monthly basis.


  • They have built 10 Water Kiosks in 10 schools/ communities in 4 counties across Kenya.
  • 4815 school children no longer need to be absent from school to secure water for their families. They also have improved sanitation and health at their schools.
  • 73087 people thus far have access to clean tap water at an affordable price in their communities.


The multiple benefits associated with a  water kiosk at school for students, school and community residents include:

Financially :

  • The first microcredit project for schools with a sustainable business model, creating money for WASH activities in school.
  • A repaid loan system that allows funds to be redeployed to additional schools in need, thus reducing the need for subsidies and dependency.

Improved Sanitation And Health :

  • All sanitation facilities are improved around the school, the money from the water kiosk is used to purchase soap and toilet paper for the school children.
  • Jerry carry karts reduce the physical injury from constant lifting and carrying heavy loads of water on the heads of the children.

Education And Capacity Development :

  • Increased school attendance as children no longer need to absent themselves from school to secure water for their families.
  • Work experience for students through the running the water kiosk. They learn about teamwork, commitment, leadership and responsibility.

Socioeconomic Opportunity:

  • Children are able to transport water to their own homes straight from school.
  • Increased safety as children do not have to go to remote and dangerous places to fetch water.
  • A school kiosk saves time and waiting in lines at other water points.

Environmental added values:

  1. Providing the community with filtered drinking tap water.
  2. Reduction in the enormous amount of plastic waste and CO2 emissions caused by the production and transport of unsustainable water bottles and containers.
  3. Brand new campaign as a strong ambassador for access to clean drinking tap water and better sanitation in rural and poor communities.

Budget: Setting up A Water Kiosk At School model costs $10,000-12,000.

With a school and a community ready to adopt A Water Kiosk At School, stated below are the minimum resources needed to set up the kiosk:

  1. Join the Pipe Products:
    • Water source within at least 4kms from the school
    • Kiosk building construction Space of 7X9” at school
    • Kiosk building construction materials & technician
  2. Water saving tap station
  3. Drip taps
  4. Refillable bottles
  5. Jerry carry karts
  6. Water connection (plumbing) materials & technician

Contact details:
Mr. Venuste Kubwimana- ITF Secretary General
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Monday, 18 December 2017 14:04

Morocco, similar to other Arab countries, face Insufficient water supply for irrigation and seeks for shifting irrigation management towards maximizing the crop production per unit of water consumed, i.e the water productivity. To cope with scarce water supply, in 2011-2016, the National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) implemented deficit irrigation practices in different regions in Morocco.

The main long-term development goals of the project are to achieve sustainable and profitable agricultural production in the dry areas of West Asia North Africa (WANA) based upon the efficient and sustainable management of the scarce water resources. The main objective of deficit irrigation is to increase the water-use efficiency (WUE) of a crop by eliminating irrigations that have little impact on yield. The resulting yield reduction may be small compared with the benefits gained through diverting the saved water to irrigate other crops for which water would normally be insufficient under traditional irrigation practices. 

The project approach is based on five principles – participation, integration, complementarities, multidisciplinary and multi-institutions, and socioeconomic analysis.

The project developed and tested, with community participation, water management options that increase water productivity and optimize water use, and which are economically viable, socially acceptable, and environmentally sound.

In the benchmark site of Morocco, studies of the response of wheat, maize, and pepper to different levels of supplemental irrigation were conducted and the information helped evaluate the tradeoff between yield and water productivity and also serve the water allocation modeling purpose. A positive response to the increase of water level was observed.


  • Nitrogen and water regimes had significant effects on both total biomass and grain yield;
  • Improvement of the crop yield (cereal);
  • Reduction of 30% of water use in cereal irrigation;
  • Increase of farmers’ income and enhanced food security;
  • Deficit irrigation system could be out scaled up in different dryland areas and replicated in other regions with similar conditions.

Partners: Regional Offices of Agricultural Development, National Agricultural Research Office, Regional Agricultural Directorate, International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Zones

Budget: Around 2000 USD/ha

Contact details:
Scientific Division
BP 415 victoire Rabat Morocco
Dr Rachid Moussadek, Head of Environment and Natural Resources Department
Phone: +212660199501
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.