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.

Achievements: 
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:
Egypt
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

 

Thursday, 05 April 2018 10:51

According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2016, Pakistan ranked 143 out of 144 countries. In rural Pakistan, women are discriminated against in almost all walks of life. Female education is deemed to be against tradition and, as a result, the majority of women in the province are illiterate. On top of this, women are often forbidden from leaving the house on their own, are married without any choice and are treated as inferior within the family unit.

Solution: The gender interactive theatre is a model of changing the communities’ perceptions about gender roles through use of interactive performances.

Goals and Objectives: The solution aimed to empower women from the community level and upwards and sensitize the larger communities to end violence against women and girls and promote the women’s participation in decision making by using theater for connecting communities to their social problems.

Implementation: Anil Kapoor, Global Youth Ambassador took an initiative in deprived community of Sindh, Pakistan, where early and forced marriages are common, to empower women through art and interactive theatre performance with support of his team. The project was implemented in 2014-2016. The interactive theatre found novel way and an effective tool to bring positive change in behaviors of communities about girl’s education and rights to choice marriages and delaying the early marriages.

The theater team is comprised on 7 members, including males and females. The theater actors received the training from different institutions and now they are practicing for social change in Sindh region.  With engagement male and female community local leaders, influential, religious leaders, community activists and other relevant stakeholders to provoke critical thinking to address violence against women by men. Through the workshops they become aware of men’s power over women and how the community’s silence and unwillingness to interact with this power perpetuates violence against women. 

Achievements: The project has so far reach out and benefited over 523 women in the rural communities of Sindh improving their understanding of the basic human and women’s rights. Because of the high level of inclusiveness of the project, starting from its design up to implementation, it has made it easy to gain both the support and political will of both Cultural and political leaders. This has eased its implementation of laws and sensitized the policy makers about Child marriages laws and customary practices against women and girls regarding women rights in Pakistan.

The communities in Sindh are recognizing GBV issues and organizing the awareness session, community meetings and theaters with community, parents and religious scholars for reduction of GBV especially early and formed marriages in Districts of Sindh Pakistan. Through this intervention, awareness raised among vulnerable women and teenager girls about child marriages laws and mobilized to parent to enroll the girls into school and delay their marriages for sake of education. This strategy found effective to address GBV related issues. resisted against harmful practices of early and forced marriages and honor killing and the selling of girls in Sindh. Communities are coming to realize that GBV can be countered through equality and a non-violent approach.

The solution changed the behaviors of communities to curb the child marriages, girls’ education and other related issues of teenager’s girls by interactive performances. The communities are aware and enrolling their children into schools.

Partners:  Local community leaders, local activists, Youth, volunteers, Theater Group Team, community.

Proposed Budget: US$40,000 (for mobilization and supporting in buying the program equipment)

Contact details:
Anil Kapoor,
Global Youth Ambassador, Pakistan
Email ID: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel No.
+92 344 3098775

Tuesday, 20 March 2018 12:51

The governorate of Madaba lies southwest of the capital city of Amman. It spans an area of 2,000 km2 and has a population of 150,000. Prior to the 2004 micro-PSP project, the Madaba Water Administration (MWA) had 20,000 subscribers and faced severe challenges. These are summarized as follows:

  • A system of estimating quantities led to inaccurate billing
  • Poor implementation led to a high loss of customers
  • Lack of an information system resulted in bills not being distributed
  • Large volumes of water were unaccounted for (between 45% and 60%)

The solution, implemented in 2004, introduced a new concept in water utility management.

Goals and Objectives: The Programme Management Unit of the Water Authority of Jordan (WAJ) worked with the German Technical Cooperation (then GTZ) OMS project to improve the efficiency of water utilities and, at the same time, develop private-sector capabilities to enable local companies to carry some of the responsibility in the years to come. The concept entails private sector participation in WAJ services on a micro scale (micro-PSP). Effectively, this aims to involve Jordanian companies in the operation, maintenance and management of selected business activities and smaller business units of WAJ, in order to support commercialization and efficient delivery of WAJ services.

Implementation: This concept was piloted in managing water utilities in Madaba. Engicon O&M was awarded the management of the subscriber section of the Madaba Water Authority, and this marked the first time a local company was entrusted with such an important task.

The services required from Engicon O&M under the contract were to manage water and wastewater billing and revenue collection. This included developing and implementing Geographical Information System (GIS)-based tools, a Customer Information System and a Sewerage Database for the Madaba governorate.

The contract was split into two phases: I)  preparatory period and II) performance-based period.

The following objectives were identified to guide implementation of the project:

  • Increase revenue from water and wastewater services
  • Reduce outstanding customer debts
  • Improve efficiency of customer management
  • Install computer-aided customer management system
  • Develop technical and administrative capabilities of the Madaba Customer Management Center.

Engicon began by renovating the MWA Offices in order to create a modern customer service facility. This took place over the first nine months of the project, and included procurement of software and hardware that enabled the administration to issue its own water bills. Previously, MWA had relied on WAJ headquarters in Amman to process and issue bills. Engicon also surveyed and mapped all service subscribers, and digitized all surveyed routes in the governorate. This enabled Engicon to then re-assess the existing system, and plan more efficient routes. The meter readers were then assigned certain routes and switched to others in order to eliminate reader monopoly. In addition, a sewerage database system was installed.

To motivate the seconded staff, a bonus scheme was developed and the remuneration procedures were made transparent. Staff was then given training on computer skills, customer care, data entry, and appraisal (for management).

Achievements:
These changes led to a complete overhaul of the system of operation at MWA. Most notably, the administration was now able to issue its own bills and this dramatically improved efficiency. The consistency achieved by following the new procedures was quickly felt by the subscribers. The changes made, particularly the use of reader routes, increased the accuracy of meter reading. In a survey conducted in 2008 by GTZ, more than 99% of the sampled respondents said they were receiving their bills on time.

Quantitatively, the success of the project exceeded all expectations. Engicon’s involvement in this project resulted in the following major successes:

  • Net billed water increased to 75% in the first year of operation.
  • Net collections increased dramatically, from JD 0.9 million in the base year 2005, to JD 1.3 million in 2006, JD 1.8 million in 2007, and JD 1.9 million 2008.
  • WAJ recovered the entire cost of the project in less than two years.

The success of the project has prompted the government to replicate this experience in other areas, including NRW reduction, energy efficiency and more. The Government of Jordan has decided to replicate the Micro PSP experience in other WAJ Administrations such as Karak and Balqa Water Administrations.

Budget: [1] The total cost of the contract was JAD 900,000.

Partners: The Ministry of Water & Irrigation (MWI), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit GmbH (German Technical Cooperation)

For more information:

Contact details: 
Address: P.O.Box 926963. Amman, Jordan
Engicon O&M
Firas Matar (M.Sc.)
Phone: +962 64602120
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

[1] http://watersum.rec.org/e-learning/practice.php?id=20

Rising quantities of waste are posing increasing problems for countries of MENA region and are having adverse effects on the environment, the quality of drinking water, and human health. An integrated waste management system geared towards conserving resources needs solutions that are tailored to each individual region and country. There is currently no formal, structured exchange of experience in this region. Various stakeholders are searching for technical, financial and organizational solutions, often independently of one another.

Goals and Objectives: The mechanism, introduced in 2009, is aimed to strengthen human and institutional competencies in integrated waste management in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The project is working on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to turn informal contacts in the waste management sector into a functional, formal network structure. The SWEEP-Net (Solid Waste Exchange of Information and Expertise Network in the MENA Region) regional network connects experts from national public institutions, local authorities, business, the scientific community and civil society.

Implementation: A steering committee including representatives of the partner ministries has been set up. Needs-oriented training sessions are helping to strengthen human and institutional competencies in integrated waste management. The SWEEP-Net website provides members with access to the network's knowledge base.

Achievements: Due the solution’s efforts the following results achieved so far:

  • An efficient network structure has been created. The network has determined its strategic orientation, developed new methods of communicating and set up a knowledge management system.
  • Nine partner ministries (national coordinators) are represented on the steering committee.
  • The statutes of the network have been recognised by ministerial signature in five countries (Tunisia, Mauritania, Morocco, Egypt and Yemen) and ratified by a cabinet resolution of the Yemeni Government.
  • The SWEEP-Net database includes more than 300 documents from the region and provides access to over 300 waste experts. Publications inform the network's members about best practices in the region and other countries and encourage participants to share their knowledge and experience.
  • The network has drawn up comprehensive, standardised country profiles and reports for member countries, as well as a regional benchmarking report. These documents are regularly updated.
  • SWEEP-Net has held four regional conferences attended by around 600 experts to date. The network offers regular training sessions on specialist topics. Approximately 1.400 experts have taken part in over 40 regional and national workshops. Five bilateral South-South exchanges have been organised so far.

In all SWEEP-Net Partner Countries, the government is either the major financier of MSW collection and disposal such as in Tunisia, Lebanon and Yemen; or it fills the gap between the costs and the revenues of MSW such as in Algeria, Egypt, Syria, Jordan and the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Cost recovery is partially implemented in Algeria, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon (Zahle only) and the Occupied Palestinian Territory; unlike Morocco, Tunisia, Yemen and Mauritania where costs are not recovered through the operation of services. Cost recovery arrangements are made through the electricity bills such as in Egypt and in Jordan.

Budget: Only for Lebanon since 1996[1]-2010: approximately 97 million dollars

Partners: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Municipalities of Beirut, Rabat, and Tunis, Ministries of Environment of Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia; the World Bank.

For more information:

Contact details: 
Solid Waste Exchange of Information and Expertise Network in the MENA Region (SWEEP-Net) GIZ Office
Tunis B.P. 753 - 1080 Tunis Cedex – Tunisia; +216 71 28 05 57; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;
Team Leader - GTZ Temporary contact information: Mobile: +216 24 17 55 53 E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Mr. Anis ISMAIL General Secretary; Temporary contact information: Mobile: +216 98 22 72 04 E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

[1] SWEMP (outside Greater Beirut area): Project was initiated in 1996. Objectives were to equip municipalities outside the GBA with collection vehicles, close open dumps, construct between 10 to 15 sanitary landfills, capacity strengthening of municipalities and promotion of public sector participation (World Bank)

Friday, 16 March 2018 00:29

Fish and other fisheries’ productions are preferred food items in Africa due to its nutrients, rich in protein and micronutrient contents. Fish is priced reasonably (i.e. Cheaper than substitute food items such as meat) and form an integral part of traditional diets. Unfortunately, because of combined effects of rapid population growth and dwindling capture fish production, per-capita supply of fish has shown a decreasing trend in African region and many countries import a significant amount of fish annually. Latter causes food deficit and price increases in fish. Since it is not possible to increase fish catch from natural environment, Governments of African countries increased their focus on aquaculture to fill up the gap between demand and supply of fish for national food security.

The training program called “Third Country Training Program(TCTP) on Fish Culture development” helped to build capacities of local farmers through practical training and knowledge on climatic condition, farmed fish species and the farming technologies in practice. These common factors provide a platform to African trainees to benefit from the training course, exchange opinions and practices towards the application of the course contents in home countries.

It was supported by Japan International Cooperation Agency(JICA) and the government of Egypt through Egyptian Agency of Partnership for Development (EAPD) based on the agreement on ‘Japan-Egypt Triangular Technical Cooperation Program for the promotion of South-South Cooperation in Africa’.

3 months training has been implemented once a year since 2004 in Egypt. The training was delivered in Egypt, in the group format with practical exercises in the fields for 191 participants from 21 African countries. All participants have their own aquaculture pond and conduct several experiments by themselves. Country participants come from: Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Comoro, DRC, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Zambia.

As a result of the trainings:

  • Rapid developments have occurred in aquaculture sector of Egypt in past 20 years and now Egypt ranks 9th in fish farming production and 1st among African countries.
  • Thanks to Egyptian expertise, knowledge exchange from Egypt to neighboring countries helped to enhance their capacity and apply them for adequate development and management of the aquaculture sector in their own countries.
  • Participants could increase fish yield and income from aquaculture farming; e.g.: Malawi participant was able to increase the productivity of Tilapia from 1-2 ton/ha to 5.5 ton/ha and 8.0 tons/ ha of Catfish. Uganda participant increased the number of ponds, from 50 to 110 (60 new ponds), in his area of responsibilty. (2016)

Partners: JICA and EAPD; Technical support by Training Institute: Egyptian International Center for Agriculture (EICA) and World Fish

Budget: Training cost and Invitation cost. USD 170,000/Year

Contact details:
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Egypt;
Mr. Satoko Maruyama
Project Formulation Adviser, JICA Egypt Office
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Friday, 16 March 2018 00:06

After MDGs were set by International society, some of infectious diseases have decreased drastically. Also, infectious diseases still remain as a huge challenge to health workers. The gap between the efforts exerted in the field of fighting infectious disease and the mortality rates due to these diseases, reveals the lack of well-trained personnel and tools needed to face these diseases in the developing countries like Africa. Besides, health workers and facilities need to keep up-with the new developments and techniques in the field of diagnosis. The role of new laboratory diagnosis methodologies and monitoring tools for the new infectious diseases such as AIDS, Hepatitis C virus, Ebola virus and others is of utmost importance for prevention. Practical training would allow the health workers to master the different laboratories techniques available for their diagnosis ranging from simple techniques up top the most advanced ones.

Egypt shares their common health problems with the other African countries, especially infectious diseases. At the same time, Egypt has advantages over African countries in terms of techniques, health System and experiences in the health sector.

In order to make Infectious diseases in African countries diminish, JICA provides regular qualification improvement course for health workers which includes integrated modules such as clinical, laboratory and epidemiology sciences which approach infectious diseases. Group trainings organized every year improved knowledge in total for 96 medical doctors, and laboratory technologists from 14 African countries since 2012. (Burundi, DRC, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia).

During the training, participants are able to try several experiments in the practical sessions. As a result of the 5-week training implemented once a year from 2011 to 2017:

  • Basic information on fundamental immunology
  • Recent information on natural history and pathophysiology of infectious diseases
  • Hands-on experience in running and developing a medical laboratory for diagnosis of infectious diseases
  • Safety in blood transfusion
  • Basic tools for clinical diagnosis of selected diseases
  • Basic epidemiological and research tools in studying and controlling the selected infectious diseases
  • Basic knowledge and usage of standard immunological techniques in evaluating diagnostic tests and decision analysis
  • Basic concepts for both quality management philosophy for organizational development and a management process for
  • Basic tools in bio-risk, biosafety, and biosecurity
  • Formulation of an action plan to be implemented at the participants' organizations

Practical implications after the training:

  • The participant from Tanzania was heading the infectious diseases department and able to convince her hospital management to establish infection control unit.

The training enhanced participants’ current technical skills in clinical and laboratory medicine and research capabilities in the field of infectious diseases. It maximized the contribution of participants to their countries’ health development, especially in the field of protection against infectious diseases, through the clinical and laboratory diagnosis.

Partners: JICA and Egyptian Agency of Partnership for Development (EAPD); Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University

Budget: USD 100,000/Year

Contact details:
Japan International Cooperation Agency(JICA) Egypt
Satoko Maruyama, Project Formulation Adviser, JICA Egypt Office
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thursday, 15 March 2018 23:59

Rice is the most important and fundamental food for about half of the world's population and it is also an important staple food and a commodity of strategic significance across much of Africa. Driven by changing food preferences in the urban and rural areas and compounded by high population growth rates and rapid urbanization, rice consumption in Sub- Sahara Africa (SSA) has been growing over the years, doubling the rate of population growth. In addition to that, slow growth in domestic rice production attributed by low yields in Africa, the rice deficit in Africa will reach 17.63 million tons by 2030 according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD) was launched with the aim of doubling rice production in Africa in ten years by Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) and Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) at the margin of the Fourth Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD IV) in May 2008.

Taking into account Egyptian experience on cultivation and education in rice production since 1987 to 2006, JICA in cooperation with Egyptian International Center for Agriculture (EICA) and the government of Egypt implemented the training program on “Rice Cultivation Techniques”. It provided adequate knowledge and technology for rice cultivation using Egyptian expertise with advantages in terms of rice cultivation technique and rice production. Training is based on the programme called “Third Country Training Program(TCTP) based on the agreement ‘Japan-Egypt Triangular Technical Cooperation Program for the promotion of South-South Cooperation in Africa’

Renewed 5 months training has been implemented once a year since 2009 in Egypt and still ongoing. The theoretical lectures were held mainly in Cairo, and practical trainings were held in the experimental field in Kafr el Shaykh. The training is designed for the extension workers in the field.

Achievements
This training enabled African smallholder farmers to increase rice yields and to close the gap between production and consumption of rice at individual and national levels. Also, the training provided smallholder farmers with the means to achieve food security at the farm level and marketable surplus to generate income from the activity.

233 participants were at the training since 2009 from Angola, Benin, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central Africa, Coted'Ivoire, DRC (Zaire), Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone and South Sudan.

During the training with many practical sessions, participants are able to have their own field and actually experience from all the stages of rice cultivation (from nursery to post harvest process.)

At the end of the course they:

  • Familiarized the participants with the importance of rice cultivation in the economies of the African countries.
  • Acquired the skills needed to improve their capacity at the field level.
  • Enabled them to identify, diagnose and solve common problems facing rice plantations in Africa.
  • Assessed the training needs of extension workers in rice cultivation in irrigated farms in their respective countries.
  • Made them acquaint with the modern and adequate technologies in rice cultivation and field operations.
  • Created the committed Extension Workers able to identify opportunities available for rice cultivation.

Partners: JICA; Egyptian International Center for Agriculture (EICA); Technical support by Rice Research &Training Center (RRTC); Government of Egypt; 

Budget: USD 230,000/Year

Contact details:
Japan International Cooperation Agency(JICA) Egypt
Satoko Maruyama, Project Formulation Adviser, JICA Egypt Office
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thursday, 15 March 2018 23:26

Cross hospital infection major challenge in the Middle Eastern countries. Many of them suffer from a high prevalence of nosocomial infections which can be prevented by simple measures to be followed from construction and up until diagnosis and treatment.

Egypt had successfully tackled this problem and can share knowledge on the topic with medical personnel from other countries facing similar challenges. Nevertheless, the Egyptian institute can also learn a lot from trainees from foreign countries, and this is the reason why JICA initiated and supported the course called “Mutual Learning Workshop”. JICA accepted self-financed Egyptian participants to the training.

The course provides a safe healthcare environment for patients, visitors and staff by exchanging experience between participants to identify widely applicable tools and techniques and assisting the trainees in the establishment of an infection control policy in their countries. Furthermore, the course is designed to provide opportunities for participants to identify factors that cause the spread of cross hospital infection in the Middle-East Countries, to help the application of successful infection prevention and control, and also to help healthcare workers to play their critical roles to reduce the risk of infections.

The trainees can learn and improve the following aspects of their knowledge:

  • acquired understanding of basic concepts and infection control guidelines applied during design, construction and renovation of healthcare facilities, planning and implement infection control program, surveillance strategies and outbreak investigation, concepts of occupational health and safety, antimicrobial control of resistance, communication skills and teamwork;
  • received practical training on the development of policies and procedure, conduct educational and training programs for hospital workforce, perform surveillance studies, use a systematic approach for data collection, recording, analysis and interpretation and conduct evidence-based infection control guidelines for specific patient care settings, risky procedures, and common hospital-acquired infections;
  • be able to manage the health-care waste as an integral part of hospital hygiene and infection control; trace the source of infections and identify the potential risk factors associated with the cross-hospital infection; and
  • be able to implement modern techniques, such as ATP monitoring tests, and updates the infection control practice.

JICA conducted these trainings at the Fayoum University (it includes site visits also) in November, 2016 (five weeks training); January and February, 2018 (seven weeks training). Group training with theoretical and practical sessions done during the site visits to the medical establishments.

Achievements:

Participants reported positive impact after their going back. For instance, one Sudanese trainee was involved as an advisor into the process of hospital construction and utilized her knowledge in terms of infection control policy from the stage of constructional design. 

The knowledge and skill provided during the training are strongly recommended to be transferred to other countries in the respective region. If other countries can provide and replicate similar opportunities, it gives a positive impact on the entire region.

These series had been conducted since 2011, and accepted 105 trainees from Iraq, Palestine Authority, Syria, Jordan, Sudan, Yemen and Tunisia.

Partners: JICA; Fayoum University; Government of Egypt;

Budget: USD 80,000/Year (18 trainees, 7 weeks)

Contact details:
Japan International Cooperation Agency(JICA) Egypt
Mr. Atsushi Kono, Project Formulation Advisor
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Thursday, 15 March 2018 12:57

South Sudan became independent in 2011 after the long conflict. The Population in Juba (Capital city) has been drastically increasing after the return of refugees and is now estimated around 600,000 to 800,000. Infrastructure challenges like water supply create a major challenge for living. The coverage of water supply in Juba is as low as about 10%. A small fraction of the citizens who have access to water with service connection pays the lower fixed water tariff. The other large fraction of the citizens relies on unfiltered river water, unprotected wells and/or high salinity water. The South Sudan Urban Water Corporation (SSUWC), a water utility responsible for construction and management of water supply facilities and served under the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation (MWRI), is financially and technically not sustainable due to high non-revenue water (NRW) ratio and low water tariff collection ratio. As it is necessary to raise tariff and tariff collection ratio, SSUWC is required to improve its performance and customer service to obtain understanding and cooperation from the citizen.

To enhance the capacity of SSUWC’s service delivery for safe and clean water supply in a sustainable manner in Juba JICA and South Sudan have been implementing “the Project for Management Capacity Enhancement of South Sudan Urban Water Corporation” as a Japanese Technical Cooperation (T/C) since 2010. The phase 2 (2016 – 2020) focuses on the capacity development with regard to financial management, NRW management, and operation and maintenance of the facilities.

JICA supports SSUWC to learn from Uganda and Cambodia’s prominent water utilities. The objective of these trainings in each country are the following:

  1. SSUWC can learn what worked well for water utility reforms from those two countries’ experiences; and
  2. SSUWC can come up with its reform plan based on their own situation.

Trainings in Uganda and Cambodia as well as in Japan in 2017 had been conducted as one of the activities of the Project. They covered learning from prominent water utilities in developing countries, National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) in Uganda and Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) in Cambodia, about their successful experiences with reforms and challenges of infrastructure development. Both NWSC and PPWSA have achieved substantial improvements in performance and successful organizational change, despite working in harsh environments. For example, NRW of PPWSA and NWSC had been improved significantly from 72 % in 1993 to 6 % in 2011 and from 60% in 1998 to 28 % in 2018 respectively. And, sharing the history of Cambodia (deteriorated infrastructure due to the civil war in the 1970s), which was similar to the current one South Sudan goes through.

Minister of MWRI and key officials of SSUWC visited prominent water utilities in Uganda and Cambodia. Training was conducted in Uganda utilizing training program of NWSC and its water supply facilities. Lecture and training by NWSC about a wide range of topic for management such as water tariff, financial management, public awareness, NRW management, GIS, water distribution management, and sharing the reform history of NWSC. The lecture was delivered by PPWSA about its reform history and utility management.

Minister of MWRI and SSUWC obtained confidence about its reform plan. In the case of Cambodia, the coverage of water supply in Phnom Penh had increased drastically from 20% in 1993 to 82 % in 2003, with reduction of NRW and tariff revision, which resulted in making a net profit. In terms of timeline, the history of PPWSA (Cambodia) showed that it might not take much time to achieve the reform as it just took over 10 years. The lectures were persuasive as most of them were given by PPWSA executives who had gone through the tough challenges since the 1990’s. It is possible for SSUWC to improve their performance as well as expand the water supply coverage.

Continuous joint training with NWSC will be effective in strengthening SSUWC’s performance. The technology, as well as management methods of the neighboring country, are similar to that of South Sudan. As a result, it is easy for the participants from SSUWC to learn from NWSC’ experiences.

Achievements:
SSUWC HQs and Juba station started to make a reform action plan, which includes a reflection of good practices and lessons learned of PPWSA and NWSC (for example, the necessity of political will, good leadership, motivated staff, and supports from development partners and peers, and so on). Overall achievement of the trainings were the following:

  • A reform plan for improvement of utility performance and identifying priority actions which contribute to efficient and effective improvements, based on learnings from prominent water utilities in developing countries and lessons learned from them.
  • Practical skills and management methods from neighboring country.
  • Bridge organizations in different developing countries with the support of development partners (such as JICA in this case), which understand challenges in detail and development process of various developing countries, and have a good relationship.

Partners: JICA; South Sudan Urban Water Corporation (SSUWC); Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation (MWRI)
Budget: Approximately 0.2 Million (training in third countries) by the end of 2017

Contact details:
Japan International Cooperation Agency(JICA) Japan
Daisuke Sakamoto (Mr.), Special Adviser, Water Resources Group, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
Tel.:+81-3-5226-9507
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Refugee and migrants’ situation in the country negatively influenced by the epidemic nature of tuberculosis (TB) and other communicable diseases. The END TB strategy from WHO is one of the solutions to adapt and apply on the ground. JICA’s trainings intend to promote the solution of TB in collaboration with the National Tuberculosis Program (NTP) where other countries’ NTP workers and representatives of Health Ministries were invited. 

Specifically, since 2015 JICA has been providing four weeks training opportunities in collaboration with the National Tuberculosis Program (NTP) in Egypt to:

  • Update the knowledge of Tuberculosis and its control;
  • Improve analytical skills necessary for the situation for TB control;
  • Develop skills to improve the TB recording and reporting system in their own responsible areas;
  • Improve their knowledge of TB infection control;
  • Improve their knowledge in strategic planning for TB control;
  • Improve their knowledge and skills in supervision and TB control activities;
  • Improve their knowledge of M/XDR TB management;
  • Improve their knowledge of TB Drug management; and
  • Improve their knowledge in Advocacy, Communication and Social Mobilization (ACSM).

JICA invited the other countries’ NTP workers and Minister of Health officers.

The trainings are conducted as a group training for administration and medical personnel with site visits and based on the WHO guidelines for TB care. Dissemination of the proper information for both the Ministry of Health officers and medical workers enriches the quality of the guidelines they are updating. It allows them to treat TB patients in a standardized manner properly.

Achievements:

Through this training opportunity, technical capacities and a strong multi-country network of health workers from several nations were enhanced and constructed to act efficiently in less time.   

With the help of up to dated information and knowledge obtained through this training of the JICA project, training participants improved their qualification to catch up with recent TB and other communicable diseases’ developments, like e.g.: JICA ex-trainees were involved with National TB policy planning in Sudan.

This similar training course has been conducted since 2008, and accepted 169 trainees till 2018 from Iraq, Palestine Authority, Oman, Sudan, South Sudan, Jordan, Tunisia, Djibouti, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Regional cooperation must be considered as an important factor to tackle communicable diseases. In this context, participation from several countries (from the same region) is recommendable in order to foster the synergies among the ME region.

Partners: JICA; Ministry of Health/Government of Egypt; 

Budget: USD 80,000/Year (20 trainees, 4 weeks)

Contact details:
Japan International Cooperation Agency(JICA) Egypt
Atsushi Kono
Project Formulation Advisor
JICA Egypt Office
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Friday, 09 March 2018 07:25

Since the beginning of the Syrian Crisis, 1.5 million people have taken refuge in Lebanon. Most of the refugees have settled in informal camps with difficult living conditions where many cannot have access to health infrastructure due to geographic localization, cost of medical consultations and other factors.

To ensure access to basic healthcare for the refugees in the informal camps and remote villages Amel Association Center, a Lebanese non-governmental organization, set-up the Medical Mobile Unit (MMUs), a special vehicle equipped with all the medical tools. Each unit is composed of a doctor, a nurse, a social worker and a driver.

The first MMU started functioning at the end of 2012 in Bekaa, East Lebanon.  In 2014, other units were set up in South Lebanon to reach a bigger part of the population.

In order to encourage vulnerable population/ individuals in a vulnerable situation to seek treatment, the medical mobile unit established a timetable with regular shifts. The contact with vulnerable people enables to identify people suffering from serious illnesses. In this case, Amel’s doctors refer them either to Amel’s centers or to other specialized NGOs.

The general medical consultations and medications are provided for free.

The other mission of these units is to provide awareness sessions about various health and social topics. Topics covered are defined by the medical team according to the needs. For example, if the team observes that people suffer from diarrhea, the awareness sessions will focus on sanitary rules to avoid this phenomenon.

Achievements:  
Since 2013, with the support of local communities 222,612 consultations have been realized (19,983 in 2013, 42,953 in 2014, 50,528 in 2015, 50,717 in 2016 and 58,431 in 2017), enabling access to a good healthcare system for people living in camp settings.

Given the successful implementation of the project, new funding was secured to replicate the project in other areas of Lebanon.

Budget: 100 000 $ per unit per year covering, in particular:

  • Purchasing the vehicle;
  • Equipping the vehicle;
  • Purchasing the material and equipment;
  • Covering stipends for doctors, nurses, social worker, and driver.

Partners: Agence Française pour le Développement (AFD), MEDICO

Contact details:
Lebanon
Name and title: Dr Kamel Mohanna, President
Telephone: + 961 3 202 270
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