Monthly Archives: November 2008

The strange story of a training center

training-center

We received

Dear Friends
I came in 2005 in Nepal to visit CCS Nepal projects places and I was really happy to see how they worked for the benefits of children and community we sponsored from Italy.
Now on the web I read about a strange story related to the Training Center built in Thulo Parsel. It seems that what has been written in the house magazine of Centro Cooperazione Sviluppo ONLUS (Progetto Solidarietà –
http://www.ccsit.org/archives/docs/pages/jchia47b-PS2007-3.pdf) , it is not true.

They wrote to italian sponsors of the association they built the Center so “Finalmente la comunità di Thulo Parsel può contare su uno spazio polifunzionale costruito dal CCS Italia”. In September 2007 (translation: Finally the community of Thulo Parsel has a multi -function space built by CCS Italy)

They wrote the Center has been paid by CCS Italy INGO but on the web it seems it has been paid by a local farmer. So I like to ask you what it is true and why they wrote so to  italian sponsors of the organization.
With friendly regards

Claudio Parodi-Italy

 

Dear Friend
in 2006 CCS Italy decided to built the Training Center in Thulo Parsel, in order to train teachers and people directly in the community. CCS Nepal, signed an agreement with a local farmer, it stated: CCS Nepal have free use of the land for 15 years and after that time (if no further agreement will be signed)  the building will be property of the land owner.
In may 2007 CCS Nepal (and community) finished the building and it started to be used by teachers and people but at the end of 2007 Centro Cooperazione Sviluppo INGO changed idea with no reasonable explanations. So they ask the farmer to give back the cost of the building. All people were surprised and  shocked by this negative approach. The farmer decided to avoid problems and gave back around 9 lacks (euro 9.000) spent for the construction with some problems due to the high amount.
It is quite surprisingly to hear by you that Centro Cooperazione Sviluppo ONLUS which not paid the Center market it to italian sponsors. But as you could see in other posts, since 2007 the new officers of the INGO have not a correct attitude towards community and people involved in the Timal projects and most of them has been stopped or reduced.  
In 2006 CCS Nepal decided as primary activities for 2007 to enforce quality education in the ECDs, primary and secondary schools supported in Timal area. So they need a place where to held trainings and courses avoiding to stop the regular lessons in the schools. Of course the building could be used by community or other organizations working in the area.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under aid industry, nepal

NGO needs credibility and efficiency

community meetingSome past posts criticized the work and the role of some INGO operating in Nepal. we receive this article on the matter from Syed Mohammad Ali, Pakistani Researcher

Engaging in a debate about the role of NGOs should not be confined to questioning their credibility, but also their ability to deliver services efficiently and in a sustained manner
A landmark Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness was put forth in 2005 which acknowledged that international development aid needs to respect the priorities of recipient countries and that donor organisations must begin to coordinate their activities with one another. In development terms, this understanding implied the need for donor alignment to improve the harmonisation of aid.
Three years have passed since this declaration was signed, yet the overall ineffectiveness of development assistance continues to evoke much criticism. International non-governmental organisations perhaps remain the harshest critics of aid effectiveness. But what about the effectiveness of these NGOs in utilising aid for development purposes themselves?
After all, international NGOs receive large shares of aid from donors, which adds to the funding generated by them privately and amounts to a significant sum. In some donor countries, the share of NGOs in the expenditure of official development aid is as high as 20 percent. The aid granted by NGOs from OECD nations alone amounted to a total of to almost $15 billion in 2005. A similar amount was given to them in 2006.
Some of the larger NGOs now have budgets bigger than longstanding government donors. The overall budget of ‘World Vision International’, for example, exceeds the aid budget of Italy. The ‘Save the Children Alliance’ spends more money on development than Finland.
Given the enormity of funds involved, a closer look is needed over how NGOs are spending this money meant to assist developing countries. Some recent research in this regard indicates that there is due basis for concern.
Generally, international NGOs are considered to be able to target aid more effectively than state-run development agencies. This confidence is based on the assumption that such entities are more aware of the needs of poor people – since most of them directly cooperate with local level civil society groups, enabling them to circumvent corrupt governments. It is also claimed that international NGOs are less influenced by donor governments’ commercial and political interests, and more responsive to on-ground needs.
However a look at cumulative NGO activities indicates that like official donors, international NGOs are also very subjective in where they chose to spend their money. Ethiopia, for example, has been found to host 5 separate affiliates of World Vision, 7 Oxfam agencies, 6 Care International and 12 Save the Children offices.
Similarly, in other relatively small countries such as Guatemala, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, more than 40 of the 60 largest NGOs have a presence. This is in stark contrast with other deserving countries like Congo, Yemen and the Central African Republic, where only a handful of these international NGOs operate. Therefore, like official donors, NGOs also ignore the income position of recipient countries and their genuine requirement for aid.
Partially at least, the evident concentration of NGO presence in selected countries is explained by their dependence on government donor priorities, which earmarks official assistance for specific countries. But then if NGOs from donor countries have a tendency to replicate the aid allocation of official donors, surely it must also limit their independence in terms of decision-making.
There are also other indications illustrating that international NGOs lack serious resolve in making their programmes more responsive to needs felt on the ground. For instance, there is little evidence that NGOs are better at respecting the priorities of their local counterparts than of official donors.
In the directorial boards of 55 of the world’s largest development NGOs, only 6 per cent of members have been found to belong to developing countries. This power differential is compounded by the fact that local NGOs themselves lack direct access to international aid, since most official donors restrict their funding for NGOs to organisations based within their own countries, instead of routing this aid directly to NGOs in developing countries.
It is interesting to note that the Global Accountability Report for 2006 found that the World Bank and even the corporate sector have better procedures for managing complaints than international NGOs.
It is about time that international NGOs take a critical look at their own activities instead of using most of their energy to convince donor nations to abide by the principles of aid effectiveness. Engaging in a debate about the role of NGOs should not be confined to questioning their credibility, but also their ability to deliver services efficiently and in a sustained manner.
This ambiguity concerning the effectiveness of NGOs working at the international level has also percolated down to the national level. There is a growing undercurrent of scepticism in the general public about the role of all types of NGOs. In the case of Pakistan for instance, the entire sector is often seen as attempting to propagate and impose the values of a foreign donor agency on an unsuspecting local populace.
While development practitioners must acknowledge that some problems do exist within this sector, and that the efficacy or design of many initiatives can be questioned, the entire sector however cannot be written off as being corrupt, bureaucratic or inefficient.
Moreover, not all local NGOs are recipients of international aid. According to research done by the Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy some years ago for instance, Pakistanis themselves were found to have given five times more funds to non-profit organisations than what these organisations had received in grants. Nonetheless, the need to bridge the credibility gap concerning internal governance, financial accountability and the participatory approach of NGOs is vital if they want to remain legitimate stakeholders in the process of international development.
A voluntary NGO certification programme has been initiated in several developing countries, including our own, which is a good thing. Scrutiny of international NGOs at a broader level through aid effectiveness forums is also a welcome move.
Ultimately, NGOs must be able to fulfil the needs of the local communities more responsively and expediently than larger international development agencies, or else there is be no real justification for their profusion.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Sanitation in the villages

child in TimalThe Third South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN III) concluded in New Delhi today with the participating countries recognising people’s access to drinking water as a basic right.
The key principles included the promotion of wider participation of all the stakeholders, effective advocacy, change of people’s behaviour, partnership with the stakeholders, allocation of budget in all levels, strengthening of community efforts, improvement in working conditions for sanitary personnel, and development of appropriate technologies and methodologies.
The New Delhi declaration has also promised to promote collaboration among the SAARC countries with the help of appropriate mechanism, said the minister.
The United Nations has designated 2008 as International Year of Sanitation.

We publish the Report 2006 about our Health Project (in cooperation with Dhulikel Hospital) in Timal (Kavre District) where we started water analysis in some schools and appropriate activities (pipeline rebuilding, water tanks, distribution of deworming tablets, general sanitation) to tackle children water born diseases. Video report Health and sanitation project 2006.

In 2009. Dhulikel Hospital believed that there are no more condition to work with  CCS Italia ONLUS due, in our opinion, to the incapacity of the CCS Italia staff to deliver services to beneficiaries and to manage the project as before.

Leave a comment

Filed under aid industry, nepal

Suggestions on education projects

We received girl-in-timal

Dear NGO
I remember with joy when we collaborated in 2006 with your NGO in planning new methods to increase quality education in the schools you are supporting in Kavre District. My friends in TU and me  were very sad to know of changing programs and management occurred from 2007 in CCS Italy INGO which stopped our projects and some of yours.
As we agreed, your fundamental work to improve educational structures in Timal, building and restoring schools could not be completed without an efforts in improving the way and quality of studying as several works suggest.
At that time you and TU (Tribhuvan University) team were engaged to create a new sample of training methods for teachers and principals in order to establish new relations among students and teachers and new ways of teachings.
Remembering those discussion and positive ideas, which are still on date, I should like to share with you some suggestions coming form a study on education in India, hoping that our government too start to consider education and its quality a priority in political agenda.
In India as in Nepal enrolment has increased tremendously in the past couple of decades and today parents largely see it as a bounden duty.
In India some data are really impressive: The number of students enrolled in elementary education (classes 1 to 8) was about 1.9 crore in 1951. It is now estimated at over 13 crore, about seven times more.
The proportion of students enrolled for class 1 to 5 in the total number of children in the 6-11 years age group, called the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) for that age group, is about 107%. That means virtually all children in this age group and some who are older but in these classes are enrolled in schools.
But as in Nepal, for class 6 to 8, this proportion, for the age group 11-14 years, falls to about 70%. It continues falling in the next stage of class 9 to 12 also – just about touching 40%. By the time we reach higher education, the proportion of students has fallen to an abysmal 10%.
This data, as you know, are similar to Nepal and we discussed the way to avoid the drop-out. You implemented the project to establish an higher secondary school (10+2) in Timal to assure high education opportunity for poor and remote students. That was a way to reduce the drop-out and it is very negative that CCS Italy INGO suspended the support to this project.
No opportunity to access to higher education create and perpetuate endemic divisions that make one section of people disadvantaged or under-privileged especially in remote areas. This comment means that in both countries a large amount of young people are out of the system and without education.
This is represented in India  by the rural-urban chasm. Back in 1951, 35% of urban residents were literate, but only 12% of rural people. In 2006, 80% of urbanites were literate but in rural areas the literacy rate was still far behind – at 59%. The gap is almost of the same order as in 1951. The same data is found in Nepal.
Another persistent division leaves the most socio-economically backward castes and tribal communities at a disadvantage. Among scheduled castes, the literacy rate was 55%, while among scheduled tribes it was 47% in 2006. These are way behind ‘other backward classes’, which have a literacy rate of about 66%, and all the remaining castes, which have the highest literacy at over 78%.
We appreciated, in fact, your work in Timal and your attention to alleviated the burden of education (through distribution of materials to students, coaching classes, and teacher salaries in community schools) to the poorest family which belong to Tamang, Magar and Dalit groups. According to an ASSOCHAM India survey, the costs of sending a child to school have risen by 160% in the last 8 years and without support to family the drop-out rate is going to increase as you showed in your study which compare the state of education in some Timal VDCs before your project and after. So it is really a shame CCS Italy INGO decided to stop books distribution to children in Timal with the new italian management.
In fact, the Indian survey states, there is the rich-poor divide. Among the poorest third of our society, literacy is only about 46%. In the middle third it improves to 65%, while among the richest third of the population, it is over 72%.
In India they did:
-The high rates of enrolment at the primary stages across the country, and their continued stability, has a ready explanation – the mid-day meal scheme, launched by the government in its present form after a Supreme Court order in 2001. As unfortunately you did in Timal before it was cut by CCS Italy INGO.
-Another event that will have a long-term effect is the inclusion of the right to education as a fundamental right in 2002. The provision, in its final form was restricted to children in the age group 6-14 years This has led to the government dragging its feet in getting it off the ground. Implementation would mean that the government would be accountable to the courts if children were left out

Thanks to these general provisions India was able to improve  quantitatively its education system. But some data suggests that quality in education is still low. Then there is the question of relevance of education – after all it is being sought primarily to get a good job. A recent National Sample Survey report found that unemployment among youth was highest among graduates, post-graduates and technical diploma or certificate holders – in the range of 19-20%. This is way above the current unemployment rate of about 6% for this age group. The reasons for this are that in most cases the educational qualifications and job requirements don’t match.
This is the reason it would have been wise to work on our project on quality education. I hope the new appointed and too much  paid officers of Centro Cooperazione Sviluppo INGO sleeping in Kathmandu office begin to learn how to be useful for people and not only for themeselves.
Friendly wishes
Dr. Satish Koirala
Educationalist-Kathmandu

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

nutrion with DEO Kavre

ecd in Timal

As in our integrated project on education, from 2005 we provided integration daily meals to around 880 children enrolled in Bal Bikas Kendra (ECDs) we created in 5 VDCs in Timal area (Kavre District).

We provided them a daily allowance of Nrs. 2.5 each children managed by the School Management Committees charged of the ECDs. In the past post, it is underligned as daily meals for children helps enrollment and attendance to the ECDs as well it is a support for poor family.

Actually we had the idea to create Ama (mothers) Groups charged to produce and cook pito (high nutrient flour) and to distribute it to the children. Unluckly Centro Cooperazione Sviluppo ONLUS severely reduced the amount stated for this project from Rs. 2.5 each children daily to only Rs. 1. With this amount is very hard to give any good food to the children.

We received

Dear Friends

I am a teacher of Narayansthan and i was really involved in your projects in my VDC, they were very useful for children, family and schools. I know and I read on your website that quite all acyivities are collapsing due the mismanagement of Centro Cooperazione Sviluppo INGO. This is very sad and  we are very worried too because several teachers before supported by CCS Italy INGO were laied-off.

I really don’t understand which is their ideas and their future programs. They are destroying years of work and also all well has been done by your NGO which is formed and directed by people of the community. They speak about partnership at community level but in the Coordination Nutrition Committee of DEO (District Education Office) of Kavre they obliged you to leave the seat for a member of CCS Italy, one of the well-paid officer of Kathmandu which has not knowledge of our Timal.

This is really a pity which I hope the italian sponsors of our children will let to Know.

Friendly regards

Binod Kumar

Leave a comment

Filed under aid industry, nepal