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June 15th, 2018
Today, we are the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris and join the inception meetings for the evaluation of the Japanese Funds-in-Trust Project “Today for Tomorrow: Coordinating and Implementing the Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development”.
This project aims to ensure effective coordination and implementation of the Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education on Sustainable Development (ESD). The goal of the GAP is “to generate and scale up action in all levels and areas of education and learning to accelerate progress towards sustainable development”.
Indeed, learning to live in a sustainable way is a long-term proposition requiring everyone’s attention and involvement. The GAP is intended to help drive this worldwide effort, thus ensuring ESD’s contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
ecoper’ leader, Aitor Pérez, is working in this evaluation with Ockham Institute for Policy Support.
30th Abril 2018
Ecoper’s leading analyst has submitted the final report of the external evaluation of the project “Support Developing Country Policy Makers in the Formulation of National Entrepreneurship Policies through the Implementation of Entrepreneurship Policy Frameworks”. The project was by the 9th tranche of the UN Development Account, and its implementation lasted from June 2015 to December 2017.
The intervention had the aim of enhancing policy makers’ capacities for the design and implementation of entrepreneurship policies, with the understanding that better policies in this domain will increase the number of businesses created and enlarged and, consequently, their contribution to the economic goals inserted into global development agendas and national strategies.
The project was carried out in six countries: Cameroon, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, The Gambia, and the United Republic of Tanzania. It included knowledge-sharing and networking activities that involved stakeholders from these and other countries of the same regions.
The interventions drew on UNCTAD’s expertise and tools to provide training for policy makers. Training activities covered the design of comprehensive entrepreneurship policies and action plans, as well as more specific policy aspects dealing with financial inclusion or e-regulation. Also, partner countries were assisted in mobilizing local knowledge and social support through the creation of multi-stakeholder coordination bodies. In turn, these bodies launched thematic working groups involving a greater number of actors, which is one specific component of entrepreneurship policy. The focus of each working group during the project was to map the current situation, in order to inform the national action plan to be adopted at project completion. This participatory approach was further reinforced by regional networking and knowledge-sharing activities.
Friday, 15th December
According to Werker (2007), there is no typical refugee camp economy, but a broad picture can be painted, illustrated with data gathered from previous descriptive research on refugee camp economies. Refugee settlements may be more like cities than camps (Pérouse de Montclos and Kagwanja 2000), for settlement economies tend to be rich and varied. The primary economic actors are the refugees, many of whom come with productive capabilities, access to commercial networks and capital of some sort. There may also be nationals living among the refugees, taking advantage of business opportunities in the camp or posing as refugees to benefit from humanitarian aid. Humanitarian agencies and the host government supply private and public goods to the refugees, often including food, medicine, shelter, sanitation, education and security. Refugees achieve their livelihoods from agricultural production, wage labour, small businesses, outside remittances, lending/investing and humanitarian rations. Typically, a camp will have one or more trading centres where small businesses are concentrated in addition to organized markets for trading in locally-produced and imported goods.
No camp is totally closed to traffic in goods, capital and people; as such, the markets in the camp are connected with domestic (and therefore international) markets through refugee and national traders. Moreover, given the refugees’ connection with their home country, the camp economy may have strong links to markets in the refugee-producing country. Finally, due to the nature of law enforcement within the camp and the composition of the refugee population, the camp may also have strong ties to grey and black markets in the host country and abroad—a manifestation of the ‘transborder shadow economies’ that Duffield (2001) describes as characterizing the political economy of post-Cold War conflict.
Conceptualizing the Refugee Camp economy
Basing on the example of Kyangwali Camp, Werker sets a model intended to serve as a lens to understand any camp economy (Werker, 2007). According to this model, several distorsions affect the camps economies:
Host country policies
Refugees, in general, receive different treatment from nationals in the country of asylum. Host country policies can be divided into two categories, restrictions and benefits.
Refugee camps can be isolated in a variety of ways. The most obvious is physically.
One important distorting characteristic of humanitarian aid is that it is typically delivered disproportionately to refugees living in the camps, even in countries that permit refugees to self-settle.
The population makeup in a refugee camp is unlikely to mirror the population of the refugee-producing country. Depending on the nature of the conflict, certain members of the refugee-producing country will find higher costs to staying put, higher benefits to becoming a refugee, and/or lower costs to flight. If the conflict targets a particular ethnic group, for example, we should expect that ethnic group to be proportionally better represented among the refugee population than among the sending population. Likewise, if the opportunities for education are better for refugees, we should expect those members of the refugee-producing country with stronger preferences for education to be better represented. Moreover, becoming a refugee implies a certain savvy and access to information networks, as well as the ability to afford the journey.
ecoper has been selected by Caritas Española (CE) and COERR to provide knowledge management services in the framework of the following project “Strengthening capacities and developing sustainable livelihood opportunities for the Myanmar refugees largely encamped along the Thai-Myanmar border in preparation for eventual repatriation.” The project is funded by the European Union and CE.
In Thailand, there is a population of more than 100.000 refugees settled in 9 camps bordering Myanmar. COERR, assisting Myanmar refugees since 1984, is present in all nine camps and runs a livelihood program funded by the EU and CE. This project, launched in January 2017, is actually a new edition of a long-term livelihood program that has already proven to be effective in improving refugees’ life conditions by means of organic low-cost agriculture.
32 years of refugee camps has inevitably resulted in external aid-dependency, a situation that is neither sustainable nor desirable. However, projects like this, and other activities going on in the camps, have reduced significantly the dynamics of self-dependence.
The refugees involved in farming activities sponsored by COERR not only produce their own food, but also contribute to a voluntary community fund which benefits the most vulnerable individuals. Moreover, they obtain a surplus that can be exchanged in the market, and that favors other economic activities, including external trade. In other words, although aid dependency is an issue of concern, the vision of a refugee camp as an isolated and fully subsidized economy is too simplistic and unrealistic, at least in the case of these camps.
With political changes in Myanmar signaling the possibility of repatriation in the near future, the livelihood program has reinforced its focus on skills, as greater attention is paid to the refugees’ preparation for voluntary return to their homeland or integration somewhere else. From this perspective, the knowledge and skills acquired by refugees in productive activities like farming must help them to become self-reliant also outside the camps.
Despite poverty is generalized in the camps, some individuals are more vulnerable than others. Consistent with its identity and values and those of CE, COERR has put in place a specific program for Extremely Vulnerable Individuals (EVIs), i.e. physically and mentally disabled people, elderly, unaccompanied separated children, single parents, etc. These individuals also benefit of the livelihood program in a share of 8%.
The livelihood program is also intended to contribute to reduce gender inequality. Around half of the participants will be women, and the project design has taken into account the women’s customary household responsibilities.
The development of farming and other economic activities in the camp demand collective arrangements. This has been taken by COERR as an opportunity to foster community institutions and leaders, improve their capacities and contribute to a better integration of the community in camp governance.
The role of ecoper in the above-described project consists in producing useful and transferable knowledge on economic development in refugee camps (livelihoods) drawing on COERR’s experience. More specifically, the consultants will try to achieve the following objectives in the timeframe of the consultancy. This includes the following outcomes:
|1. A full and precise methodological proposal will be defined|
|2. “Good practices” and “lessons learnt” will be identified and systematized|
|3. Knowledge management tools will be implemented|
|4. A knowledge-sharing proposal will be precisely defined|
We are seeking a young professional / post-graduate student / researcher based in Bangkok, Thailand, interested in a part-time freelance position, flexible and compatible with other occupations. His/her role would be to assist the main consultant based in Spain during the systematization consultancy (12 to 18 months). Your tasks will include:
- Translating corporate documents from Thai (or Karen) to English.
- Producing additional standardized documents by collecting primary information through interviews, focus groups and discussion groups and producing in COERR headquarters and in the camps.
- Organizing, featuring and classifying the documents by using an on-line document manager
- Assisting COERR and Caritas Española staff in the use of a document manager
- Assisting the leading consultant in the elaboration of the systematization report and a case study on COERR experience in promoting livelihoods in refugee camps
On-line training and diverse briefings in Bangkok will be provided prior to the beginning of the systematization activities, and addressing the use of the on-line document manager.
Our ideal candidate is a young professional / post-graduate student / researcher based in Bangkok, Thailand, interested in a part-time freelance position and highly motivated in humanitarian issues and development cooperation. He/she should have a social science degree and excellent academic records.
Education and professional background
- A social science degree (ideally, a post-graduate student or a PhD candidate)
- Excellent academic records demonstrating analytical skills and some research experience
For this role, the following competencies would be particularly important: achievement focus, analytical thinking, drafting skills, multi-cultural sensitivity.
Proficiency in English and Thai and good understanding of Karen
- Time flexibility and availability to travel along the Thai-Myanmar border occasionally is expected from the researcher
- He/she will work for a religious humanitarian organization and will show respect for other’s believes.
- Ecoper is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applications from any candidate meeting the above-listed criteria, irrespective of their racial or ethnic origin, opinions or beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, health or disabilities.
How to apply?
Interested candidates are requested to send their CV and motivation letter to firstname.lastname@example.org by August 23rd. Those preselected will be asked to hold an interview in Bangkok in the week of August 28th
3 de agosto de 2017
ecoper ha sido seleccionada para la evaluación externa del proyecto “Fortalecimiento de procesos democráticos con enfoque diferencial y de género, en poblaciones vulnerables del Departamento del Chocó, Colombia”, puesto en marcha por Cáritas Española con ayuda ejecutora del Secretariado Nacional de Pastoral Social / Cáritas Colombiana.
El momento histórico que vivía Colombia en el momento de inicio de la intervención, frente a la posible firma de los Acuerdos de Paz de la Habana, hizo necesaria la estructuración y construcción de propuestas para la reparación integral (individual y colectiva) y la creación de los espacios de perdón y reconciliación. Dichos espacios se deben diseñar con la participación efectiva de las comunidades. Por su parte, las propuestas deben lanzarse mediante métodos participativos para el diseño de los Planes de Vida Comunitarios y Planes de Etnodesarrollo tanto en las comunidades indígenas como en las comunidades afrodescendientes que son los titulares de derechos de la propuesta.
En definitiva, el proyecto ha pretendido promover el debate público sobre los Acuerdos de la Habana en los territorios étnicos, con el fin de que las organizaciones de base los analicen y sean capaces de hacer propuestas para una implementación dialogada con las autoridades locales.
29 de junio de 2017
Hoy ecoper ha entregado su informe de evaluación del programa Better Education for African’s Rise (BEAR), cuyo objetivo era, a grandes rasgos, la mejora de la equidad, la accesibilidad y la calidad de la Formación Profesional en cinco países africanos: Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Namibia y el Congo. Desde ecoper hemos trabajado en el caso de los dos últimos.
La educación, la formación profesional y el aprendizaje permanente son pilares fundamentales para el empleo, puesto que facilitan a los trabajadores condiciones para mejorar su empleabilidad y su calidad de vida a la vez que contribuyen a un desarrollo empresarial sostenible. Todo ello está ligado con los objetivos de desarrollo del milenio (ODM), y en especial con los relativos a la reducción de la pobreza.
20th june 2017
UNESCO’s Better Education for Africa’s Rise (BEAR) aims to implement sectoral programmes in selected countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region through public and private partnership and improve the knowledge base and capacity of TVET systems to develop evidence-based TVET policies.
Supported by the Government of the Republic of Korea, BEAR is a five-year project that targets the TVET sector in five SADC countries (Botswana, DR Congo, Malawi, Namibia, and Zambia).
The common framework for the BEAR project is determined by the SADC regional agenda; the building blocks of TVET systems (governance, labour market, content, institution-building, legislation and finance); themes that reflect SADC preoccupations (in particular the need for data for sound decision-making); and country-specific reform initiatives.
ecoper is now participating in the evaluation of the project in Namibia. Next week, we will travel to Democratic Republic of the Congo to carry out a field research.
15 de mayo de 2017
ecoper ha puesto punto final a su informe de evaluación del programa “Los resultados del aprendizaje de la lectura en los tres primeros años de primaria: integración del curriculum, enseñanza, soporte de aprendizaje y evaluación”.
Tras enviar un documento para revisión a la UNESCO-BIE y los países beneficiarios del programa, hemos sometido, dentro del plazo pactado, el informe definitivo donde estudiamos la pertinencia, eficacia, eficiencia, viabilidad e impacto del programa para extraer conclusiones, lecciones aprendidas y recomendaciones para futuras intervenciones.
Niamey, Níger. 6 de abril de 2017
El programa “Los resultados del aprendizaje de la lectura en los tres primeros años de primaria: integración del curriculum, enseñanza, soporte de aprendizaje y evaluación” se ha desarrollado en tres países subsaharianos, entre los que se encuentra Níger.
Hoy, ecoper se está entrevistando con inspectores y dirigentes del ministerio de educación nacional.