Recently the book Aid Power and Politics,(Routledge) edited by Aitor Pérez and Iliana Olivié was presented. The book delves into the political roots of aid policy, demonstrating how and why governments across the world use aid for global influence, and exploring the role it plays in present-day global governance and international relations.
In reconsidering aid as part of international relations, the book argues that the interplay between domestic and international development policy works in both directions, with individual countries having the capacity to shape global issues, whilst at the same time, global agreements and trends, in turn, shape the political behaviour of individual countries. Starting with the background of aid policy and international relations, the book goes on to explore the behaviour of both traditional and emerging donors (the US, the UK, the Nordic countries, Japan, Spain, Hungary, Brazil, and the European Union), and then finally looks at some big international agendas which have influenced donors, from the liberal consensus on democracy and good governance, to gender equality and global health.
Aid Power and Politics will be an important read for international development students, researchers, practitioners and policy makers, and for anyone who has ever wondered why it is that countries spend so much money on the well-being of non-citizens outside their borders.
Last week the tracer study of graduates from secondary vocational education in the stream of hospitality and tourism in Jordan ended,in this study participated 442 graduates from the most important Tourism´s academies in Jordan. The overarching goal of the tracer study along with the advocacy campaign-realized by UNESCO- is to enhance the image, quality and relevance of the tourism stream of secondary vocational education in Jordan. Particularly, the tracer study will provide findings that can be used to enhance policies, curriculum and teaching and learning approaches, with a view to systemically improve the tourism/hospitality vocational education programme, including through an analysis from the gender lens. The findings of the tracer study will be useful in improving education and training content, support the transition of graduates from education to the labour market, and contribute towards a better match of skills supply and demand.
Ecoper is launching today a tracer study of graduates from secondary vocational education in the stream of hospitality and tourism in Jordan. The study was commissioned to ecoper by the UNESCO Amman Office and is framed under its support to the Jordan Government in the implementation of the reform of the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) system.
Tracer studies are surveys of former participants of education programs and can also be called graduate surveys, alumni surveys (in the US). Their primary goal is to track the careers of graduates from a specific field of study and assess the impact of the education provided on employment and therefore constitutes an excellent tool for policy impact analysis.
The information collected through these surveys includes personal background, duration of search for the first job, methods of job search, income, working time, type of job, required competencies, relations between study and work, further education and training, mobility, etc.Additionally, the graduates are asked to provide their own opinion of the education received and how it has improved their employability.
Ecoper has included tracer studies in evaluations commissioned by international agencies supporting secondary and higher education institutions in African and Mediterranean countries. One of them was also conducted in Jordan recently and targeted Syrian refugees attending TVET programs funded by international donors. The study not only measured the impact on livelihoods but approached the benefits of the programs in terms of hope and resilience to radicalisation.
Source: ETF, CEDEFOF, ILO (2016). Carrying out tracer studies
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.
3 de noviembre
¿Qué es la gestión del conocimiento?
Uno de los ejes de actividad de ecoper es la llamada gestión del conocimiento, knowledge management (KM) en inglés.
Llamamos conocimiento al conjunto de descubrimientos, descripciones y explicaciones que permiten a un individuo u organización tener una buena comprensión sobre cierto problema o cuestión. Algunos distinguen entre el conocimiento tácito, interiorizado por un individuo que no tiene por qué ser consciente de él (el que demuestra quien conduce mientras mantiene una conversación), y el conocimiento explícito, del que uno es consciente de forma que puede comunicarlo fácilmente a otros (por ejemplo, las lecciones de matemáticas transmitidas por un profesor a sus alumnos). Desde esta perspectiva, la gestión del conocimiento permite convertir el conocimiento tácito de una organización, fruto de su amplia experiencia, en conocimiento explícito susceptible de ser transmitido a quien lo necesite, incluida la propia organización (pensemos, por poner un caso, en la formación de nuevos empleados).
Así, el KM es el proceso de captura, distribución y buen uso del conocimiento.
Las cinco componentes de la gestión del conocimiento
Componente 1. El trabajo basado en la evidencia
En el ámbito de las ONG, la evidencia se refiere a la implementación efectiva de los programas, por oposición a su diseño teórico. Ello incluye los indicadores obtenidos, informes narrativos, historias de vida, datos de los beneficiarios, etc.
Componente 2. Identificar las causas de cualquier acontecimiento significativo
Una teoría es una explicación de un fenómeno social o comportamiento individual que nos permite comprenderlo y tener influencia sobre él. El psicólogo Kurt Lewin afirmó que “nada hay más práctico que una buena teoría”.
En las ONG se necesitan teorías que expliquen los fenómenos sociales de forma consistente con las evidencias recogidas para poder desarrollar, en el futuro, programas eficientes y funcionales.
Componente 3. La sistematización del conocimiento, o cómo conseguir que sea rápido y fácil encontrar lo que se busca
Se clasifican los documentos, pero también las ideas y los conceptos. Es más, la propia clasificación conceptual sirve para estructurar los archivos y bibliotecas. Las soluciones IT son muy útiles en este sentido.
Componente 4. El aprendizaje previo, durante y posterior a los proyectos y programas
Después de cualquier proyecto, la experiencia puede convertirse en conocimiento útil y transferible. Para ello se analiza y evalúa el proceso en busca de:
- Lecciones aprendidas, que son conclusiones establecidas formalmente a partir de experiencias no del todo positivas y que permiten, a través de cierto grado de generalización, informar futuras acciones.
- Buenas prácticas, que recogen experiencias positivas de forma que se puedan replicar en proyectos venideros.
Componente 5. La transmisión del conocimiento para que otros mejoren su trabajo (y viceversa)
El conocimiento, convertido en explícito, puede transferirse entre comunidades profesionales y académicas, entre organizaciones, dentro de éstas, entre individuos, etc.
Cáritas Espagne et ecoper développent en ce moment un atelier de 7 jours (du 23 au 29 octobre) à Bukavu, République Démocratique du Congo. La formation est dirigée à Cáritas Uvira et Cáritas Bukavu.
Le but du workshop est d’éviter des problèmes de conformité et vérification des dépenses subventionnées par l’Union Européenne, ainsi que de favoriser une amélioration générale des capacités des participants dans la gestion de fonds de la coopération au développement.
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