Eight regional partners planned jointly for next phase

From 24th till 29th of March 2013 a regional planning workshop took place in Mumbai / India. Four partners from India, three from Nepal and one from Bangladesh set the basis for the intended new phase (2014-2016) of the BMZ funded regional program “Social Structure Building in South Asia”.

To establish a common ground the programmatic frame for next phase’s regional program of AWO International was presented. The focus was designed on the basis of experiences in the last phase (2011-2013), recent findings of the mid-term evaluation, the actual needs of the target groups and emerging issues in the region.

Main working areas will be the promotion of safe migration and of sustainable livelihood including youth empowerment and the promotion of gender equality. In an agricultural context organic farming will be supported to reduce the dependencies of small farmers on external inputs and to increase the household income.

Social structures (various types of community based organizations such as self help and saving & credit groups, cooperatives, local networks, federations, etc.) will be further strengthened and motivated to take up social issues and to discuss and solve inequalities and problems (for example gender based violence) at local level.

Safe migration will be mainstreamed in many programs and it is planned to further extend the two migration projects; access to information and counselling will be provided in four “Migration Information Centres” in three different cities of Bangladesh, in Kathmandu, in seven Nepali villages and by help of media.

Not only in context of Migration where AWO has a huge expertise in Germany cross learning will take place. Exposure visits are planned between regional partners as well and regular partner workshops in context of capacity and organizational development will be organized by the Regional Office South Asia located in Kathmandu / Nepal.

As a consequence of last years partner visit to Germany where various AWO institutions and service centres were visited some partners prioritized the relevance to promote access to social protection schemes (for example health and life insurance as well as various government schemes).

It is planned to extend four livelihood projects significantly while one long term supported Indian project will receive one year of additional funding to backstop the phasing out end of 2013 for ensuring the sustainability of the project interventions.

Advocacy and lobbying will be increased at local, regional and national level. On macro level the promotion of small farmer issues in the Indian state of Maharastra, on land rights of the Musahar community in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, of Kamaya rights of former bonded labour in Bardya District of Nepal as well as the promotion of Migrant rights is planned on national level in Nepal and Bangladesh.   

Five crosscutting issues were defined for the planned regional program; all partners were requested to consider gender equality, do no harm & disaster preparedness, promotion of youth as change agents, poverty reduction and sustainability in the overall project design.

Especially gender equality and youth focus should be focused on as women and youth are considered as key actors in (social) development processes. Women participation in local institutions and organizations as well as in local planning and decision making on house hold level will be further promoted.

Also during the recent planning workshop intensive discussions and knowledge exchange between the partners took place. Learning from each other is also reflected in the results based log frames that were drafted and reflect so called “results chains”; logical sequences reaching from the intended impact of the project, to outcomes that define direct benefits the target groups will gain from the project interventions, to the utilization of outputs of the project, the defined outputs and last but not least to the activity areas the project will implement to achieve the defined results.  

In addition to the drafted log frames needs for capacity and organizational development were outlined and presented to each other. In the next weeks all log frames and proposals will be finalized and an aggregated funding proposal will be submitted by AWO International to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ).

Participants of the planning workshop in front of the “Gate of India”, in Mumbai

Preparation for the IEC (Information Education Communication) Bazaar

Representatives from AWO International and eight regional partners exchange their knowledge at the IEC Bazaar

Participants share their plans for capacity and organizational development

Definition of results statements and indicators

Also in next phase marginalized communities such as potential and returning migrants will be the target group of the program