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 Program Resume - Fact Sheet on UNHCR Project 1998 (Introduction and Overview) (DRC)

 Duration: 31.01.1998 - present
 Location: Baku
 Sectors: Education


The sub-agreement between UNHCR and Danish Refugee Council (DRC) was signed in February 1998.

The UNHCR project for 1998 targets IDPs mainly from the Fizuli areas. Aiming at a preparation for peace and return the project includes the following elements:

1. Skills development/ vocational training within the following areas:

  • reconstruction: masonry, carpentry, electric installation, welding and plumbing
  • community service

2. Small scale income generating activities

The project is based on the longstanding positive results and experiences that DRC has obtained with a similar programme in Sumgait.

The general project objective is to equip returnees with some practical skills and practical knowledge that will ease their return. Thus there is a great emphasis on the practical and applied approach in this project.


The Sumgait programme is based on a working co-operation between the Ministry of Education, co-ordination with other international organisations and DRC. Thus when the sub-agreement was signed the assessment of possible partners was initiated. From the MOE a representative from The Methodological Cabinet was assigned to the assessment tour of four technical schools in the Baku area and two technical schools in Sabirabad and Saatli. The assessment was carried out and finalised with MOE in March.

The selection criteria of the schools are that they must have:

  • access to a large population of Fizuli IDPs preparing for return
  • teach the fields relevant to the projects
  • the rooms available for the workshops
  • willingness to actively co-operate with DRC.

Together with MOE, the respective directors and authorities it was decided to implement the project in the technical school in Sabirabad and Saatli. The conclusion in based on the following observations:

  • the IDP population preparing for peace and return in that region is numerous. Thus the target group in that area is more likely to return and benefit from the projetc than beneficiaries from the Baku area.
  • few international organisations are working in that region compared to the number in Baku
  • the project idea was very welcomed among both the local governmental authorities, international organisations, school directors and beneficiaries.

At a later meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Rustamov DRC was requested by the chairman of The State Committee for Refugees and Displaced Persons Mr. Gulabbas Gahramanov to include the Bilasuvar area in the project. DRC is at the moment investigating how to accommodate this request either in this project year or in the 1999 project year.


Vocational training and skills development

The schools selected for the project have prepared for the courses and DRC has assisted with equipment where necessary. Selection of participants is jointly carried out by the directors of the school, DRC and the local Executive Committee.

The courses are being carried out by teachers and masters from the schools in question and monitored by the directors and two permanently placed regional DRC staff members, one expatriate and one local employee.

The courses are mostly practical and practical exercises are incorporated.

As with the technical schools and similar courses in Sumgait these regional schools receive from The Methodological Cabinet a relevant curriculum for these courses of three months duration and with an emphasis on the pratical training.

According to previous programmes DRC is paying for the material and the salaries for teachers and masters: furthermore the directors and deputy directors also receive salary from DRC. Administration and communal expenses are paid by the schools.

Small scale income generating activities

After the skills training is finalised a small number of the course participants can apply for minor assistance for opening their own small businesses. This project component will start earliest in September/October and will be implemented along the lines known from the Sumgait project.


The local partners will in the course of the implementation also benefit from the project through information meetings, and teachers’ seminars and material input in the schools.

Ulla Fomsgaard
Project Manager
Danish Refugee Council

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