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 Report - DRC - Monthly Report (June 1998) (DRC)

 Report date: 31.05.1998

Capacity Building (Danish Goverment) UNHCR Project (98/CS/AZE/LS/470(ID)


Sumgait Training Centre

The English and computer classes are ongoing and both are well attended.

They will continue until the beginning of July where the centre will close for the summer holidays, to re-open on 15 August. The centre manager will plan and arrange her schedules, participate in ordinary office work, and go for further training herself in Ireland.

In the middle of June a meeting was held with the users of the centre and DRC in order to identify and clarify training subjects and schedule for the centre for the autumn period. It was a well attended meeting with some 12 participants from three organisations. It was decided to focus on accountancy and simple management i.e. office routines, planning and co-ordination. For detailed information please turn to the implementation plan.

After the establishing of The Working Group for the community centres and deciding on carrying out extensive training for them , the centre is now quite busy catering for this group, the ordinary training centre activities and the activities of UMID. It has been necessary to make a very clear schedule for who is using what rooms in order to avoid conflicts between UMID and DRC activities. Furthermore a small room is undergoing repair. It will be used for the night guard, and his former room will be turned into an office and thereby will allow for more activities in the future.

Governmental support and co-operation

At present DRC is only supporting the secretary for the Working Group under the Cabinet of Ministers, the other two participants in the English courses have wanted to stop due to lack of time.

On 12 June DRC had invited Mr. Masanov for at cordial meeting at DRC. The meeting went very well and was constructive in the sense that both parties wanted to support each others’ activities and to discuss various issues. On the training issue it was decided that for the moment English is no longer needed, however, DRC will be willing to support other wishes if these should occur. Furthermore an idea took form: that it would be expedient for DRC to hold a seminar for governmental representatives on the IG programme in order to create awareness and understanding of the complexities of the programme. A tentative plan will be worked out with the IGP team, and the seminar can possibly be held after the elections.

Mr. Masanov then advised DRC to be better at making visible the positive results and advised that our newsletter is sent to the news agencies, he himself would assist us in this endeavour. Lastly he promised to look into a possible exemption from paying court fees for humanitarian organisations.

NGO assistance and co-operation

Reference is made to the status report about the terminology sleeping and working partners. One sleeping partner INSAN has approached DRC for funding for participation in the annual Geneva Conference regarding follow up on the CIS conference in 1996. DRC supported INSAN with 1000 dollars in order to support the important process of having the same NGOs and spokespersons following the development process. INSAN also participated last year.

In relation with the forthcoming DRC training activities on human rights which are going to take place in October two human rights organisations have been screened and visited in the past month. One of the difficulties arising when looking for national human rights organisations is that most of them are politically affiliated one way or the other, and it can be questioned how objectively they are inclined to deal with human rights issues which by nature are both sensitive and dangerous to work with.

The Human Rights Centre in Baku is headed by Eldar Zeynalov. It has a small staff of volunteers and activists, and an interesting and rare library. He and the centre are respected and well known by national NGOs although they are not registered, and they come across as non politically affiliated and working very seriously with a.o.t. documentation of violation of human rights in Azerbaijan. DRC is funding the entire costs of Mr. Zeynalov’ s trip to the Geneva Conference. The centre can be a fruitful and interesting organisation for DRC to be networking with and learn from in our future human rights endeavours in this country.

The other human rights organisation visited is The Women’ s Defence Organisation. They are carrying out human rights training in 39 IDP women’ s groups for Oxfam.. The organisation comes across as a little politically affiliated and very much experienced in field training, and in the combination of human rights and gender rights. They actually do speak of gender instead of merely women and women’ s rights which very rarely happens in Azerbaijan. They are to be the resource persons for this year’ s staff summer seminar in Cheki. They will undertake a one and a half day’ s training workshop on human rights are women’ s rights. This topic has been chosen as a continuation of last year’ s seminar and the recent UNHCR & UNDP conference where three DRC staff members participated. After the seminar it will be seen if future co-operation and networking can take place.

In connection with the community centres’ effort to become self reliant a new group has come together. The entire staff of one community centre, Narimanov, has decided that they would like to start an NGO which aims at social issues. The group has handed in a description of what they would like to do, and an initial meeting between DRC and them has taken place. DRC has promised to support their efforts, to hold regular meetings with them where important issues like rules and regulations for registration will be discussed along with topic like: how to hold a meeting . They will also receive a small seed grant and it will show whether they are prepared to work on their wishes and learn organisational skills. They will be supported for an initial period of two months before a small evaluation will be carried out.

UMID Children’ s magazine carry on with their activities and participation in the DRC training plan.

UMID HSSC is prospering and is very active. The regular meetings with the social co-ordinator and the project manager are carried out as described previously.

In the beginning of the month UMID HSSC and DRC carried out a joint seminar for clients in the IGP. The seminar focused on the complexities and problems of the programme and invited the participants to discuss solutions of the problems. The seminar was held at the training centre and was well attended. The participation was good, and the Ex. Com. had sent one representative, who proved constructive and supportive during the seminar. At the end of the day some constructive suggestions in relation to solving the problems had emerged and the general evaluation was good. It is the intention to repeat these seminars on a regular basis.

June has been very much the month where the organisation focused on learning how to write a project proposal and learning it while producing a proposal for the UNHCR NGO fund. For the actual proposal please turn to annex one. Implementation is expected to start earliest in August

This work has had a positive effect on the writing of a project proposal for the DRC revolving fund. This process has almost finished, and implementation can start in July. For project proposal please turn to annex 2.

Several UMID members are receiving individual English and computer courses.

The International NGO sector

All through this month there has been a close co-operation between The Federation and DRC in and around the UNHCR funded project. Areas of co-operation are: ToT activities and comparison of programmes and approaches with a view to mobilising the participants.

UNHCR has approached DRC on several new activities. Firstly a possible take over of the former Equilibre activities in the Fizuli area. A joint field trip between DRC and UNHCR has been carried out, and a separate assessment paper outside the scope of this report has been written. At a meeting on the 15 June the head of mission Mr. Laye further informed and invited DRC to look into possibilities of joint ventures with other international organisations in the geographical areas of Agdam and Terter.

These possibilities are looked into in the coming month.

Capacity building of DRC staff

Apart from one staff member all individual English and computer lessons are finished and certificates are handed out.

Two staff members have attended a three day management course at the British Council. The topics were: communication and presentation skills, planning, decision making, and time management. The course has been evaluated well by the participants and will be part of a little pilot appraisal exercise before DRC carries out its own major management training. The main resource person and his azeri counterpart at the British Council will also be the persons in charge of the DRC training.

All preliminary talks are finished and the training concept is to be presented to the staff on 22 June and the attitude survey and the following training plan will be developed in the first and second week of July. The concept follows that known from "the learning organisation" and from the very out set the staff will be involved in the creation of the programme and the identification of their/ the organisational needs. So from the attitude survey the training will be carried out in 3 – 4 training periods of 3 – 4 days duration spread out over the autumn with regular weekly follow up meetings and on the job training.

The newly created Working Group with field staff members from all community centres has started their training activities. At this stage what can be said is the participants are eager to learn and are active. They have worked one day on identifying internal resources and discussing how they can put these resources to use in the present situation. Furthermore they have worked on learning how to write a simple project proposal and trying to understand the concept and use of a project proposal. The work is progressing slowly as can be expected with a group littled trained and littled exposed.


The bi annual personal staff interviews have been finished. The outcome of the talks are positive and constructive. Generally speaking the staff feel that they are making progress in their jobs, they are given opportunities to learn, grow and take responsibility in an organisation which is quickly changing and consolidating itself in Azerbaijan. As the talks are also a monitoring instrument for the whole organisational structure a few adjustments were called for. The logistics officer’ s remaining tasks were divided between two present staff members i.e. one security guard and one skills development programme assistant. The transition has worked well and to everybody’ s satisfaction..

In the social team our experienced doctor Ms. Gulnara has been offered two years of further studies at the University of Atlanta in the area of public health. To replace her is Ragsana Mammadova who is an experienced language teacher with very good experiences in both UMCOR and several oil companies.

On Saturday 6 June DRC invited its staff for a family day in the office. The idea was to give the staff members an opportunity to show their families their place of work and their colleagues. Some 65 people came, were introduced to the organisation its aims and objectives where after we had a barbecue and lots of games for both adults and children on the roof terrace which is now finished.

From Thursday 11 to Sunday 14 DRC and UNHCR held a joint ToT seminar here in the office. The seminar is described in the UNHCR report; however, it is mentioned here because slowly but surely the office premise here is working out as intended, with partners and beneficiaries coming and going and making good use of the premises be it seminars, partner meetings, family days or working facilities.

Ulla Fomsgaard
Baku 22.6.1998


1. Project Overview.

The implementation of the entire program progress as planned on all levels supported by good working relationships with both beneficiaries and co-partners including local authorities, directors, representatives from The Ministry of Education & Executive Committees and The International Federation.

The local community in Sabirabad has shown active interest in the courses. Inquiries, questions and support have been expressed.

As mentioned in the previous report Community Service is a new field for the Azeri system. This fact has opened up a welcomed opportunity for involvement of the teachers and directors and deputy director in discussion of how to implement the curriculum. Based on the discussions with the involved parties an instruction has been made. (Please see enclosure)

The courses in Community Service started 1.6. in both Sabirabad and Saatli Technical School. They are running successful due to the great involvement from the teachers and students. Both schools have waiting lists though there have been opened 2 courses at each school.

Concerning Camp 7 the implementation process progress.

Training of Teacher Course has been held in the period 11. to 15. of June. 13 selected IDP s from Camp 7 participated.

The reconstruction courses in Camp 7 are being planned as interdisciplinary courses for a period of 5 month with focus on the apprentice system rather than the more theoretical education- model from Technical Schools. Curriculum for the courses have been prepared and put forward to the teachers involved for discussion.

There will be given priority to participant from liberated areas.

The cooperation with The International Federation is expanding. The focus for both organizations are to ensure that the efforts put into the community of Camp 7 are mutual supportive.

2. Description of beneficiaries.

The students react very positive. The sentences; Thank you – you have given us hope - is often spoken out under the teams visit in the classes. In spite of the fact that these months are the only period where IDP have a change of casual jobs in the cotton fields there have hardly been any impact on the attendance. There are 86 students participating at the courses in Sabirabad and 69 in Saatli. Altogether 155 IDPs benefits from the project at the moment.

The importance of quality and manufacture training has been stressed and has among others resulted in interdisciplinary co-operation between classes as wheel as integration of small scale mending work within the IDP areas, for IDP families and as mentioned in the previous report at the premises of the schools. For example; building wash basins, water basins, improvement of public toilets, reparation of electrical systems, mending of beds, table, doors, and chairs. This trend has not only a positive impact on the student and IDPs involved but also on the teachers and their methodical approach to the task and the student.

3. Implementation procedures.

The logistic structures in the 2 schools have been implemented. The project assistant has reduced his monitoring visits to once a week. Guidelines for use of material have been presented. Concerning the Community Service Course a weekly amount of money are given to the teacher to secure supplies for the subject cookery.

The methodological Follow Up has been implemented. The form is 2 monthly (average) meetings where either the teachers put forwards topics to discuss or the co-ordinator gives input on issues related to either subjects from Teacher Training Seminar or to questions of methodical matters observed by visits to the school and classes.

The group of Community Service Teachers from Sabirabad has asked for separated Follow Up Session which have started too.

The first step towards formation of structures for cooperation has been taken in Camp 7.

4. Related inputs.

As mentioned offers the co-operation with The International Federation a welcomed possibility to implement a supportive and parallel process focusing on involvement, gaining responsible abilities and supporting return. And it open up for integration of construction plan in the area of Community Development in our Interdisciplinary Reconstruction Course with the consequence that manufacture training can be stressed even more.

5. Description of Assistance.

1.31. Education: Vocational skills training.

The courses are all together still progressing very well. There are a high degree of involvement from both teachers and students. It happens very often that students and sometime also the teachers stay after end of lessons.

The idea of cooperation and interdisciplinary teaching has shown it self in a very concrete manner. For example plumber, welders and bricklayers has joined in building water basins at Sabirabad. At Saatli plumbers and welders are thought together.

The difference of the 2 schools points out different approaches to the potential within the concept.

The more strict and traditional viewpoint Saatli represent tends to slower the process. But it seems inevitable that both schools in their own way are able to use the potential of the concept to create a methodical and pedagogical environment for the courses that put the student, quality and manufacture training in focus. As the deputy director from Saatli said: We all use to tell the student what do do-whom and how. Not to let them decide. But it works and it is interesting and we are going to follow that road.

In Sabirabad they have succeeded in using the knowledge of one the teacher about the IPD life condition, reactions and approaches in a way that qualifies the general understanding of the students.

1.98 Education: Other educational activities.

As mentioned a Training of Teacher Course has been held for participant from Camp 7 in the days from 11. to 15. of June.

This group of participant differs from the group participating in The Training of Trainers Seminar mentioned in the previous report.:

# they were craftsmen.
# they have very little or none experience as teacher
# they have experience as masters and have educated apprentices
# none had at that time been offered a job as teacher on the coming courses
# they were all IDPs from camp 7.

They were selected on the following criteria:

# shown interest in the local community
# been active in the local community
# known as good professionals
# willingness to learn
# willingness to shares knowledge and experience
# respected

The aim of the course was to:

  • create awareness of hidden ( tacit) knowledge and experiences
  • give a basic understand of and methods to cope with differences
  • improvement of the participants understanding of and coping with change.
  • presentation of learning process and learning styles.
  • enhancement of the participants understanding for new approaches to interdisciplinary cooperation.

The program was discussed with the social co-ordinator Pernille Tind in order to secure a planing process based an previous experiences and coming TOT courses.

( See enclosed )

The output.

All 13 participants attended actively in spite of the fact that most of them have not been in a learning situation for many years. They revealed a potential of both professional knowledge and human resources. It was moreover usefull to the co-ordinator to get opportunity to meet and learn more about the persons we one way or the other are going to work with in Camp 7.

1.99 Education: Sector Support / management.

The cooperation between the local expert and the expatriate are still going very well. Challenges, strategy a.s.o. are discussed before any action are taken.

The local expert has expanded the weekly lessons in English, which already have resulted in small stumbling conversations without interpreter.

Lone Clausen
UNHCR Co-ordinator
Danish Refugee Council

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