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Computer Literacy & Embroidery Center (baluchistan)
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Justin Stone



Joined: 08 Feb 2005
Last Visit: 12 Mar 2007
Posts: 145
Location: Cambridge, MA USA
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks!
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Bilal Arif



Joined: 08 Feb 2005
Last Visit: 01 Oct 2007
Posts: 43
Location: Arlington, MA
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guy's,

Since it is difficult to get information on BAAM from the internet and from other resources known to us, I decided to call them myself and ask for references.

I had a nice discussion with Mr Faiz-ur-Rehmanm (president of the organization) regarding the project and BAAM. He was very open and helpful and answered most of my questions. Based on my request, he emailed me few references (organizations BAAM has worked with or are currently involved with) and list of their officers and their education background. I did not get a chance to evaluate these references but it can help Sajjad and other members in Pakistan.

Although I had asked for a little more detail about each of the staff members background, I only got the a brief intro. Here are some of the organization that BAAM has worked with and their contact info. They want us to use these organizations for reference.



SPO Kech, Mukhtar Chalghari, 0852-412333, Pasni Roas turbat
TVO, Mukhtra Umer, 0852-411614, Commissionery Road Turbat
MSS, Sheer Jan Baloch, 0852-611612, Baloch Hospital Rd Turbat

Staff detal:

Faiz Ur Rehman President B.A
Akhtar Hamed Genarl Seceratry BA. Bed
Raza Shah Joint Seceratry BA
Dr. Rafique Information Seceratry Deploma Public Haelth
Yaseen Ghalib Office Seceratry Matric



I thought I should put this information so that we can at least get started with evaluation process even though it might not be enough. Let me know if you would like additional information. In the mean time, I will get answers to the questions posed in yesterday's meeting.
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Justin Stone



Joined: 08 Feb 2005
Last Visit: 12 Mar 2007
Posts: 145
Location: Cambridge, MA USA
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the update. In addition to this and the requests from yesterday, I think we will want their annual reports (or other accounting) for the past three years.

~Justin
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Bilal Arif



Joined: 08 Feb 2005
Last Visit: 01 Oct 2007
Posts: 43
Location: Arlington, MA
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are answers to some of the questions I recieved through Justin. Let me know if you need further clarification.

In short, BAAM seems to be around for a while and have worked with various organization and on different development projects. My limited experience dealing with them have been very postive. They have been very responsive to our inquiries and have provided answers/explanations very promptly and openly. They have provide a list of references that we can use to learn more about them.

Here are the answers to our questions:

1- What is the proximity of the project (computer training) to the large-scale regional development project?

The Government of Pakistan has clearly announced that it will ensure to provide maximum job opportunity to the local. Spicily the small-scale jobs will be provided to the locals. Unfortunately, there is no enough skill development institutions in the area to enhance the eligibility of the youths to apply for these jobs likely to be public in Gwadar-Turbat. Many youths have simple education qualification with no extra skills. This project will provide a easy chance to the job seekers of the project area to get computer literacy which will be one of the main advantaged to get job. Hopefully, after having computer skills, youths of the area would highly in a position to show their eligibilities than others to compete for jobs in coming days of the development in the area.


2- What level of technical skill will the students have following the training? Will they be ready to apply for the jobs mentioned in the
earlier responses, or is this more of a foundation?

To be realistic, this may be considered a foundation. However, as mentioned above, some of the students will attain a commendable skill who can further join a better institution in Turbat city and Gwadar. It is further share that the area is completely deprived of this facility in particular female are the more sufferer because of lack of this facility. Even a single female is not familiar with the literacy. It is a new educational chapter for them. Once they have some basics of computer from the proposed center, than might apply for higher education in future.

3- What is the average family income in the region? What kind of supplemental income can be expected to be derived from the home-based
embroidery businesses?

The average family income is about Rs.3,600 (Rs.120 p/d). A sum of Rs. 1800 is expected to be the supplement income from the home-based embroidery businesses.

4- What is the curriculum for the students? Are their English skills sufficient to receive the training, and later apply it?

We had run a English language center under which a number of male and female student who got basic learning of English language. However, English skills are not sufficient. But the center only provides them with the basics after which they can approach to the nearby city fro further education.

5 Can BAAM provide us with references from several reputable organizations, including NRSP?

Baam can easily accomplish this project as it has nice tract record of implementing projects on health and education. However other references are SPO, NRSP, FPAP and MSS.

6- Is it possible to look at the BAAM's financial records/book keeping etc. and a progress report from a previous project.

Baam activists are well trained on financial management and record keeping. We received training on finance from the TVO on double entry accounting system. We can maintain bank book, cash book, ledger book, bank reconciliation statement, trail balance sheet, and other related financial statements and vouchers/receipts. We have hard copy of evaluation report of our previous project with TVO. We can send it through registry.

Baam Development is a local NGO working in Turbat. It has a tract record of implementing health and educational projects with donors. It had exposure visits to AJK, Quetta etc. It is a Tehsil Network partner of TVO. It is also a member of Gender network established by the SPO. Baam is also affiliated with the FPAP and Marie Stops Society. Baam has membership of MCC( Makran Coordinating Council( Network of local NGOs/CBOs). It worked and still working with Aurat Foundation. It also worked with IDSP, Takhleeq Foundation, PILER SAP-PK etc. Baam undertook projects on drinking water, health awareness, community mobilization, education etc.

Hope this information would help you to present the Baam as a potential partner of ADP in near future.

Thanks

Faiz Ur Rehman
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Adnan Khalid



Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Last Visit: 14 May 2009
Posts: 67
Location: Boston, MA
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am impressed at the speed with which these guys have responded. However, unfortunately I cannot say the same about the relevance and contents of the answers they have provided. My comments on each of the above 6 questions / answers:

Question 1: It seems that they misunderstood our inquiry about the physical proximity of the upcoming Makran region to the place where the project will be implemented with the relationship between the training and its possible application in the new industrial region.

Question 2: This BAAM representative says that not even a single female is even familiar with literacy. This puts doubts in my mind about any benefit of computer training (and its possible application) for these females. It seems to me that these females could benefit a lot more if they were simply imparted the very basic education about reading and writing first in conjunction with practical training such embroidery classes (which is the other part their proposal). Also the complete absence of literacy among females indicates that the male population is probably not too far ahead either in terms of literacy.

Question 3: Event though the numbers look reasonable to me and I am not too concerned about this particular response, but we should still verify this through at least one other contact in Pakistan, not necessarily for people of the same area.

Question 4: Again I feel that this individual has missed the point. Our concern was that these kids should feel comfortable with the English language to an extent that it does not hinder their inquisitiveness about the computers and applications running on them. Since not even a single female student is even literate, I do not see how they can be made literate in computers to the extent that they could expect to be given jobs in favor of countless other graduate candidates.

Question 5: It is very important for us to follow up on these leads.

Question 6: I am not sure if we should ask them for this information just as yet unless we feel that there is at least half a chance of us approving this project.
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Justin Stone



Joined: 08 Feb 2005
Last Visit: 12 Mar 2007
Posts: 145
Location: Cambridge, MA USA
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree. That's a disappointing response. The communication issues can be cleared up, but what is most disappointing are the substantive responses regarding the level of literacy / English skills. It really sounds like this project would be a shot in the dark.

Still, it is very heartening to see an organization working to uplift this population, and trying to be innovative and take advantage of future opportunities. Their responsiveness is also very appreciated / encouraging. I would hate to see ADP discourage this kind of initiative.

Assuming we can verify their credibility, I'd be inclined to work with them to develop another project proposal which appears more rewarding/useful to the participants. Based on the above responses, I expect the community has much more pressing needs than computer education.

Finally, the responses don't address the concerns about viability of microcredit for the embroidery component. Bilal, what is your feeling on proceeding?

~Justin
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Mubarik Imam



Joined: 08 Feb 2005
Last Visit: 28 Aug 2011
Posts: 82
Location: San Francisco, CA
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Q2 By literacy, I think he means that not a single female is computer literate. (We might want to clarify this so we dont misinterpret their responses).
I know of instances in interior Sindh where children taught themselves English using computers. (One of these kids went on to study at Aitchison College). I agree that basic education is very important. However, if the kids are literate (i.e. can read and write in any language and are not familiar with English) I think computers might help them pick up English more quickly ,with all the educational software that is out there.

Q3 The numbers look pretty reasonable, I agree with Adnan. In rural Punjab I have come across ppl with salaries as low as Rs.500 per month supplemented with grain, wheat, farm produce etc.

Q4. I think he means that while students are familiar with English, they are by no means fluent or comfortable with the language. As long as they are literate (can read and write) I think computers will help them.

Q5. I agree with Adnan we should follow up and cross-check references. I wonder if there is an international or non-affiliated NGO that we can find who knows of them.

Q6 If you want them to mail the hard copy to my address in Pakistan, Id be happy to scan it and upload it on the forum. It might be a faster way to do it. I get home this weekend.

my two cents..
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Bilal Arif



Joined: 08 Feb 2005
Last Visit: 01 Oct 2007
Posts: 43
Location: Arlington, MA
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guy's,

My phone discussion with Faiz-ur-Rehman was very different. This is maybe is the reason why I understood the answers better but can see how this maybe difficult for you all to understand.

- Basically, what I understand is that government of Pakistan is in the process of developing Turbat region in the coming years where BAAM is planning to have this center. So in terms of proximity, it is right there.
-As for female literacy, I am certain he meant lack of female computer literacy.
-we have enough references to check in order to determine their credibility. I suggest we do that and that is where our folks in Pakistan can help. I think TVO is a government based canadian broadcasting company and also since we have asked for NRSP, we should check with them as well. Do we know anyone from NRSP?
-We should also read their financial and past progress repots before deciding on this project.

We have to understand that province of Balochistan is below the rest of the country in terms of education, I mean way below. So far we have dealt with NGO's that can communicate very well in English, live in major cites and most of them have been educated abroad. This is not the case in Balochistan, we have to keep this in mind when we are reading their response. When I called I was speaking in Urdu which by the way is not their first language either. To me this is a true challenge for ADP, actually working in areas such as this one where very little is done in the past. Also, we should look at not only computers training but also keep in mind the embroidery center.

I will call them again and clear up some of the content in the answers.
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Mubarik Imam



Joined: 08 Feb 2005
Last Visit: 28 Aug 2011
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Location: San Francisco, CA
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bilal I completely agree with you and I am for giving this project a chance and not shooting it down yet.
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Tarim Wasim



Joined: 28 Jan 2005
Last Visit: 17 Apr 2011
Posts: 160
Location: San Francisco
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bilal,

Sorry to be jumping into this so late. I noticed that they mentioned Aurat Foundation as one of their references. AF is a recognized NGO and I think Humayun knows someone there. Since we don't really know the credibility of the other organizations listed, it might be a good idea to ask Humayun if he can get in touch with Aurat.

I'm uncomfortable with the "criticality" element here (if there is such a word). Maybe there's a way we can establish the need for computer training out there? For example, Baam could send us recent newspaper clippings that show there are job openings for folks with basic computer training.

-Tarim
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Justin Stone



Joined: 08 Feb 2005
Last Visit: 12 Mar 2007
Posts: 145
Location: Cambridge, MA USA
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be helpful to clarify the need, but I'm not sure it exists as of today. Bam has already made a pretty compelling case that job opportunities will be plentiful with this massive regional development project, and that there are few people in the region positioned to take advantage of the upcoming opportunities. What is not clear is proximity to the project - seems like it may be a few hundred k away - and whether the training we are supporting will really contribute to this preparedness in a meaningful way... If it is not a meaningful step towards building preparedness, I agree that there is a problem with the 'critical' criteria...

Good call on focusing the eval...

~Justin
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Bilal Arif



Joined: 08 Feb 2005
Last Visit: 01 Oct 2007
Posts: 43
Location: Arlington, MA
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2005 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guy's,

Attached, please find a report from Dr. Yousuf from NRSP on BAAM per my request. Also I have discussed and requested a similar report form SPO and am awaiting their response. These are two organizations that BAAM has worked with in the past and is on the list of their references. I think at this point, establishing BAAM creditability is the most important aspect of this project.

Please take a moment to read this report and inform me if you have any question for Dr. Yousuf. Please keep your question focused on BAAM as an organization and not the project for now. I will post SPOs response also as soon as I receive it.

Bilal

ps. Humayun will contact Aurat Foundation for a similar discussion/report.
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Bilal Arif



Joined: 08 Feb 2005
Last Visit: 01 Oct 2007
Posts: 43
Location: Arlington, MA
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guy's,

Attached is a document from SPO on BAAM that I had requested to evaluate BAAM's credibility as a non-profit organization in the region.

I have posted a similar document on the forums from NRSP. Please take a look at it and post you comments. I would like to know if and what additional information is required.

BAAM is currently updating their initial proposal to include the sustainability plan. I will post as soon as I get it. In the mean time, it would be very helpful if we resolve the credibility issue before we receive the updated proposal. Therefore I would like to get your comments as soon as possible.

If I don't get any response by this coming Sunday, I will assume that we are fine with BAAM as a credible organization.

Bilal
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Justin Stone



Joined: 08 Feb 2005
Last Visit: 12 Mar 2007
Posts: 145
Location: Cambridge, MA USA
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bilal,

Sorry for the delay in responding to this. Thanks for getting it all together.

The SPO reference isn't much more than a list, but the NRSP recommendation goes a long way towards building confidence in NGO credibility. Do we want to pursue a reference from Aurat Foundation through Humayun as Tarim suggested? This would be helpful, but possibly not necessary.

In terms of NGO credibility, the only additional piece I really want to make sure we evaluate carefully are the financial reports.

Other than this, all of my questions pertain to the project itself... But, we should save this for the revised proposal. Do you know when it is coming?

Hope that helps!

~Justin
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Adnan Khalid



Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Last Visit: 14 May 2009
Posts: 67
Location: Boston, MA
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2005 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found this website with loads of data on the the Province of Balochistan, the district Kech in Balochistan and the sub-division Turbat in Kech. There are also references to the village of Kalatuk (where this project will be executed) in the sub division of Turbat.

Here are the links:
Map of Balochistan: http://www.bdd.sdnpk.org/map%20of%20balochistan.html
District of Kech: http://www.bdd.sdnpk.org/kech.htm
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