Featured
Featured posts

A group photo of the training participants

Community World Service Asia organized and hosted a four-day training on Project Planning for development and humanitarian organizations in the third week of September in Murree. The training focused on enhancing capacities of participants on project planning, its tools and their application, and donor-specific planning approaches and frameworks.

Thirty-five participants from eleven organizations including Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKDN), Helpage International, Malteser International, Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), Multan Discoes Trust Association, Sungi Development Foundation, Forum for Language Initiatives (FLI), AAR Japan, AWARD, The Punjab Educational Endowment Fund (PEEF) and Helping Hand for Relief & Development (HHRD) took part in the training. The training was facilitated by Zeeshan Noel, a development professional and trainer with expertise in project management, policy research and advocacy, and emergency response planning. Noel has been working in the development sector for almost ten years, and has been associated with development agencies, human/civil rights bodies, NGOs, and public sector offices.

Comprehensive project planning and effective compliance with the requirements of donor agencies is often one of the key challenges faced by humanitarian and development organizations. Many small and medium scale organizations in the region lack these formal skills or have very limited focus on this significant aspect of project management.  Whereas, it is the efficiency and effectiveness of  a project’s planning that determines its true success. Applying accurate planning tools help in the smooth execution of a project, continuous tracking of progress and towards readjusting implementation approaches at any stage of the project, needed to achieve the desired outputs.

The prime objective of the training was to create a conceptual clarity on the subject of and improve Project Planning skills, specifically in development phase of projects. This four days training was designed for mid-level managers with interest and prior experience in project planning and execution of development sector organizations. Participants, with prior basic knowledge on project planning and management, were selected for this training. Key concepts of pre-planning stage were introduced in the training, including understanding on Project Cycle Management (PCM), key results, problem tree analysis and Logical Framework Analysis (LFA). It helped the participants to thoroughly understand and provided a base for practically applying these tools.

On the first day, many participants were new to the concepts of PCM and Logical Framework Analysis, specially those who did not have any prior experience in the planning phase before. The timing of the training had to be adjusted and duration of some sessions had to be prolonged to make sure that all participants are on the same page and planned topics are fully covered. However, by day two the concepts were much clearer and actual practice on developing the plans was initiated.

By the end of training, all the participants were able to develop project planning and implementation tools for their organizations. Through group exercises, they developed problem tree analysis, LFA, Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), Performance Management Framework (PMF), Work plan and budget and costed work plan. In addition to the planning tools, M&E plans were developed and the concept of GSMART planning was also explained.

As a concluding exercise, an action plan for the participants was drafted in which each organization identified the gaps in their project planning and committed to introduce the newly learnt tools to overcome these challenges. Besides all learning, one of the key activities of the training was its fun night in which all participants, coming from different corners of the country, exhibited their cultures and tradition. They sang folk songs, danced and played games.

Muhammad Fazil Sardar, General Manager-Monitoring, Evaluation & Research, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), participated as a chief guest on the final day of the training and awarded certificates to all the participants. Addressing the training, he talked about the importance of project planning tools especially problem tree analysis to identify the root causes.

Project planning tools carry equal significance in project cycle management and day to day life as well.

While my personal achievement is important to me, I believe that true happiness is achieved by serving others. Zareena, 17-year-old gender activist from Umerkot.

The lifestyle and traditions of the people of Ahori Farm (a rural village in Kharor Syed) in Umerkot have remained the same for years. Most of the residents here toil the land on a daily basis in an effort to survive. Through this on-going mundane lifestyle, little thought is given to educating girls or helping them develop as equal and empowered community members of Ahori farm. Many girls here do not go to school and educating girls is widely condoned in the village.

Seventeen-year-old Zareena is a rare exception in this close-knit village of Ahori Farm. She has always been different that the other girls – she spoke out against inequalities and had a fierce inclination towards education and learning new things. With her determination, she completed secondary school, unlike a majority of the girls her age in the village. However, Zareena is now being pinched by the bitter-truth of the society she has been born it – her further education has been put to a stop. Due to cultural and social reasons, her parents have refused the continuation of her further studies.

Only twenty percent of the Ahori farm girls have been allowed to complete their education fully, and sadly, Zareena was not among them. All of her friends, Monika, Roshana, Sonia, and Nadani, have also been prevented from pursuing higher education due to the same reasons. To fulfill their urge to study and as an act of goodwill, Zareena and her friends started giving home tuitions to younger boys and girls in their neighborhood.

In May 2017, a skills development center was set up in Ahori Farm. Many of the girls immediately enrolled for trainings on embroidery and other handicraft skills at the centre but Zareena had no interest in learning those kind of skills and did not join the centre.

Soon after, though, she found out about the gender equality related activities that were part of the same project (Community World Service Asia & YCare). That is what sparked her interest in the project. She was soon contacted and was selected to be trained as a community gender activist in the project. After receiving a couple of sessions of the training, Zareena realized that it was the centuries’ old norms and traditions of their village that had led to suppressing women. These customs had left the women with no determination to progress.

As women, we regularly face situations where we are treated unfairly in life, and yet are not allowed to question this tradition or reality. I had never heard about the term gender discrimination before I took the gender training. In the training, I not only discovered the concept of gender discrimination, but I also learnt how to understand gender inequalities and all its complex dynamics.

Zareena was very apprehensive about her work as a community gender activist when she started it initially at the village level. She knew that the society that she had grown up in would not accept women in such roles of change and influence. However, seventeen-year-old Zareena persevered and decided to take the risk and try changing the old norms of her community by starting from her own home. She tried to talk to her parents about the need and importance of girls’ education and how a change is vital towards the pre-conceived perception set of women in their community. At first, they ignored her, but Zareena’s mother slowly began to understand her, and eventually agreed with her. Sensing the positivity, Zareena was encouraged to further magnify this notion and cause.

With the support of her mother and elder brother, Zareena conducted interactive meetings on Girls Education and Women’s Role in Decision making with targeted households in her village. Many in her village still did not welcome a girl as young as Zareena talking about such unmentionable concerns.

More than a hundred girls still do not attend formal school in Ahori Farm even today. However, Zareena is hopeful that she can convince many parents in the village to allow their daughters to be enrolled in schools. Zareena’s elder brother has assured her that he would establish a girls’ tuition center for free.

The centre has provided me a platform through which I can serve the girls of my village in supporting them to be educated. Recently, from our village, five girls, including myself, have just enrolled into the Government High School and Government Girls Degree College in Umerkot. The parents of the other four girls trust and support my cause. They have faith in me for improving the lifestyle of our people. More than anything, I am grateful to my mother and to Mr. Ramesh Kumar, a member of our Community Gender Activists group, both of whom stood by me, helped and supported me.

According to the project team, many more parents from Zareena’s village are now allowing and encouraging their daughters to attend not only primary but high-schools as well.

It is difficult to manage all expenses within a small income like my husband’s. Healthcare treatments were most sidelined as the incoming money barely lasts a day with two young daughters and an elderly mother to care for.  All of it is consumed in household expenses. If there was a dire need for healthcare, we would travel long distances to access services. It seemed like a burden in terms of both time and money. In addition, we women here are more dependent on men to travel far distances which makes it even more inconvenient to avail the healthcare resources,

expressed a twenty-three years old, Zeena unhappily. The family of four, the family’s only source of income is her husband’s daily wage of approximately PKR 150 (USD 1.5). With this menial income, meeting everyday needs become very difficult for the family.

Two years ago, when Zeena was expecting her second daughter, she heard of a Maternal Neonatal Child Healthcare (MNCH) center established in Ranta village from her neighbors. Upon finding out that the MNCH center is located near her village, Zeena’s husband allowed her to visit the MNCH on her own for a check-up.

After my first visit to the MNCH, I started visiting the center regularly through my nine months of pregnancy as prescribed by the lady doctor there. The doctor’s fees at the MNCH was minimal, thus very affordable for villagers like ourselves, who earn less and have no savings.

The services provided at the center were always timely and effective,

added Zeena who, along with her husband, was also given health and hygiene sessions at the MNCH for her to start developing a healthy diet during pregnancy and after.

My hemoglobin was low therefore the lady doctor advised me to eat food which contains iron including fish, green vegetables and beans. My husband made sure I took a healthy diet as prescribed by the lady doctor as this time he was more aware.

I was also given a family planning session. It was the first time I took part in a session like this, as in our area there is no concept of child birth spacing. In fact, here parents opt for more children so that they can contribute financially once they grow up. I was very glad to know about family planning as it highlighted the importance of good health for women and infants,

expressed Zeena.

Zeena adopted healthy and hygienic nutritional practices at home which improved the health of her baby and her during pregnancy. After her daughter’s birth, Zeena visited the MNCH for antenatal care regularly, which helped the doctor to treat and prevent potential health problems throughout the course of her pregnancy. It also aided in promoting healthy lifestyles in the village, benefiting both mothers and children.

After a smooth nine-month pregnancy, Zeena gave birth to a healthy daughter at the MNCH center without any complications as she had strictly followed the diet chart and took all her prescribed medicines on time. Zeena’s husband and mother-in-law were very pleased with the services and efforts of the staff at the MNCH.

It is difficult to find effective services especially for pregnant women in our area. When Zeena was pregnant the first time, we had to travel to Belo city which was very costly and Zeena would get very tired during travel as well. The MNCH at Ranta is a blessing as many in nearby villages now have a proper health facility, which is affordable for our community, to go to. Zeena’s second pregnancy was very easy for us as I would bring her to the MNCH regularly as per doctor’s advice. The doctor guided us well and today I am blessed with a healthy grand-daughter,

shared Zeena’s mother-in-law.

Zeena has regularly been attending the MNCH for postnatal care. She was given a session on breast feeding by the midwives at the MNCH. Zeena was also advised on breast-feeding her newborn for six months and gradually to start feeding her small meals as per diet plan then after. The effectiveness and sustainability of the MNCH is empowering rural women and communities in many villages of Thatta. Moreover, the center is facilitating in addressing the health needs of the community and in raising awareness on health issues and rights of women and children.

Yousif Channa briefing the participants about implements placed in Agriculture Training Institute (ATI).

An exposure visit of fifty-five rural farmers from different villages in Badin, Sindh, to the Wheat Research Institute (WTI) in Sakrand, Central Cotton Research Institute (CCRI), Agriculture Training Institute (ATI) and the Seed processing unit of Sindh Seed Cooperation  took place in September. This visit was conducted as part of building the capacity of rural farmers on adopting sustainable agricultural practices, under the CFGB supported, Sustainable Farming and Food Security project implemented in Sindh, Pakistan.

Through this project, together with the participation of the farming communities, we are promoting the production of food, fiber, and other produce using farming techniques that aim to protect the environment, public health, communities, animal welfare as well providing long-term development and food security among the communities. Most of these Sindhi communities are most affected by climatic hazards and the adverse impact of climate change.

Muhammad Yousif Channa, Senior Instructor at ATI and Coordinator of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Unit, Sakrand facilitated this farmers’ exposure visit. The work and development of high yielding new wheat varieties of WTI were shared with the farmers and the two new wheat categories, of early and late sowing,  released by WTI, were introduced to them.

The farmers then visited the Wheat Museum where different varieties of wheat were on display. The different types of machinery in use to implement the diverse practices used for wheat crop management were shown to the farmers. This learning was essential to the rural farmers’ knowledge as they could see it’s practical implementation, enabling  them to easily apply it in their own farming to ensure successful integration of sustainable agricultural practices in their villages.

Ashraf Soomro, Director at the WTI, Sakrand, engaged the farmers in an interactive discussion to identify and address the issues they face in crop management. While responding to questions about water shortage Ashraf Soomro recommended sowing wheat on Ridge, which was also demonstrated to them, as it would save 30% to 40% of the water. He also shared with them hand bills and a booklet on wheat production technology.

At the CRRI, the farmers watched a presentation on the institute itself, the many cotton varieties it has developed and most importantly on cotton pesticides and the damages it does. The Senior Scientific Officer at the institute, then went on to talk about insects that are beneficial to crop growth and how those can be managed. During these presentations, it was learnt that development of different cotton takes 10-12 years.

The Plant Physiologist at CCRI delivered an in- depth presentation on crop production technology, focusing on soil analysis and fertility management, for the farmers. He emphasized on the importance of soil analysis, without which it would be impossible to identify if the soil is enriched with nutrients or not.

After the CCRI, the farmers’ visited the Seed Processing Unit of the Sindh Seed Corporation. The focal person at the Unit, shared and demonstrated the process of adulteration, the removal of broken and shriveled seeds, and the process of seed grading,  to ensure the production of the best seed quality.

As the last stop of the exposure visit, the farmers were introduced to the Agriculture Training Institute (ATI) and to different methods of adopting sustainable agriculture practices. The Senior Instructor at the ATI demonstrated different and cost effective methods of farming. These included compost making, plantation with pitcher irrigation, drip irrigation by using water material, propagation via air layering and organic gardening, all carried out at the ATI.

Ashraf Memon, Instructor and Veterinary Doctor at ATI, not only shared better livestock management practices but also responded to queries and prescribed medicines and indigenous techniques to control the various diseases.

The farmers were very appreciative of this exposure and learning opportunity. Not only did they learn various crop management techniques first hand but would also take back the learnings to share among their farming communities. For them it was much appreciated the visit as they learned different techniques of cop management which will be useful for them to implement in their field of work.

Since our forefathers’ time, we used to sow either by placing the seed or a vegetative part of the plant in the soil. The technique of Air Layering, i.e. to make new plants from the  branch which is in the air, was very new and  we couldn’t ever imagine that we could produce a new plant this way. This exposure visit has taught us innovative techniques of farming which can be beneficial for us.

Ghulam Mustafa Kaloi, farmer from Babar Kaloi village, Badin.

It was the first time for me to ever visit such specialized institutions. Visiting the Cotton Research Institution was a great opportunity for us to witness  and learn how to develop new cotton varieties and manage pests through an integrated approach.

Muhammad Zaman Lalial, Ghulam Hussain Lalial village, Badin.

We waste many thing which, if processed properly, can be very productive for the land. One of the example is the dispose off the medical infusion drips after utilization however we have learnt that that wasted drip can further be used for drip irrigation where there is scarcity of water. This was a new learning for me at the Agriculture Training Institute Sakrand. Water scarcity is a serious issue in our village and we cannot afford expensive irrigation Drip and Sprinkler irrigation systems due to our weak financial status. I learnt the simple and no-cost DRIP irrigation technique by using the waste material at the ATI and I applied that technique at home for kitchen gardening. I am very thankful for being given this exposure visit as it has taught me a lot.

Ahmed Khan, Muhammad Sheedi village, Badin.

International Day for Disaster Reduction, held annually on 13th October, celebrates the way that people and communities around the world reduce their exposure to disasters and raise awareness about the risks that they face. This includes disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness (UNISDR). This year at Community World Service Asia we are celebrating and looking back at all the work we have done with the communities we work with on reducing disaster risks and increasing their preparedness to natural hazards.

Essential to our strategic priorities, at Community World Service Asia, we believe disaster risk reduction is vital for building a more equitable and sustainable future. Through our various programming interventions, we have been investing in prevention and preparedness, together with the communities we work with, as a necessary part of all systematic efforts to increase resilience to disasters.

Click here to download Infographic 

Group photo of students from different universities of Jamshoro and Hyderabad.

The Youth Alumni of Hyderabad, Pakistan, organized an event titled “Muktalif Magar Muttahid” (different but united) in celebration of International Peace Day. Aqsa Rajput, a senior member of the Alumni, while welcoming the guests spoke about the value peace, dignity and respect holds as a basic human need irrespective of one’s beliefs or thoughts.

Celebrating the idea of peace among people of different faiths, alumni speakers shared their thoughts and views. Some highlighted issues of racial and religious discrimination prevalent in societies globally while others shared possible ideas to overcome these issues and maintain interfaith harmony.

Aqsa Rajput, among many other Youth Alumni members, has participated in various trainings on governance, democracy, constitutional rights and other such themes in the last three years. This unique event on Peace Day, where all panelists were youth members themselves, was organized by her as a way of sharing her learnings with her peers and other youth members. Aqsa shared that organizing and taking part in such activities also helps youth members like herself in enhancing their leadership and communication skills. Being the first speaker at the event, Aqsa underscored the many types of discrimination that is practiced in various countries, religions and societies and how the most vulnerable suffer the most in such circumstances. With that, she also highlighted the importance of education and how that plays a key role in empowering communities, specially girls. Aqsa had recently visited Nepal as part of a youth exposure and exchange visit, of which she gave an example of how people of completely different faiths and religions live peacefully and happily in one county.

As part of her address, Aqsa focused on the need for building more peace and establishing frequent interfaith dialogues among people of varying religions to develop a relationship of mutual respect and dignity.

Participants, representing various universities in Sindh, shared other similar examples. One youth member, Salman Chattha, used Canada as a good example of a country where people of many faiths live together peacefully. He highlighted how the Canadian government provides equal opportunities to their own people, as well immigrants and minorities, recognizing them as an asset of the country and celebrating religious diversity, rather then seeing it as a liability. Salman also referred to Quaid-e-Azam’s address at the first constituent Assembly on11th August, 1947, in which he shared his vision of Pakistan, being a country that would celebrate and ensure “equality of all citizens”

Another youth activist, Mahrukh Parvez, shed light on the international theme of this year’s Peace Day – Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All. She reiterated that,

the world needs to come forward for fostering peace.

She further added,

I strongly condemn the human rights violations in Myanmar of the Rohingya community.

The panel sessions then followed a question answer exercise, where participants shared their views and experiences on discrimination, if any, that they had faced. Some girls among the participants, quoted experiences of gender discrimination faced by them. Another youth member shared his own experience of practicing religious discrimination towards people of other faiths, and acknowledged how the panel and speaking sessions at the event made him realize that all citizens are equal irrespective of their belief, caste or creed. Queries on other similar issues were put forward to the speakers and were discussed in detail. Many participants claimed that their understanding on accepting and celebrating diversity has fairly improved since participating at the Peace Day event.

Towards the end of the day, a theatre performance on the theme of religious discrimination by youth group members was held. The event concluded with participants coming together to share messages of peace in solidarity with the Myanmar’s Rohingya community.

Shazia, a participant at the event expressed,

I am now taking a positive message of peace being the only solution for a country’s development and progress.

Many other participants, after the event, committed to being more determined and active in promoting and enhancing peace and tolerance among their communities.

 

HHR Asia 2017
Building resilient organisations in a changing humanitarian sector

During crisis, humanitarian organisations may experience an abrupt change in the ways their operations are run. Download our flyer and join HHR Asia to find out how to increase your organisation’s resilience so that you will be prepared when challenges arise.

Together, we will: 
  • Explore the concept and the principles of organisational resilience;
  • Work with key stakeholders to identify strategies and practical ways to support organisations to become resilient;
  • Network with other HR and humanitarian specialists from Asia with the intention to establish a strong Asia-based HR practitioners’ network;
  • Share our respective experience at a lively and interactive Market Place;
  • Participate in a World Café group discussion on how to strengthen individual and organisation resilience.
As a result of the conference we aim to identify:
  • Characteristics of resilient organisations, leaders and aid workers;
  • The role of HR in building resilient organisations;
  • The balance between duty of care and high performance especially when funds are limited;
  • Key challenges of organisational resilience.
Why organisational resilience?

Disasters continue to test the resilience of many humanitarian organisations, and Asia is the most disaster-prone region in the world. In cases of major crises organisations with limited or no prior experience in humanitarian response often experience an abrupt change in the ways their operations are run. It is not only about continuing work and recovering from the disaster, it is the ability to effectively manage change and thrive during the change process and beyond. The aim of this year’s HHR Conference is to improve the ability of participating organisations, both individually and as a community, to find, select, prepare and retain human resources for emergency and non-emergency operations.

Booking

Our early-bird discount fee of GBP 550 for residential and GBP 400 for non-residential places is available until 27 October, after which the conference fee will go up to GBP 650 and GBP 500 respectively.

Please note that this is the postponed HHR Asia Conference which was originally scheduled for May 2017.

REGISTER AT

http://www.chsalliance.org/our-events/event/537

International Literacy Day (ILD), celebrated annually on September 8, shines a spotlight on global literacy needs. It celebrates and honors the five decades of national and international engagement, efforts and progress made to increase literacy rates around the world. Access to quality education has become increasingly difficult for marginalized communities in certain regions due to continuing instability and inequality.

We at, Community World Service Asia, strongly believe in the three pillars of quality education: Quality teaching; Quality tools for teaching and learning  and Quality environment for teaching and learning. And this is what we are celebrating and promoting this year on International Literacy Day. Through our Girls Education and Transformative Learning Project, we are investing in resources to educate children, youth, and teachers, our initiatives aim to develop skills, raise awareness and build the capacity of communities. Community World Service Asia strives to meet the contextual needs of different communities in order to support children to realize their right to education and their potential.

The brief video showcases the capacity building of teachers for a #SmartPlanet.

Students come together to learn history and strengthen interfaith peace

This May, thirty-two students from universities and colleges in Lahore, Faisalabad, Abbotabad and Peshawar, got together to visit the Katas Raj Temples located in the town of Choa Saidan Shah in the Potohar Plateau area in Punjab. The trip among students was planned as a step towards strengthening relations among various youth groups through exploring Pakistan’s rich cultural history and recognizing the tradition of interfaith harmony practiced here in the past.

Upon nearing the temples, the group crossed a huge cement factory and golden wheat fields, as the complex surrounding the temples, gradually became visible. Before entering the temple, the local experts and the guide of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) narrated the history of the Satgraha Katas Raj Temple and explained the many religious practices that were carried out in each temple. The Katas Raj Temples complex originally consisted of a cluster of seven old temples, remains of a Buddhist Stupa and also some medieval sanctuaries and Havelis[1]. However, today, only four of the seven temples are intact. These ancient ruins are scattered around a pond that practising Hindus consider sacred.

The Katas Raj Temples signify a long history of interfaith synergy, as the site is also home to a historic mosque and another Buddhist temple. The students on the site were also told a Brahman tale narrating the history of the pond. It is believed that the pond was formed after Lord Shiva’s wife, Sati, died. Lord Shiva’s inconsolable grief at her death resulted in a flow of tears forming a pond at the Katas Raj Temples. With this story, the magnificent temples also represents unconditional love between partners.

Students formally introduced themselves to each other and comfortably interacted and shared experiences with another throughout the trip. Many of them planned to organize similar activities for other youth members to encourage an awareness and appreciation among people of different faiths. Asma Syal, one of the students, shared,

I have perceived that all cultures, religions and beliefs deserve the same amount of respect even if they are different.

. The Katas Raj Temples visit not only raised awareness about interfaith harmony, but also connected students from various universities. Students with disparate backgrounds were motivated to build an understanding regardless of race, color and religion.

[1] A traditional townhouse or mansion with historical and architectural significance.

Dr. Hedayatullah Noor, Health Management Information System (HMIS) Officer training the Community Health Supervisors.

A vital aspect of any health program is quality assurance. Quality assurance allows health programs to effectively provide their services at a reasonable standard. The Ministry of Public Health in Afghanistan has developed a new quality standard: Harmonize Quality Improvement Program (HQIP). The HQIP has replaced the previous quality assurance standard being implemented by all non-government organizations in Afghanistan. This standard measures the quality of health programs through indicators that scores between three ranges – NA, 0 and 1. These indicators measure particular health areas such as reproductive health, infection prevention, health facilities’ management, management of target diseases, management of drugs supply, vaccines, and neonatal care. In order to implement and mainstream the HQIP standard among all of its health programs, Community World Service Asia conducted a training in its Jalalabad office in July this year.

Dr. Hedayatullah Noor, the Health Management Information System (HMIS) Officer, and Shughla Qahir, Reproductive Health Coordinator, at Community World Service Asia, both of whom have been previously trained on HQIP by the Ministry of Public Health in Afghanistan, facilitated the six-day, in house training.

Sixteen staff members, including five nurses, five midwives and six lady community health workers, of our Mother and Newborn Child Health (MNCH) centres took the training. The participants were divided into three batches, each covering two days of the training. It was a great learning opportunities for the health staff as none of them had previously received a training on the HQIP.

This quality assurance training aimed to enable our health practitioners in comprehensively understanding the HQIP standards, self-asses their health services’ standards, and to ensure the provision of quality healthcare services in their respective health facilities. The topics covered in the training included an introduction to the standards, gaps findings, analyzing the gaps, ways and planning for filling the gaps, networking and benchmarking, and description of the HQIP checklist.

Most of the sessions conducted were in the form of two-way discussions and group assignments. One such example was the session on Infection Prevention (IP) which focused on achieving safe deliveries, performing safe injections, safe vaccination and others. The use of Personal Protective equipment (PPE) was pointed as essential while attending delivery, during dressings and administering injections to prevent infections from spreading. Safe waste disposal of 0.5% chlorine, sharp objects and other medical and non-medical waste was also discussed to be adopted in all the health facilities.

Another key session in the training focused on protective measure for newborns. This raised the concept of the 6 Cleans; clean hands, clean clamp of cord, clean cutting of cord, clean cloth for drying the baby, clean clothes for covering the baby and clean surface. Furthermore, resuscitation techniques, cleaning the baby’s eyes, BCG vaccination, early breast feeding were also part of the Newborn Care session. The training included a session on Management of Reproductive Health which covered various topics from providing nutrition and iron tablets to pregnant mother to Antenatal and Postnatal care checkups, to family planning and practicing safe deliveries.

The workshop was as interactive as it could be, utilizing various teaching tools such as computers, multimedia, charts, lectures, question-and-answer sessions, group work, and consultative discussions. Participants also took particular interest in practicing filling out the HQIP checklist. The HQIP checklist is used to identify the gaps related to each indicator in health facilities, so the participants used their “practice HQIP” checklist to make a plan for improving the gaps identified.

The HQIP checklists will be used every three months to ensure that health care provided by our MNCH health facilities in Afghanistan are meeting the new quality standards. Hamdullah, one of the participants and a nurse from Badiabad village in Alingar district, Laghman Province, shared,

This training was a new learning opportunity for us which will help us to further improve our services in the health facilities.