Yearly Archives: 2019

As a component of Community World Service Asia and University of Peshawar’s collaborative interventions[1], a seven-day residential training on “Interactive Theatre for Influencing” was conducted at the University’s Baragali campus in the northern hills. Twenty-four aid workers and theatre activists from thirteen local NGOs and performing art groups participated in the training.

Participants were engaged in theoretical and practical learning exercises that aimed to improve acting skills and communication, enhance abilities, introduce stage ethics and sharpen dialogue delivery. The workshop style training also worked towards introducing and enhancing script writing techniques, issue identification and performance techniques among participants.

Practice sessions of real theatre plays were conducted as part of the training to enable the participants to link awareness raising on prominent issues with their play theme and performance.  They were sensitized on utilizing this art form to deliver messages of positive social change.  The various activities of the training provided participants with an opportunity to share experiences and ideas with each other that would help them in highlighting community issues through designing interactive theater performances in the future.

During the week-long training, participants developed action plans to ensure the implementation and application of the learning and techniques they had learnt in their respective communities. The training increased the capacity of local theatre groups to use theatre as a tool to influence communities to bring about progressive societal changes and uphold their rights. Participants also learnt theatre improvisation techniques such as effective use of body language, eye contact with the audience, balancing vocals and following a rhythm during the play to make more impact. All these skills would facilitate the theatre activists with helping rural and under-priviliged communities to overcome their collective issues and inspire positive perceptional changes,

Participants Voices

Interactive theatre for Influencing was a platform where I got the opportunity to get to know myself better and look at my capabilities from a different perspective. My confidence level boosted and as a result, I participated in the group exercises without hesitation. In addition, I was able to improve my vocal and dialogue delivery, body movement and gestures.

All participants were engaged in interactive activities through which we learnt how to engage and influence the audience in interactive theater performances. We appreciate the organization and the management team for providing learning opportunities to continuously upgrade our skills and deliver the content effectively.

Mujahid Ali, Programme Manager, Bunyad Literacy Community Council

This training played a vital role in educating me about the effective ways and tools that can be used for influencing communities. Such trainings are a source for personal development and knowledge building. We learnt different tools to bridge the knowledge gap existing in communities. The training enhanced the ability to highlight sensitive and ignorant problems prevailing in our society. I aim to utilize the theater delivery techniques shared in the training to achieve our objective of a progressive and developed society.

Tariq Khan, Livelihoods Officer, Secours Islamique France (SIF)

I had no prior knowledge of theatre before attending this training. This experience provided the history, types and the importance of theatre. The activities conducted during the sessions in the training built my confidence and allowed me to effectively influence communities and encourage change to make progressive societies.  Theater in one of the most effective ways to influence communities and encourage them towards development and change.

Misbah Naureen, Training Coordinator, Institute of Rural Management


[1] Under CWSA’s  Capacity Enhancement Project supported by Bread for the World

For development and humanitarian interventions to be effective, they must meet the needs of affected populations, and must be implemented in ways that ensure the accountability of humanitarian actors towards communities they aim to serve. To do so, Community World Service Asia believes in strengthening the Quality and Accountability (Q&A) mechanisms at an organizational level by effectively investing in building and enhancing the capacities of staff and partners.

To address the capacity needs and equip staff with the most updated information and relevant skill required for effective implementation of projects and engagement with stakeholders, CWSA organized a series of internal trainings for staff members in the last quarter of 2019.

Trainings on ‘Do No Harm’, ‘Gender Inclusion in Emergencies’, Effective Communication through Transactional Analysis(TA)’, and ‘Leadership and Teambuilding’ were participated by forty-eight staff members in Umerkot, Sindh province.  These trainings were facilitated by Moazzam Ali and  Sohail Muhammad who are both consultants with CWSA and carry decades of experience on organizational management, development programs and leadership.

In October the training on Gender Inclusion took place which focused on teaching participants the minimum standards required for gender inclusion and protection in different emergencies; its forms; and strategies for prevention of gender inequality during emergencies. In the same month, a daylong session on Do No Harm was conducted. Participants were introduced to the concept and background of Do No Harm and learnt about the sources of tension; “dividers” and local capacities for peace “connectors”, in the communities. Staff members were sensitized on how to respond to negative feedback and complaints from the affected communities they work with. The Do No Harm framework and its application in projects’ activities and events was also thoroughly explained to participants during this session.

Interactive and activity-based trainings on ‘Staff Professional Development’, ‘Effective Communication through Transactional Analysis (TA)’ and Leadership Skills and Team Building Strategies were conducted in November for the same project teams in Umerkot.

Participants’ Experience:

“The participatory approach carried out during the sessions encouraged us to participate actively throughout. We took grave interest in group exercises and shared our learnings and experiences with new staff.”

Mir Hassan, Agriculture Officer
Disaster Risk Reduction/Food Security Project

“The training on “Gender Inclusion in Emergencies” was very informative and I learned a lot of new things in relation to Disaster Management in emergencies. The session provided information on gender equality and equity, gender sensitivity approaches in disaster management. The methodology applied during the session made it easy for us to understand and implement the learnings in our working environment.”

Shama Shano, Community Mobilizer
Disaster Risk Reduction/Food Security Project

Nazar Mohammad, a grade three teacher, used to be very strict with his students. He was new to the field of academics but he really enjoyed teaching and loved his students. One day at school, his students were being particularly rowdy. Frustrated with the students being unmanageable, he started yelling at his students. That scared them a little and after five long minutes of silence, Nazar stood at the front of the class saying,

The only child interested in learning in this class is this young boy here. He is the only one who says ‘Wow, that’s interesting’.

Nazar was pointing at his student named Sanjay.

Being made an example for the entire class, Sanjay felt very motivated. This was the power of validation. Sanjay did love studying and his teacher acknowledged that.

After a few months though, Nazar noticed that Sanjay had stopped coming to school. After inquiring, he learned that Sanjay had started working at a cobbler’s shop to support his family with their household expenses. Sanjay’s father was also a good acquaintance of Nazar, so he asked him why he would make his son to work at a cobbler’s shop when he would have the capacity to earn a much better livelihood if he would complete his education.

Such simple words were all that was needed to make Sanjay’s father reconsider his decision of making Sanjay work at such a young age. He remembered Nazar’s words,

Trust your child.

Mr. Nazar continued to question and speculate Sanjay’s father about the reasons behind making his son work at this age. He also feared that his questioning may offend the father but it did not stop him from pressing him to change his mind. After a long silence, Sanjay’s father,

I can only send Sanjay to study in the evening if you are willing to teach him at that time.

Nazar replied with a sure ‘yes’.

I will teach him in the evening.

After many years of evening schooling with Nazar, Sanjay completed his primary and secondary education. HE also continued to complete his college and attained a bachelor’s degree from a university too. Both Sanjay and Nazar struggled along the way, but Mr. Nazar did not give up on Sanjay. He consistently motivated and mentored Sanjay until he became a doctor one day.

Sanjay is now a certified practicing doctor in Karachi. Nazar happily shares,

I am proud of Sanjay. It is all just because of his hard work and commitment that he has achieved all of this. Us teachers have to light up the way for our students even at times of difficulties, it is our duty to ensure they do not give up.

However Nazar was not the part of this project at that time but due to his disability he possesses empathy to provide equal opportunity to those children who are away from education Mr. Nazar is associated with Community World Service Asia for one year in Education project which mainly aims on Early childhood Care and Education its focus, hence, is on catering to overall child development rather than academic readiness or cognitive development alone. However, ensuring quality benchmark parameters in preschools undoubtedly aims at upscaling standards through standardization. Unfortunately, when it comes to local customization and administering a curriculum tailored to suit the specific learning needs of a child, standardization of curriculum might come as a challenge. It, however, does not mean focusing on academics alone but paying equal attention to developing life-skills, offering fun-based exploratory learning activities to the child during his formative years. It defends and promotes the rights of children to education, care and supports activities improving accessibility to high-quality education and care. Nazar was assigned in another class but after receiving training on Early Childhood Care and Education he decided to conduct ECCE class due to its arising challenges and finding it most crowded among other classes with the enrollment of 70-80 students.

I was hesitant to attend any training because of the expected behavior of dealing with disabled people. But the way, the team treated me with respect and gave me equal opportunity to participate in each activity with others. To be seen not as a disable individual to do something, but as a normal person to participate, learn and grow. It motivated me to attend more training and take ECCE class in school because managing a room full of young children can be delightful, but it can also be hard and can drain a lot of your energy. The day-to-day challenges you will face can range from dealing with difficult behaviors to crying and cranky children. Throughout the day, you must balance all of their unique needs to keep your classroom functioning smoothly.

said Nazar.

Good leaders are made, not born. If you have the desire and willpower, you can become an effective leader. Good leaders develop through a never-ending process of self-study, education, training, and experience.

Jago, 1982

With over fifteen years of experience in the development sector, Muhammad Bux Kumbhar’s passion is to advocate for the rights of disadvantaged communities. As an Executive Director of a local organization named, Sukaar Welfare, Muhammad Bux works to achieve women and youth empowerment through community development and advocacy initiatives. For years Muhammad Bux has been engaged in global networking and voluntary activism initiatives with different partners on issues such as child marriages, sexual and reproductive health, nutrition, youth empowerment and gender mainstreaming. He regularly participates in social and digital awareness-building campaigns and writes proposals to implement relevant local projects.

As an active member of the District Engagement Group[1], we engage with different government departments such as Social Welfare, Women Development, Health, Education and the Police to build relationships and influence public authorities and provincial stakeholders on structures of law and policies related to women empowerment,

shared Muhammad Bux.

Finding the topic relevant to his responsibilities, Muhammad Bux registered himself for a four-day training titled, Influencing for Social Change, organized by Community World Service Asia. Impressed with the trainer’s twenty-five year national and global experience, Muhammad Bux could not contain his excitement to participate in the training.

Muhammad Bux shared that the training offered participants practical \ tools that were easily applicable in their daily work.

The training helped us understand the influence processes that can lead to achieving sustainable change. During the training, participants developed awareness-raising campaigns focused on influencing effectively through the use of different tools. We analyzed risks and sensitive features involved in designing influential campaigns,

he said.

The training enhanced the participants’ knowledge and skills on developing effective and persuasive educative campaigns that could lead to social change. Muhammad Bux was able to apply the learnings from the training to his work immediately. He said,

On my return, I modified the language of our nature of work. During our coordination campaigns, we now use new terms like ‘influencing,’ ‘networking’ and ‘liaising with stakeholders.’ I replicated part of the training and transferred the learning amongst the staff of Sukaar Welfare organization. They are already engaged voluntarily with organizational campaigns, so they understand the new term ‘influencing for social change’. I also shared my key learnings from the training to ensure more impact of the advocacy work done and to help our organization influence the communities effectively and resolve our issues with stakeholders.

Sukaar Welfare is now reevaluating and restructuring their advocacy strategies to be able to bring about more effective social change among the communities it works with.


[1] Formed under the ‘Every Voice Counts’ project, implemented by CWSA and supported by CARE International

Sphere recently published a new resource that offers hands-on guidance to practitioners looking to consider environmental issues in their humanitarian programmes. The guide, called “thematic sheet”, is the first in a series that will discuss some of the core issues in humanitarian response and the Sphere Handbook’s relevance to them. 

To understand what a thematic sheet is and how it will be helpful to humanitarian practitioners, Sphere interviewed sustainability expert and Sphere Handbook co-author Amanda George.

Read more

AJK Earthquake leaves thousands homeless

Large areas of the districts Mirpur and Bimber of Pakistan’s Azad, Jamu & Kashmir (AJK) province were severely jolted by a 5.8 magnitude earthquake on September 24, 2019, with the epicenter at only a depth of 10 kms.  The two districts, which house about 876,824 people, suffered large-scale human and economic damages. A reported thirty-seven people lost their lives, and 579 people, including women and children, have been injured. Strong jolts not only damaged shelters and infrastructure but also severely affected the livelihoods of local people[1].

Most recent information received from the office of the Commissioner details that a total of 10,500 families in Mirpur and Bimber, have been affected by the earthquake.  This information has been further verified by the initial assessment that National Disaster Consortium (NDC[2]) members have conducted. The assessment reports a total of nine thousand houses affected; with two thousand houses completely destroyed, and six thousand partially damaged.  These six thousand houses cannot be repaired with minor work as the damages are massive.  The report further claims fifty acres of land as uncultivable due to the destruction, and with boreholes, which are the main source of drinking water, severely contaminated and undrinkable due to violent movements in the earth. During Community World Service Asia’s Emergency program team’s field visit,  a number of health issues were also reported among earthquake-affected communities as many suffered from vomiting after consuming water from the boreholes.

Affected communities from Mirpur and Bimber are in dire need of food and non-food items (NFIs) as many families are currently living in open spaces, under the open sky. Families, with houses, partially destroyed, are also living in the outdoors due to fear of their houses collapsing from aftershocks and rains. The condition of these communities has been worsened due to the aftershocks and the unseasonal monsoon rains that continued uptil the first week of October.

The province of AJK has long been a disputed territory of Pakistan and has therefore been less developed, with a weaker economy and infrastructure. The government has initiated a damage assessment of the earthquake-affected area but the focus has been on infrastructure damages as the government resources are limited and the immediate priority has been rescue operations and to functionalize the local infrastructure.

The villages and small towns most severely hit by the earthquake are among the poorer regions of the district. The majority of the population of these smaller villages and towns depend on low paying daily wage jobs or agriculture as their main livelihood.

With the support of the START network and ACT Alliance, Community world Service Asia is supporting 1170 families with the provision of shelter tents, winterization tents, hygiene kits, water filtration, and hygiene promotion.

A latest Government-led need assessment reports 12500 houses as fully and partially damaged (being non-livable). A recent AJK geological department report has also notified of all and any kind of construction to be stopped until further notice. According to research conducted by the department, the pressure under the earth has not completely discharged during the earthquake because of which movement beneath the earth’s surface still continues. This is hazardous for reconstruction. With the advent of winter, the temperature has dropped to -4 degrees celcius, with the needs of the affected communities increasing and not being met, the Government of AJK has officially requested Community World Service Asia for supporting them with providing an additional 3500 winterization tents through an official letter [3].

Community World Service Asia is currently conducting a needs assessment to identify the long term needs of these communities. This will be made available and shared shortly.

Affected community-members report:

“The 24th September Earthquake was a horrible experience for my family. That day I was on my bed, sleeping with my youngest son. I felt heavy jolts followed by an earthquake. Our homes were destroyed. There was no source of clean water in the area. Water was contaminated and the area was facing issues of hygiene and poor sanitation. The provision of Hygiene Kits and water filters from Community World Service Asia’s WASH team has been a blessing for us as we have lost almost everything.” Iftikhar Ahmed, Village Afzalpu,r District Mirpur, AJ&K


“The earthquake caused a catastrophe in our village, Mughal Pur. I am a disabled man and unable to walk properly. This earthquake completely damaged my house and water-well which we had made in our house. The water in the well is now contaminated and not safe to drink. All our water-storage containers were lost when our house collapsed. The WASH Kit provided by Community World Service Asia has been specially very useful for my family. We have access to clean drinking water and other basic items to use in our everyday life.” Muhammad Latif, Naie Abadi Mughalpura, District Mirpur


“My home was destroyed in the earthquake and my family has been very disturbed. It was really scary to see catastrophe everywhere; houses collapsed, large cracks appeared on roads and life became stagnant. It all happened very suddenly. There was no ray of hope for life. But now there is an activity in which we are receiving assistance from CWSA. These things are beneficial for me and my family. We have received a Hygiene kit which contain relevant things regarding personal and domestic hygiene. My family and I  will use this to access clean and safe water.” Farrah Iftikhar,  a widower from Village Mugalpura, District Mirpur AJ&K


“I am an 85 year-old widow, living alone. My house was completely destroyed in the recent earthquake. Community World Service Asia visited my damaged house and enlisted my name in their project. The aid provided by the relief team will be enough to last me six months. The water filter provided in the aid kit is one of the most valuable items for me as we need clean drinking water to survive and maintain good health.” Saad Noor Bibi, Village Kharak, Mirpur, AJ&K


“The WASH package received through this emergency project has been life-saving for my family and me. I work as a maid in different homes in this area, through this I earn little income. This income is not sufficient enough to purchase all the items we received in the WASH package. We are very grateful to Community World Service Asia and its partners for coming to us at this time of emergency and helping our families to overcome the loss and challenges we suffered.” Nasreen BiBi F/2 Kachi Abadi Mirpur, AJ&K


Contacts:

Shama Mall
Deputy Regional Director
Programs & Organizational Development
Email: hi2shama@cyber.net.pk
Tele: 92-21-34390541-4

Palwashay Arbab
Head of Communications
Email: palwashay.arbab@communityworldservice.asia
Tele: +92 42 3586 5338


[1] Shared by District Commissioner Mirpur

[2] National Disaster Consortium NDC is a consortium funded by DFID members are few national, international and UN agencies.

[3] Letter of request from Government for support

Share your Feedback on this third Edition: Consultation is opened until 4th December 2019!

This third Edition is opened to a wide audience for consultation through various platforms. We welcome any comments and inputs until 4th December 2019. This Edition will then be finalized, designed and published by the end of 2019.

We would also greatly appreciate any contribution in the format of stories or case studies related to the implementation of Quality and Accountability throughout the Project Cycle Management/ Humanitarian Programme Cycle.

Please share your feedback and contributions to both:

Sylvie Robert, Booklet Author, Independent Consultant
Email: sylvierobertconsulting@yahoo.fr

Shama Mall, Booklet Publisher, Community World Service Asia
Email: shaprograms@communityworldservice.asia

Thank you in advance!

Note: A 3-day Training package on Quality and Accountability for Project Cycle Management – composed of 10 training modules – is being tested and finalized to accompany this publication.

Click here to download the Booklet

Community World Service Asia, ACT Alliance, OCHA, ICVA, ADRRN, Act Church of Sweden, CHS Alliance, Sphere, and the Q&A Hub are hosting a collaborative event on strengthening accountability to the communities. A revised version of the new and updated booklet on Quality and Accountability for Project Cycle Management (PCM) will be introduced at this event which will be followed by a stimulating panel discussion that will be led by experts on accountability towards affected populations.

Click here download Event Agenda

For a zero hunger world, people around the globe should eat healthy diets, the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has said in a booklet that is released ahead of World Food Day on October 16.

The goal of the UN-mandated Sustainable Development Goals of meeting ‘zero hunger’, according to the document, can be met by eating more seasonal fruits and vegetables and reducing the consumption of junk food. Over 820 million people — approximately one in nine people around the world — were hungry, and malnutrition affected one in every three people, the FAO noted.

To share the learning, Community World Service Asia organized a session in the village of Padmoo Bheel Union Council Khararo Charan, District Umerkot on October 16. Fifteen men and women from the community participated in the activity. The session focused on the theme which said “Our Actions Are Our Future. Healthy Diets for a #ZeroHunger World”. As a result of globalization, urbanization and income growth, our diets and eating habits have changed. The event generated awareness who suffer from hunger and increased knowledge for food security and nutritious diet intakes for all. Communities were sensitized on ensuring food security in households and how to avoid wasting food at home, marriage ceremonies and other communal gatherings.

Community Voices:

The session was very informative in terms of learning how to avoid food wastage and eat healthy food items for better health. New learning for me was food being our fundamental and basic right.

Janat from Padmoo Bheel village, Umerkot

It is important to make food as per the needs and number of people. Excess food often is wasted which is not good. The session shed light on how food is made excessively in communal gatherings and is wasted in large number. We will in the future make the food according to the need and number of people.

Ranjeet from Padmoo Bheel village, Umerkotet