At Community World Service Asia, we strongly believe in forming partnerships and collaborating with key stakeholders, including national governments to reach a common humanitarian and development goal. To further strengthen this mandate, Community World Service Asia and the Social Welfare Department (SWD) of Khyber Pakhtunkwa province have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on building mechanisms for institutional strengthening and work jointly in areas of capacity enhancement of their staff and the NGOs registered under SWD. The partnership aims to raise awareness on compliances and challenges that are faced under SWD’s ambit, to jointly organise relevant activities and to mobilise sufficient resources to conduct and implement shared assignments and campaigns.

Zulfiqar Ali Shah, Secretary Social Welfare Department – KPK and Farrukh Marvin Parvez, Regional Director – CWSA, signed the MoU that marks the beginning of many collaborations on organising thematic training workshop, sessions and short courses for young professionals that the SWD and associated NGOs have been agreed upon.

The Social Welfare Department of KPK plays a pivotal role in the field of development, particularly in favour of the most marginalised communities in Pakistan. CWSA’s technical expertise in project management and capacity building will effectively contribute towards SWD’s goals of eradicating poverty, rehabilitating people with disabilities, and developing schemes and programmes to meet the most urgent social needs.

2021Tue06Jul(Jul 6)9:00 AMThu08(Jul 8)5:00 PMFeaturedTraining on Monitoring and Evaluation for Impact Management9:00 AM - 5:00 PM (8) PST MurreeTheme:Quality and Accountability,CEPType:TrainingRegister Here

In the humanitarian sector, the term ‘accountability to affected populations’ (AAP) means humanitarian actors making an active commitment to use power responsibly by taking account of, giving account to, and being held to account by the people they seek to assist[1].

By being more accountable to affected populations – increasing their participation and feedback in programs identification, design, delivery, and lesson learning – organisations are simultaneously ensuring quality program implementation and a more sustainable impact of their humanitarian and development interventions. This also allows communities to shape their own response and recovery and enable aid organisations to effectively deliver against its commitments to stakeholders, including the people they assist and those who provide resources to make that assistance possible.

Community World Service Asia collaborated with Concern Worldwide, to enhance and strengthen the capacity of its staff and partners in Pakistan on quality and accountability standards and its integration in organisational structures and programming. This will help to mainstream and build discourse around quality and accountability to affected populations (Q&AAP) in the humanitarian community. A series of trainings were jointly conducted to promote the inclusion of humanitarian standards on quality and accountability in all stages of Concern Worldwide’s project life cycle, such as design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

The first training, which was virtual in nature due to the COVID-19 pandemic, took place in January 2021. During this training, Concern Worldwide staff identified key initiatives such as Sphere Standards and CHS[2] contributing to Q&AAP and outlined the opportunities and challenges in implementing Q&AAP. Eighteen program staff members, representing program and support units (HR, Finance & Administration) of the organisation participated and learned how to design a Q&AAP learning action plan that was tailored to their working context. During the training, the staff also identified means and platforms to collaborate and coordinate with other partners to improve Q&AAP in the areas that they work.

The same training was conducted with various other partner organisations in the following months with a participation of thirty humanitarian practitioners from sixteen partner organisations in the country. The workshop introduced Q&AAP as a concept, and discussed the role of Sphere and how to use the revised Sphere Handbook 2018 Edition and apply its technical standards in the program cycle. The framework of Do No Harm, Complaint Response Mechanism (CRM), and Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) along with the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) were also discussed thoroughly.

The facilitator of these training sessions engaged the participants in interesting group activities such as case-study analysis, documentary screening followed by an open-call discussion session, and revision of each day’s learnings by the different groups. Participants showed great interest on particular modules such as, ‘What is Sphere – the Handbook and Sphere & CHS Guidelines in response to COVID-19’.

One of the participants recommended that “the testing measures in the Sphere Handbook need to be updated as they overlap with each other when applying in field in times of a crisis and that the nature, and magnitude of a disaster varies from area to area so applying one Sphere Standard to all of it is not possible”.

The facilitator then introduced them to the changes that took place in the Sphere Handbook since 2018 and how the participants can apply the updated frameworks in their fieldwork.

A profound discussion took place between the facilitator and the participants on the similarities and differences of COVID-19 and its impact on other pandemics, like Ebola that emerged in Africa some years ago. The facilitator familiarised participants with the chapters in the Sphere Handbook that were more relevant in response to the COVID-19 pandemic such as “WASH and Health”.

“It was an overwhelming experience as it was important for us to learn whether the Sphere Protection Principles were applicable in the context of COVID-19. We faced challenges and queries from communities while responding to emergencies. However, our understanding of the Sphere standards and accountability to affected people has definitely been enhanced. This will allow us to respond more effectively and efficiently, ensuring our programs are designed and implemented to fulfill the needs of the communities we are working with,” shared Arbab Saeedullah, a staff representing one of Concern Worldwide’s partner organisations in Pakistan.


[2] The Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability sets out nine commitments for humanitarian and development actors to measure and improve the quality and effectiveness of their assistance. The CHS places communities and people affected by crisis at the centre of humanitarian action.

2021Tue20Apr10:30 AM12:00 PMWEBINAR: Organizational Sustainability and COVID-1910:30 AM - 12:00 PM WebinarTheme:Quality and Accountability,CEPType:WebinarRegister

Training Date: June 8 – 10, 2021
Last date of Registration: 28th April 2021
Link for the Registration:
Location: Murree

Covid-19 has challenged traditional leadership styles and forced leaders to adapt their leadership approaches in dealing with the uncertainties brought about by the virus and its widespread impact. NGO leaders have also been faced with dilemmas and ambiguities that they have never been exposed to.

This training on Leading in Complexity and Uncertainty will use the ‘Authentic Leader’ approach and will provide opportunities to participants to reflect on their leadership style and its relevance and effectiveness in the context of Covid-19. It will give them knowledge on leadership competencies based on research with contemporary leaders. They will also have opportunities for practicing and sharpening their personal leadership skills and competencies.

The methodology of this training includes self-reflection and analysis, working with friends and colleagues, and a range of practical exercises (but considering social distancing).
These will be interspersed with presentations by the external trainer and experience sharing sessions by prominent leaders from the development and corporate sectors.
Coaching and mentoring support will be provided to 30% of participating organizations to help them effectively apply their learning.


At the end of the training, participants will:

  • Understand the different leadership styles and competencies.
  • Reflect on their leadership style based on their self- assessment and others’ perceptions/feedback.
  • Sharpen/strengthen their leadership competencies.
  • Develop action plans for peer support and coaching/mentoring.


The approach used in this training is the ‘Blended Learning’ approach developed by CWSA in its previous phases. The approach is participatory and needs based in nature. It consists of a selection of participants from diverse organizations at different levels, content, and methodology designed with and based on the needs of the training participants, use of experienced and knowledgeable trainers, flexible content and methodology during the training, development of action plans and follow up refreshers and coaching and mentoring support.

Number of Participants

18-20 participants will be selected for the training. Women staff and those persons with disabilities and from ethnic/religious minorities are encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to participants from organisations based in underserved areas.

Selection Criteria

  • No previous exposure/participation in leadership training.
  • Mid or senior-level manager in a civil society organisation, preferably field staff of large CSOs or CSOs with the main office in small towns and cities.
  • Participants from women-led organisations, persons with disabilities, religious/ethnic minorities will be preferred.
  • Willingness to contribute PKR 20,000 for the training. Exemptions may be applied for by CSOs with limited funding and those from marginalized groups. Discount of 10% on early Registration by 20th April 2021 and 20% discount will be awarded to women participants.
  • Commitment to apply learning in their work, including dissemination of learning within their organisation.

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Dr. Mohammad Shafi, a doctor and development practitioner with over two decades of experience in the social welfare sector, participated in a training titled “Influencing Positive Change” organised by Community World Service Asia under its Capacity Enhancement Program. The program aims to strengthen the capacity of local humanitarian and development workers on organizational, programmatic and technical skills while responding to the needs of the most vulnerable in Pakistan.

The “Influencing Positive Change” training was conducted in December 2019 and was participated by twenty-one aid and development workers representing twelve civil society organisations (CSOs) from across Pakistan. During the five-day training, participants strengthened their knowledge and skills on developing strategic approaches to policy engagement and designing campaigns for social change through policy reforms.

Employed with Brooke Hospital for Animals Pakistan since 1997 as a Regional Manager, Dr. Mohammad Shafi has been working for the welfare of horses, mules and donkeys engaged in intensive labour work of the many thousands of people and communities dependent on their service.

I monitor and mentor the field activities of the project teams. I also work to ensure animal welfare, community development and monitor proper planning of capacity enhancement activities of the communities we work with in coordination with key stakeholders.”

“Our company was well aware of the good quality and value of the workshops conducted by Community World Service Asia in various operational fields for local and national organisations. Upon hearing of this training on ‘Influencing Positive Change’, I showed immediate interest and applied as a participant. The session on engaging with decision makers, as part of the training, was something new and interesting for me as it provided thorough knowledge on different advocacy strategies and tools for effective engagement with various stakeholders. The group exercise on stakeholders mapping was also very informative and a rich learning experience. After the trainings, I replicated the same exercise in mapping joint ventures when we planned the signing of a MoU with one of partners, the Bahauddin Zakariya University. We successfully signed the MoU on September 1, 2020.”

The significance and value of objective setting and identifying key stakeholders and influencers prior to the implementation of a campaign was another key highlight of the training.

“We are now able to define priorities for our organizational awareness-building activities. In terms of improved comprehension and application of science, we appear to have more effective outcomes now. We have started working with relevant partners, with whom we can collaborate together on promoting equine health. We also successfully signed a MoU with the Bahauddin Zakariya University (BZU) to strengthen equine health and welfare knowledge and skills of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) students and allied domain. This MoU will fortify the role of veterinary science facilities of BZU as the hub for animal welfare excellence and encourage animal welfare.”

Shafi said that the pre-preparation assignments conducted during the training helped the organisation’s teams to examine and obtain relevant knowledge about the partners with whom they want to work.

A comprehensive research before our meetings allowed us to convince relevant stakeholders more effectively in order to agree on common grounds for joint ventures,” expressed Shafi

2020Wed21OctAll DaySun25Event OverFeaturedInteractive Theatre for Influencing(All Day) MurreeTheme:Quality and Accountability,COVID-19Type:TrainingRegister here

The PUKAR theater group performing at a local village after the training on Interactive Theater for Influencing in 2019.

Imam Uddin Soomro is an active member of the Pakistan Kissan Mazdoor Tehreek (PKMT), an alliance of small-scale and landless farmers including women farmers. Imam collects data on crops and conducts awareness sessions for farmers on sustainable agriculture, green revolution and globalization. As a member of a local theatre group named, PUKAR, since 2018, Imam also performs as an interactive theatre artiste in rural villages, organises learning events and writes articles on agriculture and farmers’ rights in local languages.

The PKMT was formed in 2008 as a result of a series of discussions among powerless farmers and social and political activists who felt that an organised platform to voice their demands was essential for small-scale farmers facing social and economic constraints.

“We perform plays that enable us to interact with different communities. The theatre plays address issues that are part of the PKMT struggle, including feudalism and the impact of corporate agriculture. As a theater performer, I was selected as a participant in a training tilted, Interactive Theater for Influencing, in July 2019. The training provided technical knowledge and capacity building opportunities on skills required to influence communities to bring about progress in the society. Our skills of script-writing, communications and character-building were further enhanced in the seven-day residential training.” said Imam.

All seven members of the PUKAR theater group participated in the training which gave them networking and experience- sharing opportunities with other like-minded participants. The session on ‘team building’ and ‘inhibition breaking’ helped participants self-assess themselves and understand their pivotal and influential position in society. Participants learnt about stage directions, allowing the audience to grasp every performers’ act and the message they are conveying through their role plays.

“We met with other theater groups from Peshawar, Sindh and Islamabad. All the groups had different interactive skills to perform as we all engage with different kinds of audiences. The members of other groups shared the issues they highlighted through their plays and how they passed on the resolutions,” shared Imam.

On the last day of the training, participants developed action plans to further implement the learning and skills learnt during the training.

“Initially, we would randomly select issues and base our plays on those issues. After the training, we altered our strategy. We now plan a meeting to identify the common issues that are prevalent in the communities through meetings with community members and develop a script for the play accordingly to work together to rectify the challenges people are facing. CWSA has extended support in reviewing the scripts which we plan to avail,” expressed Imam.

A group exercise that engaged the training participants in planning a theater play with other members of the group allowed collaborative learning and practical experience-sharing through coordination among the members. Imam narrated,

“When we acted with other theater performers, we learnt to show strong facial expressions as that also largely impacts the deliverance of the message and not just the dialogues. This joint exercise helped in modifying our acting and delivery gestures in order to have an even stronger impact in the communities we perform.”

Tariq at a school theatre and recreational activity session with Afghan refugee children in December 2019.

“As a Livelihoods Officer in Secours Islamique France (SIF), I am mainly engaged in preparation, design, execution and follow-up of project delivery requirements which includes evaluations, and proposal development. I also provide professional assistance to established cooperatives and also organise technical trainings on business development, food processing, marketing, livestock management and income generating activities for underprivileged communities,” shared Tariq Khan.

Tariq has been working at SIF since 2017, a humanitarian and development organisation that works on WASH, Livelihoods, Child Welfare and awareness raising activities that support the poorest and most vulnerable populations. With over fifteen years of experience in the humanitarian aid sector, Tariq believes raising public awareness enhances community knowledge and helps in changing attitudes and behavior patterns. Tariq has participated in a number of theater plays on awareness issues performed at the community level. Tariq also encourages community members to be part of the plays itself, as he believes the plays and their messages are more effective when people see their own community members performing.

“My purpose to join the Interactive Theater for Influencing training was to improve my immersive theater abilities. Interactive action, particularly drama, successfully highlights the dynamics of conventional management principles, including conflict and negotiation, control and policy, and strategic decision-making. In addition, the seven-day intensive program offered a forum to develop leadership and communications capabilities such as empowering staff, introducing innovative communication strategies and integrating dispute resolution into the organisational practices of the organisation” said Tariq.

Community World Service Asia and partners organised a seven-day residential workshop in October, 2019, that encouraged participating organisations to incorporate issue-based content into an interactive theatre performance and introduced them to methods and techniques that would help them cater to different demographics.

During the training, conceptual clarity and difference was put forward highlighting Cathartic Theater as a play to release emotions such as pity, sadness and fear through witnessing art. The sessions also focused on how theater aids with endorsing community discussions and commitments. Participants were familiarised with the fundamentals of interactive theatre, art, and storytelling as a tool for social awareness.

“The training engaged participants in creative learning on complexities of real-life scenarios. We were involved in conversations that helped us gain different insights from peers and reflections were put on personal experiences.”

After the training, SIF, with the help of Tariq’s new learnings, organised a recreational activity for child welfare in Peshawar and Charsadah districts of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Over a hundred children and youth members participated in the interactive theater performance that shared messages and opportunities for innovation that would help eliminate and address long-standing issues like early marriages, child protection and promoted good health, hygiene and education for all.

“As learnt in the training, we designed the content for the theater before the activity and rehearsed to perform better and efficiently,” shared Tariq, “I felt the change in communicating with the communities. I had a different kind of energy and positive attitude during the performance. I was more confident and vocal.”


‘Theory of Change’ (ToC) has emerged as an important planning tool for development projects in the last decade. With its application not limited to technical use, it provides users guidance to analyze and develop political and management choices. Experts recommend ToC as a tool for political literacy that supports organizations with adopting a reflexive approach towards development.

The ToC facilitates organizations with effective project implementation and with mapping its change processes and its expected outcomes. It is often used in conjunction with the log frame approach as it forecasts expected processes and outcomes that can be reviewed over the time. This allows organizations to assess their contributions to change and accordingly revisit the theory of change. It also helps staff in clarifying and developing the theory as per the needs of the organization or its projects.

Community World Service Asia organized a four-day residential training on ‘Building blocks of Theory of Change’ which was participated by twenty-one humanitarian and development practitioners from eight national organizations. The training was led by Harris Khalique, who is a leading practitioner, advisor, speaker and trainer in the area of social development and human rights. He is the Secretary General of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and a senior fellow with Revets Learning Inc. The training was co-facilitated by Zeeshan Novel, who is also a development professional and rights campaigner with specific expertise in project management, capacity building, emergency response planning, policy research and advocacy.

Held in Murree, the training adopted an interactive methodology, based on practical exercises to achieve effective learning. The initial sessions focused on the basic concepts of ToC, why organizations need it and introducing its essential components. Participants understood the concepts of Result Chain Logic, Developing Impact, Output and Impact Statements and Situation Analysis, its causes and effects.

In a group activity, participants were sensitized about cause and effect through the problem tree exercise where they were asked to identify the problem statement and its results through the result chain concept. Through this exercise, participants learnt to identify the impact of the problems and how to overcome them. The ToC as a strategic planning tool was put forward where its implementation mechanism and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems were studied in detail.

Participants’ Learning:

“The training was very informative and relevant to our needs and expectations. The basics of ToC were thoroughly covered in the training and we, as participants, were able to learn each step to create a theory of change in detail through the participatory approach adopted by the trainers. The group activities helped us get a firm grip on the ToC as per our organizational needs. The management team was cooperative and helpful throughout the four days in Murree.

The training has enabled me to develop a beneficial and convincing ToC for Read foundation which I will construct on my return.”

Zain-ul-Abideen (Deputy Manager) Read Foundation -Islamabad

“As an M&E Manager, I am leading the M&E and program development activities of the organization.  In this regard, the training was much needed to enhance my learnings.  I was confident to develop the ToC plan for our organization when we were asked to on the last day of the training.

The training involved the participants in practical activities which made learning successful in terms of knowledge building.”

Shah Fahad, M&E Manager in Center for Electronics Research & Development (CERD)

“I aim at developing a ToC for my organization when I join back. The training has provided us with relevant guidance on developing an effective ToC to make the activities of the project productive and make change a reality.

The sessions were highly interactive for which I would like to appreciate the CWSA Team. The most interesting aspect of the training were the live discussions between the groups. In conclusion, the workshop was very conductive with excellent and well-designed presentations and discussions.”

Sadia Yousafzai, Project Coordinator in Center for Electronics Research & Development (CERD)

“The practical work and exploration of new things along with developing discussions were all really useful and effective. I believe that the ToC will benefit us by exploring organizational projects and other development initiatives. The guidelines and templates shared in the workshop were efficient and helpful in our field of work.”

Erum Baloch, Country Program Coordinator in Secours Islamique France (SIF)