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CWSA

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In a European Commission (EC) initiated conference on ‘Evaluation in hard-to-each areas’, Hur Husnanin, Impact, Results and Learning Manager at YCare International[1] presented a well-researched report on gathering, analyzing and disseminating evaluative evidence on project impact generated by using mobile phones and tablets in rural settings. This evidence was gathered in some of the most hard-to-reach areas of under-developed and conflict-affected countries using innovative methodologies to conduct evaluations.

As Pakistan is ranked among countries of Fragility Conflict and Violence (FCV) in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Fragility Framework of 2018, Hur shared some of his findings from his visit to Pakistan as well. He talked about his experience of using mobile based technology for assessment of one of YCare and CWSA’s livelihoods project[2] that focused on Economic Empowerment. Hur’s use of the Sprockler[3] application and assessment methodology which lead to successful evaluation results was explained in detail in his presentation. He explained how Sprockler’s online tools helped him develop an interactive and user-friendly report to show the project’s impact. The application’s bi-pole and tri-pole question structure and visualization of the story element was presented to the audience at the seminar.

Hur explained the implementation of the Frontline line SMS software as a participatory monitoring mechanism applied as an innovative experiment in the livelihoods project. The IEC material specially developed for the mechanism (translated into local language, Sindhi) was also displaced along with some quotes of community members who used the Frontline SMS system as part of the monitoring process.  This proved to be a very successful monitoring activity.

Community World Service Asia had quoted best examples from their evaluation process of the project through assessment workshops. These best findings were then validated by Hur through interactions with local communities at different locations of Umerkot. Through these meetings, the community members were given a chance to review the findings and share their feedback. Hur expressed,

It was a transparent and open opportunity for the participants either to validate their sharing or clarify it if it was misunderstood.

He called it a

proper closing of evaluation learning loop.

This has proved to be a successful model of verifying evaluation and monitoring results and we plan to utilize this for future project assessments as well.


[1] Ycare is a Livelihoods & Women empowerment program partner of Community World Service Asia

[2] The livelihoods project titled “Increasing financial resilience and economic empowerment” in Umerkot is implemented by Community World Service Asia and supported by YCare International and UKAID.

[3] Sprockler is an innovative new storytelling research tool to make sense of what happens in organizations and communities.

I raise up my voice – not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard. We cannot succeed when half of us are held back.

Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani activist and youngest Nobel Prize laureate

Women’s Day is an international event that celebrates women’s achievements and calls for global gender equality. It has been observed since the early 1900s and is now recognized each year on March 8th.

The theme for this year’s Women’s Day, Think equal, build smart, innovate for change, focuses on inventive ways to promote gender equality and empower women, in areas of social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure. To achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 5 on Gender Equality, it is first essential to understand the barriers that women and girls face on the way to progress and change and what support can be provided to them to overcome these challenges. This will be followed by designing and implementing deliberate steps to ensure that no woman or girl is left behind in the flight to success and progress.

On this Women’s Day in Pakistan, we are celebrating the extraordinary work and effort of some ordinary, yet special, women who are leaving their footprints of change, innovation and development in the area of gender equality.

Nimra, dropping her elder sister to the academy.

Nimra, driving out gender stereotypes in the heart of rural Sindh

Nimra Shaikh, a BBA student at the University of Sindh, is changing the mobility trends of women in Mirpurkhas district in Sindh Province.

The area I reside in is very conservative. If women are provided with education, it is considered more than enough for them. However, my father has been my source of encouragement towards letting me live my life to the fullest. His main priority for me was not only getting me educated but ensuring that I participate in extra-curricular activities as well. I ride a motorbike and now I am learning to drive a car. I wish to join The Pakistan Air Force one day. In the near future, I will be appearing in the initial test for Pakistan Air Force. When other girls in my university see me riding a bike, they approach me and ask me to teach them how to ride it too. I also drop my elder sister to her academy sometimes as well. In addition, whenever my father needs a drop somewhere I am always up and ready for it. Women can progress and shine in any field they desire if they are given equal opportunities. Moreover, the prominent role of family members in support of their daughters, sisters, wives encourage oneself to achieve the impossible. I hope to one day make my country proud.

Sajida is motivating many women in remote villages to step up and spread awareness.

Sajida, pioneering health awareness for the women of village Ranta in Thatta

Sajida, a 41-year-old member of the Health Committee[1] in Ranta village, has been an active participant of trainings and capacity enhancement exercises in the area.

With a below average literacy rate in most remote villages of Thatta, Sajida has taken it upon herself to conduct health sessions in the local language for the women of Ranta. She raises awareness among women on basic health rights and practices so that these rural women can lead to fulfilling and healthier lives. Sajida’s enthusiasm to learn, teach and lead led her to become the Community Resource Person of Ranta for a Cash Assistance project, implemented by another national non-governmental organization.

Women are now considering family planning for the betterment of their health and visiting the MNCH[2] in Ranta for advice and treatment,

positively added Sajida.

[1] A group formed by villagers who provide sessions on health education.

[2] Health centre established by Community World Service Asia

Sajida conducting a health session for the women in her village.
“The future is exciting. Let’s build a gender-balanced world.” #Balanceforbetter is the official campaign slogan for this year’s International Women’s Day. So our partners, community members and staff put their hands out and STRIKE THE #BalanceforBetter POSE to make International Women’s Day THEIR day – and are doing what they can to truly make a positive difference for women everywhere.

Hurmi, an agent of change and gender equality in Umerkot

A resident of Haji Chanesar village in Umerkot, Hurmi is the Vice President of the village Steering Committee and a community leader since 2015.

When I started working as a community leader, I realized that the people in these rural communities are still living with an ultra-conservative mindset, where living by caste systems was a firm way of life. Our community group convinced a family of a 16-year-old girl of delaying her marriage for three years. We were able to do that after many discussions and informational meetings with the family as they were quite rigid with their decision and thought there was nothing wrong with a girl marrying at that age.

Hurmi delivers countless awareness-raising sessions that promote girls’ education and discourage early and child marriages.

Women easily discuss their problems with us. I am happy when I help others to live a better life, especially when daughters are treated well. Now that we have been given a chance to live a better life, we must walk forward together to build a progressive society instead of letting each other down. I wish to see a society where all girls are educated and there is equality in every field.

Saleemat shows her support for #BalanceforBetter

Saleemat, endorsing performing arts to promote human dignity

A recent launch of the Sphere Handbook 2018 through a theater performance in Umerkot motivated Saleemat, a 40-year-old resident of Mandhal Thakur village, to form a theater group, consisting of both men and women for awareness raising and learning sessions.

The villagers were very surprised to hear my idea. I encouraged the villagers in a different way. I told them that we have limited access to movies and dramas. We remember the learning from the Sphere Handbook theater performance as it was educative and entertaining at the same time so we could use a similar platform. Through these plays, we can sensitize rural communities on various topics and issues that they are unaware of and can also become a source of entertainment and enjoyment for the people of our village. This will help in supporting the rural communities to progress and bring a positive change in their mindsets. Today, our theater group has ten members, including four women and six men. We will be performing 22 plays in 14 remote villages of Umerkot to sensitize people on the disadvantages and consequences of early and child marriages, benefit of girls’ education and on the importance of women’s role in decision-making.

Saleemat also plans to promote the Sphere Handbook 2018 edition in each of her plays.

The people residing in remote communities will be aware of some guidelines derived from the Sphere Handbook 2018 that guides the CSOs[1] to use the minimum standards to protect the rights of all groups of society and ensuring their inclusiveness and protection. Moreover, they will know how their needs can be catered to, especially of women, children and most importantly of the differently abled members in the community who are otherwise ignored.

[1] Civil Society Organizations

The Mandhal Thakur Theater group engaged in a training for theater groups.

Currently our theatre group is called, Mandhal Thakur Theatre Group, but we are thinking of a more creative name now.

Members of Mandhal Thakur Theater group, Chandi and her husband, Mohan, calling for #BalanceforBetter
Marvan striking a pose for #BalanceforBetter

Marwan, handcrafting her way to empowerment and independence

Marwan was living a quiet life in Haji Chanesar village in Umerkot.

One day in early 2016, my husband encouraged me to join a vocational centre set up under a livelihoods project of Community World Service Asia. Though I joined the centre reluctantly, my experience there changed my life. I learnt more than I could ever imagine and in return of my dedication and hard work, I was selected as the Quality Assurance Supervisor at the centre. As an artisan, I created vibrant apparel products and home accessories and started to support my family through my earnings. Today, I am proudly working as a professional trainer for a provincial organization at a local vocational centre in Umerkot. I earn PKR 15,000 monthly (Approx. USD 107) and am supporting my husband in contributing for my children’s education and household expenses.

Marwan never thought she would be working as a professional and independent woman.

On this special day for women, I want to call out to all women in the rural communities (such as mine) to come out and work for yourself, support your family and contribute in the progress of the society. Do not be afraid, we are in this together.

There are many other women like Nimra, Sajida, Hurmi, Saleemat and Marwan, who are stepping up and working their way towards innovating for change. Today is a global celebration of women’s achievements and a call to action to accelerate gender parity around the world. Let us together celebrate every act, big or small, of women’s courage and determination!

Are you a Quality and Accountability practitioner? If yes, this is your opportunity to ensure humanitarian and development quality and accountability is strengthened and your skills and standards are polished! If not, you can still help build the network: Sponsor a colleague! Can you and your organization support a professional from a national organisation you work with to join this Training of Trainers?

This event is a unique opportunity for development and humanitarian aid workers across borders who have been leading in promoting and implementing approaches for enhanced collective Q&AAP to discuss and update on the latest developments, and equip them for further dissemination and implementation.

The attached brochure provides more details on the training content and logistics itself. If you wish to nominate any person(s) from your own organization or from among your partners for this event, kindly fill this online application OR you can also register by completing the downloadable application form. Please ensure to send the filled form to shaprograms@communityworldservice.asia.

Please click on Training Package to download Brochure, Invitation Letter and Application Form.

Training Package

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