Q&A: Soil measurement, Finance controls, Multi-purpose centers, Funding for training, Humanitarian operations, Rights

Submitted by Aid Workers Network on May 21, 2003 - 4:46pm.

Topics included:

  • How to measure the dryness of soil?
  • Emergency finance controls
  • HIV/AIDS and multipurpose centers
  • Where to get funding for training?
  • Setting up humanitarian operations
  • Rights based approaches
  • Humanitarian Mapping

Can you offer any insights or pointers to useful information/contacts on these topics? Thank you.

Responses to the previous questions are summarised below. Please continue the discussions online at Aid Workers Forum or e-mail exchange@aidworkers.net

New Questions

HOW TO MEASURE THE DRYNESS OF SOIL?

Gerry Delphin asks, "What kind of instruments could we use for the measurements of the dryness of the soil?" He's working in Haiti and needs to know the exact moment when plants need water. http://oldforum.aidworkers.net/messages/141/10684.html

FINANCE CONTROLS IN EMERGENCY SITUATIONS

Diana Landsman is interested in issues related to finance controls in emergency situations. Does anyone have examples of good practices?  http://oldforum.aidworkers.net/messages/140/10540.html

HIV/AIDS AND MULTI-PURPOSE CENTRES

Paresh Motla is looking for concrete experiences from anywhere on setting up multi-purpose centres or one-stop shops which offer help and treatment on violence and abuse and HIV/AIDS? http://oldforum.aidworkers.net/messages/141/10672.html

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Responses

WHERE TO GET FUNDING FOR TRAINING?

Jerry used a career development loan from a UK bank to study for an MA in Development Studies. "An alternative is to take a Masters by distance learning from an Australian university.... They are excellent and a lot cheaper than UK- or US-based programmes." Rather than going for an MA, Francesca's idea is to take short specialist training courses. Richard's advice includes looking at a course's cost per month instead of the total cost. If it's still too high, ask the institution to reduce the cost. Some employers share the cost if you share knowledge with the team. Kamran describes the World Bank and Japan's scholarship program. The Commonwealth Foundation helps mid-career NGO leaders and others from developing Commonwealth countries to attend courses, workshops, and conferences. http://oldforum.aidworkers.net/messages/116/375.html

SETTING UP HUMANITARIAN OPERATIONS

Fiona describes four books: "Engineering in Emergencies," edited by Jan Davis and Robert Lambert; "Complex Humanitarian Emergencies," by Mark Janz and Joann Slead; "The Sphere Project," by Isobel McConnan; and "The Oxfam Handbook of Development and Relief," by Deborah Eade and Suzanne Williams. Francesca seconds the recommendation of the Sphere handbook. It's free at www.sphereproject.org. Other online resources include several UNHCR publications, such as the UNHCR Handbook for Emergencies. Mark recommends it and also OFDA's Field Operations Guide: "One of the most compact and comprehensive reference guides for the early stages of an emergency response." http://oldforum.aidworkers.net/messages/124/10675.html

RIGHTS-BASED APPROACHES

Jo-Anne knows of "HREA's on-line human rights training programmes" (www.hrea.org). Fiona mentions the book "Development and Rights," edited by Deborah Eade. Clare's organization (the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative) has a report on poverty eradication in the Commonwealth. It advocates a rights-based approach to development and is online. Peter says the book from Save the Children (Sweden) and UNICEF, called "Children's Rights ... Turning Principles into Practice," is "a very good read." http://oldforum.aidworkers.net/messages/142/387.html

Humanitarian Mapping: 'Eyes For The Humanitarian Community'

Alex has developed and improved GIS systems and shares his online maps for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, and the West Bank and Gaza. Julian warns, "If your organisation cannot provide you with a properly developed security plan, you should think very hard about the kind of support you may receive whilst in the field." Routes should be clearly defined, don't take short-cuts, and use roads that have a security clearance. Vitor uses an online "simple handy Mozambique map." http://oldforum.aidworkers.net/messages/258/10696.html

Aid Workers Exchange 21-MAY-03 ISSN 1478-5137

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