Q&A: Translators, Planning, Building Latrines, Soil Measurement, Finance controls, Multi-purpose centers

Submitted by Aid Workers Network on June 4, 2003 - 4:52pm.

Topics included:

  • How to work with translators?
  • Business Plan?
  • Seeking pit latrine alternatives
  • How to measure the dryness of soil?
  • Emergency finance controls
  • HIV/AIDS and multipurpose centers
  • Preventing malaria

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 WORK WITH TRANSLATORS?

Christine Hogan asks for your suggestions on working through interpreters more effectively. http://oldforum.aidworkers.net/messages/116/50.html

BUSINESS PLAN?

For-profits create business plans and conduct project feasibility studies to determine their financial benefits. Sara asks, "Is there such a practice within non-profit organisations or within emergency relief projects?" http://oldforum.aidworkers.net/messages/142/10706.html

SEEKING PIT LATRINE ALTERNATIVES

Rachel De Souza needs to construct pit latrines in a difficult environment. The community of Erigavo, Somaliland, spreads over a rocky plateau (where digging is arduous and costly) and the coast (where reinforcement of sand is costly). What can you suggest? http://oldforum.aidworkers.net/messages/141/10738.html

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Responses

HOW TO MEASURE THE DRYNESS OF SOIL?

Gary suggests using historic data like the Soil-Water Budget tables from Trewartha's modification of the Koppen System for defining climate types. Alex provides some technical definitions and a website that includes instructions for constructing tensiometers. One approach is to use filter paper: let it equilibrate with the soil, then measure its water content. http://oldforum.aidworkers.net/messages/141/10684.html

FINANCE CONTROLS IN EMERGENCY SITUATIONS

Dave shares lessons he learned while tracking finances. Keep your accounting records separate from the cash. Securely fasten your safe to the floor. Using local businesses for money transfers and exchange could turn into money laundering. Try to use local banks. Document all expenditures and keep your records up to date, whether it’s a bag full of receipts or an audited statement. Tim agrees with Dave and adds that keeping your organization’s goal in mind helps when deciding where your money should go. Andy advises planning ahead. He and Save the Children are developing a kit that includes templates for simple cash books, vouchers and funding tracking reports, official documents of the organisation often required for registration and bank account opening. John suggests visiting the World Vision website to see details on their relief competency assessment program. http://oldforum.aidworkers.net/messages/140/10540.html

HIV/AIDS AND MULTI-PURPOSE CENTRES

Bill provides a link to an article about the Jabavu Clinic, which provides community-based HIV/AIDs care and support for families, orphans, foster parents, and caregivers in the Soweto, South Africa, area. Fiona recommends 2 manuals on dealing with HIV/AIDS. One documents how best-practice principles concerning participation, synergy and integration, gender, positive-living and sustainability were identified and applied to HIV/AIDS projects. The other, not yet published, manual is designed to help people plan effective, community-based HIV responses. http://oldforum.aidworkers.net/messages/141/10672.html

PREVENTING MALARIA

Olivier writes of the side effects he experienced after taking the antimalarial drug mefloquine. Two forum posters recommend alternatives. Bibhu tells us indigenous remedies might be best and Mark suggests taking no medicine. Fidele describes a study that shows that most malaria cases don’t require a doctor and can be treated locally. Duncan notes that mosquito resistance to antimalarial drugs is increasing and taking the drugs as a preventive measure will boost mosquito resistance. The article's author responds to acknowledge that there is an ongoing debate about antimalarials. So, he writes, "it is a matter of weighing risk and benefit, discussing options with a medical advisor" and being sensible. http://oldforum.aidworkers.net/messages/258/10723.html

Aid Workers Exchange 04-JUN-03 ISSN 1478-5137

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