Q&A: Emergency water, Reproductive health, DRC, Exit strategies, Energy from Biomass, Interview questions

Submitted by Aid Workers Network on July 2, 2003 - 5:05pm.

Topics included:

  • Emergency water systems
  • Reproductive health in Iran
  • DRC: Where to find information?
  • Exit strategies
  • Energy production from waste products
  • Common questions asked in interviews
  • Reach out and practice participation

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

EMERGENCY WATER SYSTEMS

Martin, in Bolivia, asks for the best approach to installing water systems in poor rural communities in response to an emergency, where there is not enough time to use methods such as PHAST, MPA, or community management techniques. http://oldforum.aidworkers.net/messages/141/10728.html

REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH IN IRAN

Prosh needs help with ideas on how to pitch a reproductive health clinic in Tehran to Iranian officials so that they recognize the need. The clinic could also deal with HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, and violence in families. http://oldforum.aidworkers.net/messages/141/10790.html

DRC: WHERE TO FIND INFORMATION?

Linda asks, "Where can I find information about living and working in DRC?" http://oldforum.aidworkers.net/messages/136/10801.html

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Responses

EXIT STRATEGIES

Before deciding to localize, Kurt advises that it is important to ask, what is the motivation behind the desire to localize? Ramson points out that the moment local staff are employed, the exit strategy has begun. Julia's strategy has been multi-fold: ensure as optimally efficient a delivery system as possible to reduce financial requirements, coordinate funders to reduce duplication of funded programs and activities, and cost-shift to governmental or other funders who have statutory responsibility for supporting costs. Silva and others provide links to documents including IASC guidelines on Exit Strategy for Humanitarian Actors in the context of complex emergencies. http://oldforum.aidworkers.net/messages/124/10726.html

ENERGY PRODUCTION FROM WASTE PRODUCTS

If the volume of waste is large, Phil recommends a gasification project, which would destroy the waste in an environmentally friendly way, produce electrical power, and create heat as a by- product. Paul provides a document on utilizing secondary and renewable resources. Bobby and others list websites that might be useful. Kristof recommends a newsletter, "Energy," from DFID. Ewald and others offer many online publications. http://oldforum.aidworkers.net/messages/141/10730.html

COMMON QUESTIONS IN JOB INTERVIEWS

Francis says volunteer experience is a big help in getting humanitarian work. Peter points out that the people in the recipient country "have equally good academic qualifications, better experience and are cheaper." Thus you should highlight what you have to offer that they don't. Cecile agrees with Peter and adds that team-work ability is important. Johara, an HR manager, focuses on motivation, cultural diversity, adaptability, and professional capacity and experience, including knowledge of humanitarian standards and practices. Terry sketches 3 interview scenarios: inept interviewers (don't be afraid to ask for clarification of a question), competent and prepared interviewers who ask questions designed to uncover your philosophy and personality, and a panel comprising both types. They will be looking for someone who fits into the organizational culture. Jayne notes that interviewers tend to ask interviewees to describe how they would deal with conflicts in the workplace or gain the trust of a hostile community. Ask knowledgeable questions about the organization, showing you investigate things before jumping into them. http://oldforum.aidworkers.net/messages/116/10773.html

REACH OUT AND PRACTICE PARTICIPATION

What does "participation" imply? Essentially, it is the belief that individuals have the capacity to analyse their own reality and take appropriate action, given the opportunity. As aid workers, our main role is that of facilitator. There are a set of tools known as PRA/PLA techniques (PRA = Participatory Rural Appraisal; PLA = Participatory Learning and Action). Alonso adds the logical framework approach (LFA), or logframe, to these tools. The literature on people’s participation in constructing the logframe is on creating or improving practices of a people- centered approach to participation. But how do people perceive their participation given the current practice? Alonso would like some help in finding the answer. http://oldforum.aidworkers.net/messages/258/10793.html

 Aid Workers Exchange 02-JUL-03 ISSN 1478-5137

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