Q&A: IDPs, Training Needs, Prison Work, Earth Roads, Proposal Writing, Taken Hostage

Submitted by Aid Workers Network on September 10, 2003 - 5:26pm.

Topics included:

  • Internally displaced persons
  • Training needs assessment
  • Prison work
  • Earth roads
  • Preparing a proposal. Assessment done. What next?
  • Becoming a hostage
  • A Logistician's Plea

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


Joseph Chilengi asks, "How far has the international community gone in establishing institutional frameworks for internally displaced persons?" Join the discussion online at Aid Workers Forum


How to assess training needs? Rob Mergenthalerin in Tajikistan has a new member of staff and would like our suggestions on where to start. Join the discussion online at Aid Workers Forum


Edokpa Samuel in Nigeria asks for our suggestions about ways of helping people who are in jail. Do you have experience of working with detainees? Join the discussion online at Aid Workers Forum


Aid Workers Network is supporting colleagues in Liberia with a dedicated help desk run in partnership with UN OCHA and the Humanitarian Information Center (HIC) in Monrovia. For more information visit http://www.humanitarianinfo.org/liberia or email liberia@aidworkers.net



The Public Works Dept. in Botswana taught Andrew to "look after the drainage, and the road will look after itself." David tells us that an all-weather, engineered road costs up to US$20,000/km, but building reliable access for robust small vehicles can be one-tenth of that cost. Chris, Sue, and others provide many websites with information. Among those receiving multiple mentions are the ILO-ASIST and Transport Links (TRL). John suggests contacting the International Forum for Rural Transport and Development. Egbert likes the UNESCO book "Low-cost Roads: Design, Construction and Maintainance." Two people recommend the old but worthwhile "Earth Roads: A practical guide to earth road construction and maintenance," by Jack Hindson. Continue the discussion online at Aid Workers Forum.


Although it seems Western and bureaucratic, most agree that following the logical framework approach (LFA) is essential. Marco tells us it's easy to find on the web; several praise AusAID's guidelines for learning about logframes. Jayne says the LFA "helps demonstrate to donors why a project is worth funding." Sue adds that visualizing a "problem tree" can help to get started: trunk = main problem, roots = cause of problem, branches = problem effects. Find out what donors want from you, and if your proposal is rejected, ask why. Terry says do your homework: find donors who fund your type of project and learn what they want. Then, ask if they're interested in funding you. While finding a donor, look for a proposal mentor. Jane supplies DFID's proposal guidelines, which include explanations of the LFA. Ted recommends 2 books. Sule and others offer websites. Continue the discussion online at Aid Workers Forum.


Brett has some basic pointers: avoid eye contact, don't be a hero, do what your captors tell you. Do nothing to upset or excite them. John suggests planning ahead with books, videos, and supplies. The LURD rebel group held Dave hostage in Liberia. He advises remaining calm and compliant, maintaining a positive attitude and belief in your survival, and trying to make your captors see you as another human being. Scott has been a hostage twice. He says, don't panic, argue, complain, or show excessive fear. MASC Training Services provides security training to NGOs and the media. Joseph, another survivor of captivity, summarizes their information. Your chances of survival increase if you're physically and mentally fit. Carry a photo of your family on you at all times to comfort you if you're captured. The best defense against kidnapping is good, practised security procedures. Continue the discussion online at Aid Workers Forum.


In response to last week's article on logistics being integrated with other parts of a program and systems for ensuring coordinated planning and operations, George sends his thanks and invites us to view the article he wrote on logistics for FMR. Shree Ram asks for our experiences on cooperation formulation. Continue the discussion online at Aid Workers Forum.

Aid Workers Exchange 10-SEP-03 ISSN 1478-5137

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