Q&A: Health insurance, Sexual abuse, Sustainability ...

Submitted by Aid Workers Network on May 12, 2004 - 6:39pm.

Topics included:

  • Community-based health insurance scheme
  • Mainstreaming sexual-abuse safeguards into humanitarian programming
  • Sustainability of community-based infrastructure projects
  • Using roundabout pumps
  • Civil society development tools
  • Remotely monitoring contractors in IDP camps

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


Sumit Asthana would like to hear our experiences in executing a community-based health insurance scheme.



Yoma Winder requests advice on mainstreaming prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse into gender-focused work. "I need to come up with solutions for how we improve our own behaviour and safeguard others."



Raushan Amanzhanova in Kazakhstan wants to hear how you achieved sustainability of community-based infrastructure projects.


KENYA: From Virtual Meetings to Face-to-Face

On May 11th, a dozen members of Aid Workers Network from organizations with offices in Nairobi and operating in the Africa region, met over coffee after work to brainstorm and lay down logistics for a bigger meeting. The informative brain storming session was to set pace for a planned forum for Aid workers working either in Kenya or Africa region. The details of the coming meeting will be released soon. What was most exciting in this first meeting was the matching of names to faces because many of us were hitherto strangers, save for the names and email addresses that we occasionally see on the email contributions on the AWN list-serve. Members showed enthusiasm to occasionally move out of virtual meetings and meet off the internet...and smell coffee together!




A Roundabout pump, a merry-go-round attached to a water pump, harnesses children's play. When deciding whether to use one, Matthew advises considering the pump's compatibility with locally available and serviceable pump substructures. Ken recommends consulting "Community Water Supply: The Handpump Option" from the World Bank/UNDP (May 1987) to understand more about community and child dynamics, people's energy output, and mechanical efficiencies. http://oldforum.aidworkers.net/messages/141/14451.html


Karen used the best-practice model in "Multi Stakeholder Processes for Governance and Sustainability: Beyond Deadlock and Conflict." Moeen recently wrote, implemented, and monitored the civil society program Social Mobilization for Iraq. Barthélémy believes that, although civil society organizations should be independent of the government, government must regulate and support volunteer organizations. Civil society in southern countries, particularly, must take advantage of focused training that uses modern tools (for example, the Internet). Many people list websites that have information. http://oldforum.aidworkers.net/messages/141/12350.html


Martin has found that sustainability is more likely when the community has ultimate responsibility for the project. David warns that contracts may be controlled by cartels - you have to know who the bosses are. "Use digital, analogue, pictorial, or audio sources of information (sensitive) as raw data. Or use community management: Benchmark the project; select a management team from a cross-section of the community; train them to gather information; and decide on the supervision process, terms of reference, and reporting processes." Try to adapt methods used by other NGOs, or as Lyria suggests, contract monitoring and evaluation to other NGOs already there or to consulting civil engineering firms. Michael's team set up a national system of management and oversight before international staff evacuated. Personnel skills and productivity are key. Send staff to HQ for necessary training and face time with managers. The particulars of a monitoring-system design depend on whether contractors are local or international; whether any organizational national staff remain; the tasks to monitor; contractor professionalism; availability of local market surveys; and goods availability and quality. Incorporate reporting requirements into contractual agreements; make payments contingent on percentage of project reporting and completion; and ensure local engineering expertise within your organization. A digital camera is a great help. Ian recommends determining baseline information, risks for contractors, and tools for recording service requirements. Define contractor responsibilities, monitoring and reporting, and robust routes for communication. Attempt to verify data from a range of sources: community elders and leaders, health workers, teachers, local government workers, and agency staff visiting service areas as well as from regular, structured meetings with contractors. Include contract incentives to encourage contractors to meet their contractual obligations.


Aid Workers Exchange 12-MAY-04 ISSN 1478-5137

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