Thursday, 20 November 2008

Secure Livelihood Meeting 28 November 2008

Here is a draft agenda for meeting next Friday. The meeting will be in the Vol room with lunch in a nearby restaurant. We are a small group but there are two new volunteers, Jonny who arrived in August, and Rosesalie who arrived this month, since we last met in February.

0930 Introductions, objectives etc

0945 Update, 15 minutes each on what we are doing etc

1045 Coffee break

1100 Update continuing, how we can do better.

1200 Value Chains - report by Erka on recent training he attended

1230 VSO website, what info do we want

1300 Lunch

1400 Programme Area Review, what we need to do.

1500 Any other business

Please add anything else you want to discuss, talk about.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

NICE meeting room... John, Sheila, Roel, Erka, Greg, Sandra, Ruth, Virginia... (l-r)

Friday, 20 June 2008

SL session at June Vol Conference

(draft - vols please comment / add by email)
Sitting in one of best meeting venues I have yet experienced, under shady trees on a grassy riverbank in the Mongolian countryside while horses grazed around us, the VSO Mongolia Secure Livelihoods volunteers team with our Programme Manager Erka discussed our work here. We proceeded defiantly low-tech and literally green, without the use of flipcharts or post-it notes.

We had an update from all SL vols present as follows:

Sandra (Howarth), working since March 08 as a teacher trainer at the Mongolian Textile Institute (part of MUST - Mongolian University of Science ad Technology) and teaching textile design students.

Clare (Hill) Foundation for the Development of Wool and Cashmere Enterprises Vocational training provider, working as a marketing adviser, recently a project on wool classing.

Virginia (Gresley) working as a Teacher Trainer at the Foreign Languages Institute.

Jude (Mak), previously working at Engram English College, now developing a project with ITGEL foundation for Satun(?) Reindeer Herders in remote Tsagaan Uur Soum, north of Huvsgul, developing a placement supporting a Tourist Centre and Visitor Centre.

Brian (Watmough) who is working also since March on business planning with Mercy Corps in Sustainable Tourism - gave us an introduction to Value Chain Assessment (see this for example from Sussex University) with which most were not intimately familiar. VCA is becoming increasingly important to provide an overview (big picture) perspective for understanding enterprises in development.

John is an accompanying partner, supporting Particia - and VSO housemate Raj - in Choibalsan, but has been busily involved in vegetable growing and a organising seed bank.

Sheila is still getting established in her eco-tourism placement in temporary accommodation in remote Bayan Ulgii, working with Eagle Hunters and others supporting English language lessons and traditional handicrafts (embroidery) projects. She has no internet access.

Roel has been in place for two months as a Construction Teacher Trainer at the Construction Ministry in UB, working on an Asian Development Bank funded Vocational Training programme, including carpentry, bricklaying plastering etc. October will see a key phase of the project commence for the seven training providers.

Ruth (Richardson) who coordinated the conference, and who previously led a disability access audit of the conference venue, Equal Step Camp, is a Youth for Development volunteer who arrived last August and works supporting Equal Step's work with street children, and is completing VSO's work supporting the Mongolian Women Farmers Association.

Greg (Cowan) is working as an architect teacher trainer at the Mongolian Construction Technology College until August, and besides training architect teachers in methodologies has also recently been working with them on enterprise projects for developing eco-houses and a childrens camp.

Erka (Erdenebileg Batmunkh), the Secure Livelihoods Programme Manager for VSO Mongolia , gave an update, expanding information provided in the conference pack, and about his recent training on Outcomes Based Monitoring.

In concluding the Secure Livelihoods conference session, it was agreed that Brian Watmough would take over from Greg Cowan as the volunteer coordinator for this area.

Rob (van Waardenburg) is also working at the Mongolian Construction Technology College as a Building Engineer Teacher Trainer but was unable to attend.
Witze, now working with Bayanburd Tungul NGO, was unable to attend.
Pip a veterinarian, was also unable to attend.

Participants are invited to add to, comment upon, or correct the above draft. (Greg)

Thursday, 12 June 2008

SL Programme Session at Volunteer Conf 19 June

Secure Livelihoods programme session at the Vol Conference is now scheduled for next Thursday 19 June, 2.00pm-5.30pm

If you have not done so already, please put your thoughts down and send to the group here (eg. as a comment) or by any other means necessary.

As facilitator, I suggest it should be OK using A1 / A2 flipcharts with 4 colours of suitable felt tip pens. Please bring anything else you may need in order to demonstrate or present your agenda item. Any examples of the work you have done / photos you have taken, etc., would be welcome.

Any reports on your work on Mainstreaming Disability in Secure Livelihoods may be incorporated into the session with Nickson Kakiri and I about accessibility and disability in the morning session 9am-10am Thursday 19 June

VSO Mongolia and Secure Livelihoods weblink

Monday, 3 March 2008

SL Network Meeting - The end

And we had to leave this beautiful place.

SL Network Meeting - New PAP

  • Not to include specific Water point project aims
  • Include the word 'sustainable'
  • Should be more focused in order to develop monitoring parameters
  • Should be more specific for revised objectives.
  • Should include transition strategies to phase out existing partners who do not fit the new aims and objectives.
General Points
  • The reference to a pilot construction involvement be removed, as there is not intention to continue with construction even if the pilot is successful. ie needs and exit strategy for existing partners.
  • Serious consideration should be given to supporting TVET short term training offered by private Mongolian companies, both in UB and the country side.
  • The PAP should be reviewed in 2 years. The expertise profile of the SL prog. area will change under the new PAP. It was felt that the present members of the SL prog. area group did not have the background to comment on some of the new proposed interventions.

SL Network Meeting - New PAP, Business support

Focus Service
  • Business structures
  • Management
  • Financial planning and control
  • Communication
  • Human resource management
  • Life skills
  • time management
  • Business attitude
  • Entrepreneurial skills
Targeted Beneficiaries
  • Herder, growers and start up business
  • Improved profitability
  • Access to loans
  • Quality of service
  • Services networking, business to business
  • Customer relations
  • Marketing
  • In formation Technologu