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FINAL PROCEEDINGS REPORT AIA-NGO-WFP-CAII WORKSHOP FOOD AND EDUCATION IN THE RECONSTRUCTION OF AFGHANISTAN February 2002 Crown Plaza Hotel Islamabad, Pakistan Prepared by: Bronwen Morrison Creative Associates International Inc Wisconsin Ave. NW, Suite 700 Washington DC USA Prepared for: Basic Education and Policy Support (BEPS) Activity US Agency for International Development Contract No. HNE Creative Associates International Inc. Prime Contractor TABLE OF CONTENTS I. Introduction 1 II. Background 2 III. Workshop Objective, Participants and Organizers 3 IV. Workshop Topics for Discussion/ Proposed Agenda 4 V. Workshop Discussion: The Objective and the Program Agenda 5 VI. VII. VIII IX. Review of the Relevance of Food-Assisted Education in Afghanistan: Key Lessons from The NGO/PVO Experience 7 Background, Needs and Priorities: Afghanistan Interim Administration, Ministry of Education. 9 Other Donors: UNESCO and UNICEF. Education Activities and Plans. 10 Overview of the World Food Programme: EMOP Strategy and Plans. 12 X. NGO Presentations of Current Activities 19 XI. Results 27 XII. Next Steps and New Beginnings 29 XIII. Annexes: 30 A. Specific Agenda 31 B. List of Participants 33 C. The Emergency Operations Plan (EMOP) of the World Food Programme: A Synopsis 37 D. UNICEF Summary Statistics: Teachers, Students and And Schools, By Province. 39 E. Memorandum of Understanding Between WFP and MoE 41 Final Proceedings Report AIA-NGO-WFP-CAII Workshop Food and Education in the Reconstruction of Afghanistan February Crown Plaza Hotel, Islamabad, Pakistan I. INTRODUCTION The civil war and desperate humanitarian situation in Afghanistan has severely limited human capacity development over the past 23 years. The human development indicators for Afghanistan are among the worst in the world, and the fighting has deprived more than a generation of even a basic education. There has never been a complete or accurate national census and estimates of key development indicators vary widely. According to best estimates in 1997, school enrollment was estimated at 34% in urban areas, and only 6 % in rural areas. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) reports the literacy rate in Afghanistan as the sixth lowest in the world, with only 4.7 % of females over 15 years old able to read. While there should be no illusions that Afghanistan s educational system will be rehabilitated and modernized through anything but careful, culturally sensitive, long term efforts over many years, a rebirth of education, especially for women and girls, is already beginning through the efforts of the Afghan people themselves. These indigenous efforts are extremely important and must receive special attention in any effort to support and improve the state of education under the new Afghanistan Interim Authority (AIA). To support and build on the indigenous early efforts to bring education back to life, PVOs and local Afghan NGOs that have continued to work on the ground in that country over many years currently offer the most logical avenue for initial external assistance in education. They have a continuity of experience, the credibility and the contacts. There is also, however, a recognition among these organizations that their own coordination and collaboration among themselves and with the AIA Ministry of Education (MoE) will be essential in the early steps towards effectively rehabilitating education in Afghanistan, as an overall emergency response mechanism involving supply of food takes shape. Individual bi-lateral and multi-lateral donors have begun to unveil and initiate education support programs for 2002 and are looking to ensure effective coordination with other donors, their implementing partners and the AIA. WFP, building upon their recent emergency food distribution program, released their Emergency Operations Plan for Food-Assisted Education in early March UNICEF is set to start a Back to School program in mid March 2002 and UNESCO has an extensive series of teacher training workshops scheduled to commence in April The workshop intends to address the need for the AIA, donors and PVO/NGOs to establish direct dialogue mechanisms in order to improve coordination for the new official school year to commence on March 22, The workshop was also designed to address the changed circumstances of PVO/NGO community that now 1 must develop working relations with a greater range of international actors and most importantly with an internationally supported and viable host government. II. BACKGROUND A Brief History of NGO Involvement in Afghanistan Afghans, dissatisfied with experiments in communism, had been arriving as refugees in Pakistan since With the Soviet invasion of 1979, the number of refugees began to reach newsworthy proportions. MSF (Doctors Without Borders) and similar NGOS specializing in provision of emergency medical aid, were the first to arrive, and they were soon followed by a variety of European and Islamic NGOs. In 1985, the establishment of the US government aid program brought American NGOs to the scene. During the 15 years that followed, Afghan NGOs became additional actors. 1 In 1980, the NGOs abandoned the pretence of being non-political and stood staunchly against the Soviet invasion. Initially, they managed their cross-border aid delivery through mujahedin commanders to resistance-controlled areas. While the aid assisted the survival of target populations, it was fraught with a myriad of obstacles and corruption as there were only a few commanders genuinely committed to or logistically capable of channeling the aid. Frustrated by an inability to reach their intended beneficiaries, and showing the flexibility and innovation that being free spirits who were relatively independent allows, certain of these NGOs began to develop their own capacities to reach and serve communities and manage effective aid effectively. 2 Large amounts of donor funds, approximately 250 million dollars from the US Government alone, were channeled into Afghanistan and to refugee camps in Pakistan between This meant that serious NGOs were funded to the limit of their operational capacities. The number of Afghan-managed NGOs mushroomed. Whatever the realities of NGO aid provision inside Afghanistan in the 1980s (existence of some briefcase NGOs ), many observers agree that it was chaotic. In 1989, when the last Russian troops left Afghanistan, more NGOs began to set up permanent operations inside Afghanistan. NGO coordination bodies formed, ACBAR for Peshawar, Pakistan-based groups, and SWABAC, for Quetta, Pakistanbased groups. Due to outbreaks of fighting between mujahedin groups, NGOs curtailed plans to establish head offices in Afghanistan and settled for sub-offices. Travel between provinces and districts was dangerous and permission to implement programs was often a matter of which NGO could pay the most to the local commander for the privilege of work. 3 The status of Afghanistan as a failed, fragmented or collapsed state, or a complex and/or institutional emergency continued under the reign of the Taliban in the 1990s. The UN continued to have operational and procedural difficulties in carrying out its 1 Ibid 2 Antonio Donini, The Bureaucracy and the Free Spirits: Stagnation and Innovation in Relationships Between the UN and NGOs, Third World Quarterly, Vol 16, No 3, The Role and Importance of NGOs in Afghanistan, an ACBAR Study for the World Bank, Nov mandated role to work with the central and recognized government. NGOs filled the gap as they represented the only realistic and available channel for funds. Consequently, NGOs took on quasi-governmental roles, particularly in the provision of health and educational services, but also in the provision of large-scale water supply and agricultural assistance. 4 III. WORKSHOP OBJECTIVE, PARTICIPANTS AND ORGANIZERS. A. Objective The objective of the PVO/NGO-WFP-CAII Workshop was to: establish partnering models, implementation principles, goals and modalities for food-aid related and other education activities in Afghanistan during the emergency relief and reconstruction period. B. Participants A total of 19 organizations (14 international PVOs and 5 local Afghan NGOs) joined representatives of the Afghanistan Interim Administration Ministry of Education and the donor community (including bilateral and multilateral development agencies) for a three-day workshop held in Islamabad during February Deputy Minister of Education, Mr. Moien Marastyal, and Chief of Teacher Training, Mr. Abdul Jabar, represented the Afghanistan Interim Administration s (AIA) Ministry of Education (MoE). The local Afghan NGO representatives included: CHA (Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance) PSD (Partners for Social Development) Shuhada SWABAC (South West Afghanistan Baluchistan Association for Coordination) an umbrella group comprised of 50 international and national agencies, PVO and NGOs operating out of Quetta, Pakistan. ACBAR (Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief) an umbrella group of agencies, PVOs and NGOs operating out of Peshawar, Pakistan. Due to unforeseen constraints, ACBAR was unable to send a specific representative of its education sub-committee but was represented by participating members. The international PVO representatives included: ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency) Agha Khan/Focus Catholic Relief Services CARE (Kabul) Goal (Ireland) (present during the final day of the workshop) GTZ Basic Education for Afghan Refugees IRC Islamic Relief (UK) Save the Children (USA) 4 The Role and Importance of NGOs in Afghanistan, An ACBAR Study for the World Bank, Nov Swedish Committee for Afghanistan Norwegian Afghan Committee Norwegian Church Aid Norwegian Refugee Committee World Vision (Japan) and representing Japanese consortium of NGOs World Vision (Herat) The donor, bilateral and multilateral representatives included: CIDA/PSU DFID GTZ Berlin and Islamabad Embassy of Sweden UNESCO UNICEF Afghanistan UNICEF representative of a multi-donor and multi sector education assessment team USAID/OFDA WFP Rome, WFP Afghanistan* including from Afghanistan area offices (Kabul, Hirat, Faizabad, Jalabad, Kandahar), and WFP Islamabad. *WFP Afghanistan s country office is temporarily located in Islamabad. C. Organizers Creative Associates International Inc. (CAII), through its USAID-funded Basic Education Policy Support (BEPS) activity, teamed with the World Food Programme (WFP) to conduct the three-day Food and Education Workshop for Afghanistan Reconstruction. CAII provided the accommodation for 20 participants, logistic and organizational support, a conference facilitator, Dr. Nat Colletta, and is responsible for the final report and evaluation. WFP selected and invited the participants, provided accommodation for select participants, covered registration and conference fees, local administrative support, local and international travel support and costs for select NGO representatives. Initial conceptual support for the conference came from Catholic Relief Services, CARE, Save the Children USA, World Vision, ADRA and WFP Rome. IV. WORKSHOP TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION/ PROPOSED AGENDA. A. Key Topics for Discussion Background and Needs/Priorities AIA/MoE; Review of Relevant Food-Assisted Education, Education and/or Nutrition activities in Afghanistan and elsewhere: o Key lessons learned from NGO/PVO experience The Donor Perspective: o UNICEF (Back to School Program); o UNESCO (Teacher Training and other initiatives); and o WFP (Operating and Food Security Conditions); Presentation of WFP Emergency Operations Plan (EMOP): 4 o Focus on Food for Education components including objectives, guidelines, criteria, etc; Discussion of partnership arrangements and programmatic integration of education, including food-assisted education and beyond. B. Specific Agenda Please see Annex A V. WORKSHOP DISCUSSION: THE OBJECTIVE AND THE PROGRAM AGENDA. A. Welcome and Introduction After an initial welcome and brief introduction to the workshop objectives, Dr. Nat Colletta introduced His Excellency Moien Marastyal, the AIA Deputy Minister of Education, and Mr. Jabar Nazir, the AIA MoE Chief of Teacher Training. In his brief address, the Deputy Minister stated that Afghanistan s system of education was destroyed during the Soviet invasion and remained in a state of ruins until December 22, 2001 when the AIA was established. He stated that the AIA welcomes the opportunity to outline its problems and needs and how the PVO and NGO community can help the MoE. Mr. Nazir followed with a brief history of education in Afghanistan and also welcomed the opportunity to address the obstacles the MoE faces. Mr. Nazir stated that during the previous century, Afghanistan was cut off from the rest of the world until the reign of the former King. Under the King, primary and intermediate schools were promoted. He signaled that since the Soviet invasion, every field of life has been badly damaged due to the conflict perpetuated over the past two decades. Mr. Jabar said the MoE is pleased to have donors and countries standing by Afghanistan. He ended his remarks by stating that Afghans and others easily express the current problems but encouraged all to work to find viable solutions. The AIA MoE remarks were followed by brief introductions by all the participants. B. Discussion of Workshop Objective and Program (1) Objective In response to a concern by Save the Children US that the objective to better coordinate education related programming would be duplicative of current mechanisms, Arlene Mitchell, WFP Chief of the Feeding Support Unit in Rome, outlined the history behind the organization of the three-day workshop. She stated that the origin of this idea to hold a workshop on food and education was born by exchanges between a few US NGOs (Catholic Relief Services, CARE, among others) and WFP. She stated that these NGOs did not want to focus on food-assisted education exclusively but also wanted to address long-term needs with the Ministry of Education and more specifically address what needs to happen after the emergency food aid transition. She indicated that WFP does not intend or want to duplicate existing education coordination mechanisms (ACBAR and SWABAC education subcommittees). WFP's main focus is to explore how to best work together with food aid as a tool for education. More specifically, WFP wants to discuss the content of and methods to partner for the soon-to-be released World Food Programme EMOP, which is planned to cover the period of April to December However, WFP 5 understands that their main issue of food education clearly needs to be placed in an overall context. Ms. Mitchell indicated the need to address methods for two main sub objectives: Filling the gap between the education authority and PVOs and NGOs to clarify how food is distributed, how to find students, and identify correct mechanisms; How to bridge emergency food-assisted education with the long-term education of MoE objectives. The IRC representative stated that there has been good coordination in education (and in general) for the past 7 years and it will be important that the PVO/NGO/Donor community does not derail the current coordination mechanisms. It will be important that this process feeds into the advancement of the existing mechanisms (ACBAR and SWABAC). The CRS representative requested that the conference address what food can be expected to do for education and what is cannot do. He indicated that there seems to be a wide variance of understanding of what food can and cannot do for education programming. (2) Workshop Program After agreement was reached on the aforementioned points, facilitator Nat Colletta presented an overview of the revised agenda for the participants consideration. The remainder of the opening Sunday afternoon would include a discussion on issues/concerns related to food-assisted education. The first full day of the conference would include a presentation by the AIA Ministry of Education on the needs and priorities; a review of relevant food-assisted education/general education programming and key lessons learned by donors UNICEF and UNESCO; a presentation of the WFP EMOP; current activity presentations by participants; discussion of partnership arrangements and program integration on education including food-assisted education; and presentation to the donors of workshop findings. A clarification on the desired content of the donor presentation resulted in the following scope: Are we at a point in partnerships on food-related education programs? Are we at an impasse with WFP and NGOs on the EMOP? Presentation of NGO activities and MoE priorities. Summary of meeting results. A request was made to the MoE that the priorities listed would be conducted by region. 6 VI. REVIEW OF THE RELEVANCE OF FOOD-ASSISTED EDUCATION IN AFGHANISTAN: KEY LESSONS FROM THE NGO/PVO EXPERIENCE. In response to the request to discuss concerns and issues of food-assisted education programming, the facilitator opened a brainstorming session to list the main issues and concerns of related to this topic. The group noted the following points and needs for further discussion: Food for Education is not just confined to school feeding. Food for Education also includes Food for Work - reconstruction of schools (WFP). There is a need for Food for Work that addresses school teachers, school cleaning staff and street cleaning staff (MoE). Problem with the concept of food as an incentive for education there is no need in Afghanistan to provide incentives for students to come to school (as they are already motivated to attend) and food compensation for teachers does not address the critical issue of provision of a sustainable salary (Swedish Committee for Afghanistan). Food education programs have already been conducted by WFP in Afghanistan. In 1999, WFP assisted schools in the Northern Alliance region. (WFP Jalalabad) There are no salaries or plans for quick provisions of salaries in Jalalabad. The driving factor to provide food for work to teachers is to provide food in and of itself and not as an incentive. There is no hope for any other source for salaries. Children and adults are suffering and require food for survival. There is widespread evidence of stunted growth. (WFP Jalalabad). There is a danger that food will be sold for cash. Early marriage of young girls is prevented by the provision of food to schools. Since the girls are guaranteed food at school, they are not married off early to avoid having to feed another mouth. (WFP Jalalabad). Afghanistan faces emergency measures and not all of food-for-education measures are meant for long- term development programming. Families are not able to provide clothes/supplies to their children for school so they do not send them to school unless there is food assistance (MoE, Chief of Teacher Training). Children will be able to sell half of their portions of take-home food which will allow the children and family to have money for transport and other family needs (MoE, Chief of Teacher Training). Due to the severe drought problems, food-for-education will minimize the problems of drought. Food-assisted education is important as the food helps to provide needed energy to increase children s attention spans for improved learning. (WFP Islamabad) What are plans for the long term? (Norwegian Afghan Committee). Long and short-term plans were considered at Bonn. The priority for the MoE is to concentrate on the short-term first five-year plan. (MoE, Chief of Teacher Training). Long-term planning is a school finance issue that addresses the capability of a country to raise revenue and how to change revenue over to state expenditures for schooling. This issue is not within the scope of the PVO/NGO community. 7 There is now a need to focus on early needs so Afghanistan can later move on to larger development issues. (Facilitator Nat Coll
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