Cies2011 presentation

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South-South cooperation in teacher training. BRAC's experiences in Afghanistan.

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Cies2011 presentation

  1. 1. “When I said to my community that BRAC camefrom Bangladesh, which is another Muslim country,they allowed me to do my work.” (BRAC Field Staff,Afghanistan, personal communication, 2005)“When I was assigned to join as programmemanager of the education programme inAfghanistan, I was told that we are here with amission to help our Afghan brothers and sisters in thefield of basic education and to rebuild theireducational structure sharing our Bangladeshiexperience.” (BRAC field staff, Afghanistan,personal communication, 2005)
  2. 2. Building South-South Partnerships in Teacher Training BRAC in AfghanistanKazi Arif Anwar - OISEMir Nazmul Islam - BRACCIES, May 3rd, 2011Montreal, Canada
  3. 3. Background Preview of paper to be published in Prospects (2011) Primary data collected 2005-6 Updated with new insights from BRAC staff and statistics from BRAC Afghanistan
  4. 4. North-South and South-SouthCollaboration North-South collaboration: dominant paradigm in international development since WW2 Gradually being supplanted by South-South collaboration in developing economies because of   Increased capacity of Southern NGOs   Importance of having “roots” in the community (Lewis, 1999)
  5. 5. Afghanistan since 2001 Not quite “post-conflict” - Warlordism - Fragmented government - Corruption Development organizations and workers associated with unpopular entities such government and allied forces
  6. 6. All players willingly accepted the notion thatAfghanistan was in a post-conflict situation, andthat therefore the role of external actors, includingNGOs, was to support the government. As a result,the existing capacity for addressing humanitarianneed that had been built up since the late 1980sand had successfully weathered the Taliban years(1996-2001), when it represented the only visibleform of the international community’s engagementin Afghanistan, was dismantled under the fallaciousassumption that it was no longer needed. (Donini,2009, p. 3)
  7. 7. Development worker safety inAfghanistan Violence against development workers rose steadily from 2002 onwards 114(18 fatal) incidents total in 2009 (ANSO, 2009)
  8. 8. BRAC  “Biggest NGO you’ve never heard of”  Largest Southern NGO (originated in Bangladesh)  Annual budget of US$ 535 million (73% self-funded)  Works in Health, Education and Microfinance sectors  Has disbursed more than 1 billion in Microfinance loans  Runs 50,000 schools in Bangladesh alone; 1 million student body  Employs 100,000+ worldwide  Present in 17 countries
  9. 9. BRAC in Afghanistan: the first years BRAC arrived in 2002 First instance of expansion outside of Bangladesh Two-fold goal: Provide schools for girls and in the process employment for women (teachers)
  10. 10. Afghanistan and Bangladesh  Large land area   Small land area  Arid, dry climate   Wet, riverine  Ethnically diverse   Ethnically homogenous (98% Bengali)  Linguistically diverse   Linguistically homogenous  Geographically separated population pockets   Densely populated  Socially conservative   Socially progressive (relatively)
  11. 11. The BRAC difference  “White SUV syndrome”  Reduced “economic distance” between BRAC managers and other development workers (Hossain and Sengupta, 2009)  Benefits from perception of originating from a fellow Southern Sunni Muslim nation (Chowdhury et al., 2006)  Managers encouraged to learn local languages rather than English
  12. 12. The problem Severe lack of qualified female teachers in Afghanistan Even when qualified, social restrictions to travel and work apply No national daily – i.e. can’t advertise positions Villages are geographically remote
  13. 13. “Recruiting female staff was one of our majorconstraints because we have to select female stafffrom local community or nearby area. Finding aliterate woman who at least passed the 10th Gradein province like Helmand or Kapisa is very difficult.Even if we find a woman with the appropriatequalifications there is no guarantee that she is goingto work for us.” (Personal communication, 2005)
  14. 14. The solution Teachers as para-professionals Students cannot wait for infrastructure to catch up “Para-teacher” approach reduces qualification standards for teachers so more can be recruited
  15. 15. Criticisms of the para-professionalmodel “Short-term” view Danger of quantity over quality Not a replacement for experienced, trained, certified teachers
  16. 16. Criticisms of South-Southcollaboration Funding may still come from Northern countries/ donors May recreate power differentials of North-South relationships in a different guise
  17. 17. BRAC in Afghanistan: Now Working in all 34 provinces Staff: 3,440 (185 expatriates) Community based schools: 2600   146,000 students, 84% girls Also working in Health and Microfinance sectors
  18. 18. MERCI!

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