The Training centre in Sumgait
The English and the computer courses are running and doing
well with app. 10 participants in the English classes and 15 in
the computer classes.
The activities at the training centre are constantly hampered
by power cuts, 2 to 3 days a week This is a normal situation for
all Sumgait area and investigations show that it is not likely to
change. A purchase of a generator is not possible within the
budget year, but should be considered for next year, if the
Sumgait activities are to continue.
The future of the training centre is still being debated. De
facto the training activities have been divided between Sumgait
and Baku, and the centre is being used as much as possible for
the above mentioned activities, individual training of NGO
members, and seminars for social workers. Larger activities have
been moved to Baku such as joint lectures for staff and NGO
partners, morning English classes, meeting with NGO partners.
DRC is still sponsoring English classes at The British Council
for three members of The Working Group under The Cabinet of
Ministers. The attendance is not satisfactory and this fact has
been taken up with mr. Masanov who has promised to change the
situation. However, there is still room for improvement.
At a meeting with mr. Rustamov further training was offered
selected members from The Working Group, however, we are waiting
for a reply.
At the above mentioned meeting with mr. Rustamov the issue of
training the Executive Committee in Sumgait was discussed. DRC
asked for advice as to what to offer and how to go about it in
order to eliminate past misunderstandings. Mr. Rustamov concluded
that it was doubtful whether the committee needed any training.
So far DRC has not been contacted by neither The Executive
Committee itself nor mr. Rustamov , but DRC has declared a
willingness to look positively at future suggestions.
- UMID Children s Magazine has received additional 2
payments and has issued 2 numbers of the magazine. DRC
receives the agreed to 100 copies for our activity
centres. Possibilities of further minor co-operation are
being looked into. The organisation is also engaged with
the human rights groups of Baku and DRC might have an
interest in combining activities. The partnership
agreement runs till the end of the year.
- Hayat has so far not committed themselves to any further
regional NGO meeting. The latest news DRC has received is
that the Stepanerkert meeting has been postponed to a
future date which might be in July and the venue Baku.
- UMID HSSC
Two new contracts of co-operation have been signed. The first
is a partnership agreement encompassing the IGP activities and
stating the organisational set up.
The second is a three month contract concerning the data base
DRC is establishing (pls see under the IGP section). The
information to be put into the data base is going to be collected
by Umid members. Furthermore 2 Umid members along with one DRC
staff member from each team will be trained in how to use the
data base. The data collection, data processing and the training
is scheduled to be finished in the middle of July.
The intensive English and computer training is on-going with
good results; as is the organisational development assistance.
The current issues discussed and worked with here are to
determine "the DRC contribution apart from funding",
and "how to grow as an organisation" both issues are
not the easiest to determine nor to finalise.
One member from the organisation participated in the first
National Workshop on NGO Development 17 18 March,
sponsored by UNDESA . The seminar focused on the existing NGO
laws in Azerbaijan, the national NGOs role in the development of
Azerbaijan, and the roles of the Women NGOs in the development
process. From the report from our participating staff member it
became clear that two questions were debated at length both
formally and informally: 1. The existing NGO law and how to
co-operate with the government, 2. How to attract donors. It
gives food for thought that actual programme activities and a
discussion of common goals and visions were not up for debate nor
co-ordination. This report matches my first three months
impression of a national NGO sector struggling to be born and to
stay alive, it is these very immediate needs more than any
long-term perspective that preoccupies the majority.
Other NGO activities
The previously mentioned UNHCR meeting on capacity building
was followed up by a voluminous questionnaire which all
participating organisations have filled out and submitted to
UNHCR one month ago. On the basis of this information UNHCR plans
to further facilitate the debate. No new date has been set for
The national NGO INSAN was visited by DRC early in April. The
objective was to start an organisational assessment and to get to
know each other from an organisational and activity point of
view. Two of their members will visit DRC later this month to
visit some of our community centres and to meet our social team
in order to determine whether there is common ground for a future
co-operation in this area. On their side they would like DRC to
sponsor a major data collecting enterprise. DRC has promised to
look at the project proposal and see if it can be combined with
our own data base.
In the middle of April DRC participated in a meeting called by
Helsinki Citizens Assembly on migration issues. Apart from
DRC UNHCR was the only other international organisation to attend
the round table discussion. It was a good opportunity to get to
know each other and to familiarise ourselves with the elements of
the debate which takes place among national NGOs.
In connection with the training of trainers component in both
the Danida funded and the UNHCR funded project DRC has several
times visited the French organisation EquiLibre and their field
staff. The aim of the visits is mutual inspiration and learning
from each other. Along with local staff we have sat in on some
training sessions, and they will do likewise at our forthcoming
seminars for directors, teachers, and masters.
Danish Refugee Council staff
In terms of long term organisational development the staff is
now in the process of implementing some of the training, which is
the difficult and gruelling part: making weekly plans and filling
out the whiteboard with weekly plans and co-ordinating activities
among staff groups and not with the project manager: getting
acquainted with a year planner and deciding on annual leave and
getting it unto the planner; adjusting the budgets and trying to
make ends meet. It is an extremely time consuming exercise
especially for the expatriate staff, who are constantly
monitoring the process and hoped for progress.
Individual sessions are carried out with the accountant, who
is getting familiar with and better at controlling the economy.
Also the teams and the administrative staff receive individual
exposure and support.
All office routines are tentatively put into a system with
fixed staff meetings, teams meetings, financial meetings etc.
this includes reserved days where staff members can close their
doors and write reports or concentrate on the more individual
tasks. Especially the last exercise is proving itself productive
as it regulates an otherwise somewhat chaotic working style.
Likewise we have started using the job descriptions as monitoring
tools for creating responsibility, and getting the job/work done.
On the training side the intensive computer courses are
finished in two weeks, the English training is on-going, both
with satisfactory results.
Initial meetings and ideas have been carried out for the
management training programme. The concept to suit the DRC needs
will be further developed in May; the actual training is
scheduled for June and to last for the rest of the year.
Expatriate DRC Staff
This group of the DRC staff has taken two weeks of survival
azeri and two weeks of Russian. Furthermore they sit for monthly
lectures on current political issues in the region with the DRC
consultant Nizami Guliyev.
There have been many big events in the past two months;
however, the biggest was moving to a new office on 15 March. We
moved in three days without any problems and this includes moving
our warehouses too. The only frustration has been to establish
satisfactory communication lines. This has been solved by buying
two international lines one for the direct phone, and one for the
fax. The repair work is not yet finished, at the moment the men
are working on the roof cum terrace where we hope to welcome
family members on our planned for family day in June.
On 27 March DRC received a visit from the Danish Ambassador in
Ankara. He wanted to familiarise himself with the DRC activities
and ask permission to direct adventurous Danes to Baku and our
office. We spent four very pleasant hours together, where the
staff took turns to introduce the programme, and the project
manager had a final talk with the ambassador before he left.
On the same day in the afternoon DRC held its opening
reception for partners and international organisations. It was
well attended among others by mr. Rustamov, Masanov, and Hassanov
who stayed for almost an hour, the Ministry of Education and
Social Protection were also represented along with local partners
from the technical schools, community centres, and the NGO
community. Later on the internationals arrived among other Lutful
Kabir, UNHCR, NRC, GTZ and others.
DRC is experiencing a steady flow of project visits from
international organisations. They want to visit us, see our
programmes in Sumgait, and share experiences. For a complete
visiting list please see the newsletter.
DRC has participated in a number of what can be termed
organisational visits and meetings. In the middle of March the
OSCE mission to Azerbaijan wanted to meet with DRC. They were
especially interested in the NGO community and the activities
here, and the human rights issues and the question of whether an
ombudsmand might be a step in the right direction for Azerbaijan.
The mission had a Danish member from DRC Copenhagen, Mette
Honore, who found the time to visit the project in Sumgait and
meet with the DRC Azerbaijan office.
On 24 March DRC was called for a meeting with mr. Rustamov.
The aim of the meeting was discussion of the DRC programme. Mr.
Rustamov was briefed on our new UNHCR project, the
ambassador s visit; furthermore training issues were
discussed and settled. A special report on the UNHCR engagement
was required and asked for by mr. Rustamov. The report has been
written and submitted to the government.
On 17 April DRC was visited by Danish Television for a whole
day. The journalist Poul Frank Hansen was making a documentary to
Horisont (a Danish TV programme)
on refugees issues in the former Soviet. He interviewed the
staff and the project manager and visited Technical School No.4
and the skills development courses there. Furthermore he visited
four income generating projects. The programme is sheduled to be
on the air in late May. Two copies of the tape are to be handed
in to DRC Copenhagen.
Technical service has been carried out on all four cars, and
"the green cards" have finally been obtained for the
Toyota and the Nissan. The both local and expatriate staff is in
the process of obtaining proper identification cards.
Unfortunately the security situation for the expatriate staff
has changed for the worse over the last couple of months. The
social co-ordinator happened to park in front of a garage in her
yard. She was not contacted or otherwise made to understand that
she had made a mistake; instead all four tyres of the Toyota were
slashed when she came down the next morning. This is the only
incident against her.
The project manager is also harassed in her yard. The Lada has
been knifed in the tyre four times, and one time someone has
tried to break into the car. More seriously is it that the gas
pipe to her apartment has been turned off once. This is a very
difficult procedure which takes the joint co-operation of two
people, close to the front door: after investigating the incident
with our former office manager we have concluded that it can only
be a conscious and deliberate act.
Furthermore the project manager has been visited by "free
lance police" people dressing up as police men arriving at
night demanding to see documents, and preferably "receive
some assistance" . Looking back at the number of incidents
and the frequency of their occurrence the situation is
unsettling. The issue has been brought up at an interagency
meeting in order to alert the community.
Danish Refugee Council
1. PROJECT OVERVIEW
As a result of the assessment described in the March report
Danish Refugee Council (DRC) has with partners decided to work
not in one location but in three different locations. This has an
effect on most of the implementing procedures which will demand
more manpower hours and duration of time than had the project
been implemented in one location only and relying on a repetition
of the courses. However, it is assumed that the project will
benefit a more needy and ready target group ("needy"
and "ready" compared to the target group description in
the project document), and that the three locations can actually
learn from each other and support each other on a long term
2. DESCRIPTION OF BENEFICIARIES
The selection of participants has been carried out according
to the selection criteria in the two technical schools in
question. The selection board consisted of the director of the
school, one representative from DRC, and one representative from
each Executive Committee in question.
Prior to selection announcements about the project and the
courses were placed in the adjoining hostels for internally
displaced persons (IDP) and in camp no.2 and 3, and spread by
word of mouth by the teachers and masters engaged in the project.
The IDPs have shown a good interest in the courses compared to
the fact that both Danish Refugee Council as well as the project
and the courses are unknown in the region. The actual selection
went smoothly although family members had to be turned away where
for instance three brothers showed up; or very young participants
had to be rejected too due to their age.
The most popular courses are: community service, carpentry and
Selected numbers for each field to start courses in May are:
- Carpentry: 24
- Masonry and bricklayer: 12
- Welding and plumbing: 20
- Electrical installation: 12
- Community service: 24
The will be a last round of selection just before the courses
start for the late comers.Waiting lists in the following fields:
community service, carpentry, and welding.At a later stage it
will be determined if it is possible to carry out extra
courses.Selection procedures for camp number 7 will start in the
end of May
During the selection a transportation problem arose i.e. that
the IDPs from the camps do not have sufficient funds for their
own transportation to and from the courses and therefore can not
participate although they meet the selection criteria. DRC has
agreed to set up a transportation system which will run morning
and afternoon free of charge for the participants who will be
provided with documentation of participation. The solution has
met with approval not least from the female participants.
- IMPLEMENTATION PROCEDURES
The aforementioned special report to Mr. Rustamov has been
written and handed in. Special curricula of three months duration
for each field have been obtained from The Methodological Cabinet
after meetings and consultations have been carried out with their
staff; and a special programme for the community service
component is being put together. The challenge is here to make a
rather theoretical curriculum practical and suitable for the
participants and the reality they are returning to.
The assessment and talks with the Federation has been
finalised concerning the DRC involvement in camp number seven. It
has been decided to start up applied courses in all four
reconstruction fields, and an applied course in community
service.(Please see the work plan)
Integrated into these courses will be a small scale business
course in order to prepare the participants for the continuation
of the project i.e. the income generating component. Since these
courses are applied courses and will focus to an even larger
degree on the practical skills they will be run more like
apprentice workshops than like regular courses with a master and
a teacher and with a strict division of the practical and the
Due to the fact that The Federation is about to receive a new
delegate who is also to work within the field of community
service DRC will await her arrival and co-ordinate our activities
with her end of May or beginning of June.
In order to prepare the participants in camp seven and to
mobilise, and to create awareness of the possibilities of this
project a trip to the DRC Sumgait programme is scheduled for the
middle of May. The Federation is in agreement and the selection
of the participants for the trip will be carried with them.
4. RELATED INPUTS
During the process of equipping the two schools with tools the
Danida funded project has made a contribution of two
combimachines for the carpentry workshops each representing a
value of 2.900 dollars. Both combimachines have been transported
from Sumgait to Sabirabad and Saatli and are now securely
installed and secured.
Likewise the Danida programme has contributed with additional
transport and administration when needed.
5. DESCRIPTION OF ASSISTANCE
1.31 Education: vocational skills training
The repair work in both schools is finished. There has been
satisfactory initiative and participation from the staff from
both schools and the work has been accomplished without any
problems. As Sabirabad Technical School is very dilapidated,
especially the sanitary installations, some additional repair
work might come up. However, for the time being the courses can
Hand tools and other equipment have been bought and will be
distributed to the two schools along with the first round of
material just before the courses start. Where possible the
masters and teachers will participate in the purchasing of
material as a mobilising activity.
Please find distribution lists attached where the ownership of
the tools and equipment is clearly stated.
Material for the courses is in the process of being bought and
1.98 EDUCATION: Other Educational Activities
The masters and teachers who are going to teach the
participants have all been selected in co-operation with the
respective directors. Several meetings have been conducted
between these teachers and the DRC staff to inform about the aim
of the project, the implementing procedures and the training of
The aim of the training of trainers course is to raise
awareness among teachers and masters about more participatory
teaching styles and learner based methodologies.
It is quite obvious from the very first assessment visit that
the teachers and masters are a group of people who have faced
difficult times and have been pre-occupied with day to day living
for a long time. The more relevant it is to mobilise the group,
revitalising their professional backgrounds and creating a forum
for sharing information and discussing educational issues.
The first part of the training of trainers course has
been implemented and the second part will be implemented on 1, 2,
and 3 May with subsequent follow up activities during the actual
vocational training courses and at a follow up seminar at the end
of the courses.
The course is prepared by and facilitated by Katy Ferrar and
Zeynal Hagiyev after initial assessment of the group they were
going to work with.
The focus on the first part was on "Motivation for
Change" and "Learning Styles" where the lay out of
the classroom and the implementing approaches reflected the
content of the sessions and the methodologies up for debate.
The course was officially opened by Saatli Executive Committee
whose representative also participated for half a day on the
first day. Furthermore the two directors participated and gave
their full support.
All masters and teachers participated and there was a
genuinely open and friendly learning atmosphere with a
satisfactory and good level of participation from both men and
The seminar was also an opportunity for DRC to further explain
the aims of the project and to clear possible misunderstandings.
1.99 EDUCATION: Sector Support/Management
The UNHCR team is working very well and has shouldered the
difficulties met in a constructive way. The project
implementation has not suffered from the absence of a steady
The new expatriate is Lone Clausen. She has 15 years of
experience with project implementation and project management.
She will arrive in Azerbaijan on 11 May and will be introduced to
her new work area directly in Sabirabad and Saatli after a short
organisational introduction here in Baku.
- Ulla Fomsgaard
- Project manager
- Danish Refugee Council