In order to ensure better outcomes for children in the community we will first conduct a needs assessment along with an assessment of existing assets, skills, and resources. We will take a community-based approach and train community members to conduct the assessment. Our next step will be to complete a sound market analysis to see if PK’s timber and mineral resources could be an income generator for the community. The market analysis would also identify other relevant or growing markets for products and services. We will then develop a program design working with the various stakeholders, which takes into account findings from both the market analysis as well as the needs/resources assessment. Monitoring and evaluation will be a key component of all projects. In addressing the needs of young children, adolescents, men, and women we will be sure to take cultural and social norms into account in order to ensure the safety and well being of the most vulnerable members of the community. Due to the discrimination and violence faced by returnees, we feel it would be best not to target based on returnee status, but rather based on need. Denying services based on returnee status could potentially increase conflict between the two groups.
To address the issue of low school attendance, we will provide incentives such as school lunches. Additional family rations could be provided to girls in an effort to increase the particularly low attendance of girls in the community. Given that returnee families report eating only 1-2 meals per day, this seems like a promising approach to meeting the basic needs of food and education. Reproductive health education can also be incorporated into school curriculum in an effort to raise awareness regarding teen pregnancy and GBV.
For the already economically active adolescents and youth, a potential approach is to find ways to incorporate school with their work. We would not remove them from their work unless better alternatives are available. Adolescents will also be provided appropriate skills training based on the market analysis. Additionally, it would be helpful to assess the reasons why previous NGO programs have had little success with regard to attracting adolescent girls.
It is important to take into account the highly gender-stratified nature of the community when targeting men and women for specific interventions. For instance, given the little formal employment opportunities for men, it would be unwise to target only women and girls. Doing so could potentially increase risks of GBV. We will find ways to develop opportunities for men in the formal sector, provide skills training in farming, and also look into potential opportunities in the informal sector. Gender-specific skills training will also be provided to women. For women already employed in the informal economy, we will find ways to enhance their existing skills and potentially increase income. Additional strategies that can be used for both men and women would be asset transfers, group and individual savings.
In order for a livelihood program to be successful, it must be both relevant and sustainable. This can only be accomplished by partnering with the various sectors in a community, to include other NGOs working in the area, local businesses, health and government officials.
The monitoring and evaluation methods of any livelihoods program should be incorporated into the program from the beginning. The evaluation of a program is determinant on what the intended impact and outcomes of a program are. For example, the success of a livelihoods program to improve farming productivity could be measured objectively by measuring the amount of crops harvested each year, the number of farmers trained and the number still able to support their families through farming after one year. Other measures that can be used to track outcomes could include the number of girls enrolled in school and still attending school regularly (80% attendance) after six months or one year and the number of persons enrolled in any livelihood program.
Because other organizations (both IGOs and local NGOs) have been on the ground in the region longer than our office, we will attempt to liaise with them to understand the obstacles they have encountered in their local programming. We will have to do this very sensitively, as some organizations may not be willing to share all of their local knowledge. We will attempt to set up an NGO working group to establish where efforts and programming overlap and can be merged, and to identify gaps in programs that could benefit the community.