Why do we do this?
HR&S claims that honest and fair collaboration between non-OECD and OECD countries is necessary for quality livelihood worldwide. Such collaboration enables:
Cross-cultural innovation: Cross-cultural collaboration provides opportunities of recombining existing ideas. Combining ideas that have not been connected before creates a potential to produce something new and useful.
Empowering talents and promoting excellence in non-OECD countries: Researchers in non-OECD countries presents important research findings, innovators create amazing solutions and entrepreneurs are eager to start successful businesses, but their findings, innovations and efforts are often un-recognised and unsupported.
Increased social enterprising: Social enterprising enables a sustainable economy and also leads to innovation, and thus smart solutions for livelihood improvement.
Transforming traditional development aid to mutual benefit collaboration: HR&S claims that traditional development aid is not as helpful, as once believed, and that aid is not, and was never, pure altruism. Thus it is preferred to make it clear that both sides must benefit, and HR&S transforms the traditional development aid to mutual benefit collaboration.
Extreme poverty eradication: The 2016 World Bank “Africa poverty report” informs that the number of poor people is higher Africa than in 1990, two in five adults are illiterate, and violence is on the rise.
Prevention of poverty forced migration: Migration driven by a processes of development and social transformation can be assumed to have increased international development and the migrants capabilities. In case the migration was driven by poverty those positive results may not have been seen.
Cross-cultural learning: Learning through engagement with difference, discovering opportunities for development by comparing and contrasting beliefs, values, and cultures, is essential to global development. A global citizenship in harmony and equity enables cultural strengths to be transferred to also other cultures.
How do we ensure success?
The capacity to work successfully in Africa is one of the strength of HR&S. We have developed procedures that ensures:
- A holistic approach, capturing policies, research, innovation and enterprising.
- Strategies to manage the realities in each country.
- Cross cultural understanding.
- Equal partnership relations with mutual benefits.
- Needs driven interventions.
- Real-time outcome evaluation planning.
- Truth, trust, harmony and equity.
- Sustainable economy and institutional capacity.
- Transformation of traditional development aid to social enterprising.
- Enabling of local talents.
- Implementation of locally relevant scientific findings and innovations.
Course of Action
HR&S has developed seven unique Tools in order to implement its programmes successfully. These Tools are now also offered for other institutions to use. HR&S has also developed Support packages which are copies of successful programme implementations that can now be implemented else-where.
-Non-OECD and OECD country collaboration guidelines.
-Programme design and real-time outcome evaluation.
-Access to scientific equipment.
-Basic services, research findings, innovations, IT and technology.
-Access to co-working space with efficient working conditions.
-Livelihood improvement in rural settlements.
-Vulnerable community empowerment.
Management & Partners
HR&S has a strong and experienced team, which has the skills and will to execute the mission. The team is dedicated to serving others in a respectful manner and has unyielding ethics. The team is composed of a balanced number of men and women, and has an international composition to capture knowledge from different parts of the world.
- Advisory board: The Advisory board members are senior experts on topics of relevance for HR&S, who offers advice on topics influencing the direction of HR&S.
- Management and operations: The Management is in charge of governance and management, while the Operations carries out the work of the organisation.
- Country support team: The Country support team is independent from the Programme partners or any other stakeholder and are advising and coaching in the Target countries.
- Programme partners: The Programme partners are Institutions registered in the Target countries that are in charge of the operations in the country.
- Expert committee: The Expert committee is composed of expert in various disciplines and capacities who provides advice.
Advisory Board members
Charles O. AWORH Scientific research management, Nigeria. Professor of Food Technology at University of Ibadan.
Gnon BABA Scientific research management, Togo. Professor, Université de Kara.
Akiça BAHRI Scientific research and livelihood improvement management, Tunisia. PhD, Professor at the National Agricultural Institute of Tunisia (INAT)
Berit BALFORS Scientific research management, Sweden. Professor Royal Institute of Technology. Stockholm.
Wilberforce BEZUDDE Livelihood improvement, Sweden and Uganda. Pastor at City Church Stockholm international.
Yvonne BONZI Scientific research management, Burkina Faso. Professor at Department of Chemistry, University of Ouagadougou.
Anita ELWESKIÖLD Livelihood improvement, Sweden. Priest in Church of Sweden.
Anders KINDING Business management, Sweden CEO, Education & Communication Ltd (Advisory Board coordinator)
Paul SAWADOGO Government policies and research management, Burkina Faso. PhD, Head of Finance, National Society of Food Security ; Ministry of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts.
Åsa SCHLYTER Business management, health care and psychiatry, Sweden. Founder and Operations manager of child psychiatry, PRIMA Barn Child and Adult Psychiatry. Leg. doctor, specialist in child and adolescent psychiatry, Dipl. Psychotherapist.
Cecilia ÖMAN, Sweden, CEO
Van SMUKOFF, Bulgaria, Growth.
Olha KARAVAYEVA, Ukraine. Legal matters and international law.
Shinwei YEN, Taiwan. Visibility and website.
Caroline BRUNDIN, Sweden. Evaluation planning.
Athanassia FOURLA, Greece. Grant management.
In-house Country advisers on Cross-cultural understanding:
Purity AWINO, Kenya,
Danny BANNA; Togo, Ghana,
Ramadan BUKENYA, Uganda
Jackson DUDLEY, Tanzania,
Peter ROBERT, Liberia
In-house Expert consultants:
Anna-Kari ARMANDT, Sweden. Finance administration and accounting.
Sune ERIKSSON, Sweden. Scientific equipment and chemical analyses.
Martin BRITS, South Africa. Scientific equipment.
The Programme partners are Institutions registered in the Target countries that are in charge of the operations in the country. The programme partners host the HR&S offices as well as the start-up Innovation Centres.
Kenya: Livelihood Improvement Programme (LIP)
Liberia: Initiative for the Development of Former Child Soldiers (IDEFOCS) and GOLDEN Enterprise (GOLDe)
Nigeria: SpellAfrica and PSAN
Rwanda: University of INES-RUHENGERI
Togo: Association Solidarité Enfance et Vie (S.E.VIE)
Uganda: BanaPads and Pamoja artists
The strategic partners collaborates with HR&S on a variety of topics, with or without formal agreements depending on what is more appropriate for the specific type of collaboration.
1. Basic services and education in rural Togo
More than 400 women entrepreneurs in nine rural villages has set up their own businesses as a result of our collaboration with S.E.VIE in Togo and Action10 in Sweden. These businesses address the requests by the villagers such as; producing and selling food, drinks and clothing as well as offering medicine, medical advice and hair dressing. The entrepreneurs have been provided with small loans, business training adapted to local conditions, and weekly on-site coaching. The women share a collective responsibility for meeting loan repayments. This way if one woman can’t make a repayment one week, the group will pay it back on time. 99% of the loans have been paid back and have been reinvested into new businesses. We receive 10% interest on our loans and the income co-funds the running of the programme in Togo. Enhancing the knowledge and business skills of these women is just as important as the loan itself. Our partners S.E.VIE have created a bespoke training programme suited to the learning needs of the women so they acquire lifelong knowledge about earning profit, saving and reinvesting into their business.
Copying a successful concept: The concept as presented above is firm and sustainable and can be copied to other sites in Togo and to other countries. S.E.VIE will coach the implementation. The implementation requires a start-up capital of 20,000 Euro per unit. This is donation that will not be paid back. Each unit holds about 300 entrepreneurs. The income will cover the operations on-ground only.
Strengthening an successful concept: The villagers has asked for larger loans, sanitation and hygiene facilities, access to water, health clinics, improved agricultural methods, cattle farming and access to markets outside the villages. The partners have also been asked to address basic education, prevention of child abused and of early pregnancies for which efforts have been made. The strengthening of the concept shall be addressed through HR&S, while building on previous established practices.
Sustainable economy and impact:
10,000 Euro was collected by Action10 from private givers, which constitute the Investment capital used by the entrepreneurs. The programme will benefit from another 10,000 Euro collected by Action10 and then the 10 % interest will cover the salary for one S.E.VIE staff member, the cost of transportation to remote villages and other running costs in Togo. As soon as one entrepreneur is self-sustained the support is offered to another person, women and men. The programme becomes sustainable both in operations and in financing.
For the strengthening of the initiative a start-up capital of 200,000 Euro as well as an investment capital of 100,000 Euro will be requested for from the Aid budget or any other donor. An Innovation centre (InnoC) will be constructed which will be owned by S.E.VIE and HR&S, equal shares. Inputs and benefit will also be shared equally. The Innovation Centre will have ten employed staff. It will run services in-house that will cover its running costs, such as restaurant, accommodation and transportation. The InnoC will maintain the already established small scale businesses in rural settlements but in larger scale addressing the requests by the villagers, which will be made possible due to more staff and more resources. The InnoC will also provide services to its members and other stakeholders, as presented elsewhere, and generate a small income through membership fees, interest from loans, from providing training and consultancy. S.E.VIE and HR&S will also partner up around larger businesses, together with local stakeholders that will generate a larger profit to be equally shared between all partners.
2. Reintegration of former child soldiers in Liberia
Former child soldiers, women who went with fighting forces, and war affected youths, live in ghettos in Monrovia, Liberia suffering from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), health issues and drug addiction. They were abandoned by the international community after the Liberia civil war. HR&S has in collaboration with IDEFOCS in Liberia and Action10 in Sweden made a survey of the ambitions of this population living in three of the ghettos in Monrovia; Turtle Ghetto, Du Pont Road Ghetto and Kink Grey Ghetto. The survey had 42 questions addressing personal background, recruitment by fighting forces, assessment about how the DDRR (Disarmament Demobilization Rehabilitation and Reintegration, an UN-led programme after the war) affected the person, current circumstances and current health status. The survey revealed the dreams and ambitions of each of the persons participating, to start a new life outside the ghettos, as well as the challenges faced which hinders them to change their lives without support from outside the ghetto. By analysing the challenges the Programme partners (IDEFOCS, Action10, HR&S) were able to develop an output map, which laid a structure for which activities that were required to enable the ghetto dwellers to move on. The survey showed that the dreams and ambitions were; everyone in Liberia lives in an environment that enables them to have high quality life; drugs, violence and crime are not part of their lives; all Liberians lives in a home with their families; they have the training of profession they wish, and they can all read and write; they have employment or run their own business and earn enough to sustain their families; with the funds they earn they can have quality health care and university education if they wish; they are have social and physical security; and they are all part of the society as equal Liberians.
The Ghetto dwellers requested for a support programme outside Monrovia, why the programme partners, acquired 8,000 m2 of forest land in a rural village of Little Bassa in Liberia. Through hard work the land was transformed into productive land that now holds cassava. A rehabilitation center with live-in accommodation has also been constructed. A six month rehabilitation plan will be offered together with health care (including removing bullets), drug treatment and PTSD counselling as requested by the ghetto survey participants. Our target partners will gain skills, knowledge and training in agriculture working on the farm helping them to establish daily routines, increase their self-esteem and their employment prospects. Going forward, we will provide resources and knowledge to those who want to start their own business, offer continued work on the farm for those who want to develop in agriculture as well as offer employment in small-scale businesses started by HR&S and IDEFOCS together. Just as important will be helping to reunite former child soldiers with their families, many of which were broken apart during the conflict, to assist the healing process in society. As soon as one Rehabilitation Centre member is self-sustained the support is offered to another person, women and men equally.
Copying a successful concept: The concept can be copied to other sites in Liberia as well as other post-war countries including Uganda. IDEFOCS will coach the implementation.
Strengthening a successful concept: i) The ghetto survey shall be presented to a larger community for knowledge sharing about post war challenges and DDRR programmes from the perspective of former child soldiers, women who went with fighting forces, and war affected youths; ii) Establish an institution in Monrovia, an HR&S Innovation Centre, providing resources and knowledge to those who want to start their own business; iii) Offer employment in small-scale businesses started by HR&S and IDEFOCS together. One such stakeholder are those in Monrovia who have been trained by an Aid programme in building water wells and construct manual water pumps. The Aid programme was concluded prior to be sustainable, and the trainees have skills which are not put into practice.
The strengthening of the concept shall be addressed through HR&S and IDEFOCS, while building on established practices.
Sustainable economy and impact:
25,000 Euro was collected by Action10 from private givers, which constitute the start-up capital to procure and prepare the land as well as construct the house. The programme will benefit from another 10,000 Euro collected by Action10 to develop and implement the rehabilitation programme; to develop the agricultural capacity and adding value to the cultivated products; and to start other small- scale businesses linked to the Rehabilitation centre. Income will be generated though the farm and small scale-businesses, which shall sustain the running of the Rehabilitation Centre in Little Bassa and the transportation between Monrovia and little Bassa. The programme becomes sustainable both in operations and in financing.
For the strengthening of the initiative a start-up capital of 200,000 Euro as well as an investment capital of 100,000 Euro will be requested for from the Aid budget or any other donor including previous LAMCO stakeholders living in Sweden. (LAMCO is an mining company previously operating in Liberia). An Innovation centre (InnoC) will be constructed which will be owned by IDEFOCS and HR&S together, equal shares. Inputs and benefit will be shared equally. The Innovation Centre will have ten employed staff. It will run services in-house that will cover its running costs, such as restaurant, accommodation and transportation. The InnoC will maintain the operation of the Rehabilitation centre in Little Bassa as well as offer business training and coaching to ghetto dwellers and other stakeholders (as presented elsewhere). The Centre will also start small scale businesses in Monrovia and thus offer employment opportunities to ghetto dwellers and other stakeholders. The InnoC will generate a small income through membership fees, interest from loans, as well as training and consultancy fees. The InnoC will be financially self-sustained with time. Such a strengthening of the ongoing programme will be made possible as a result of more staff and more resources.
3. Drinking water & Prevention of early pregnancies in rural Togo
Drinking water in rural Togo
Prevention of early pregnancies
S.E.VIE installed a water committee in Agbodjekpoé, rural Togo in 2012. The background is that Aid interventions have constructed wells and installed pumps but failed to address repair and maintenance, why rural Togo is covered by unused wells and broken down pumps. One such pumps can often be repaired at a cost of 200 Euro. The S.E.VIE approach, which is supported by HR&S, is to repair the pump and install water committees. The water committees will sell the water in order to generate an income that can cover the cost for maintaining the water pump and thus sustainably offer water to the villagers. The price of the water shall be at a level which is affordable to all villagers.
The amount of water sold is large and it is possible to generate a profit to address also a social security activity. In 2012, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education in Togo conducted a study in the primary schools (age 6 - 12) and in the secondary schools (age 12-15). This study revealed 5,443 cases of early pregnancies during the school year 2011-2012, of which 230 pregnancies were recorded in the primary school. In 2015, S.E.VIE was approached by teachers who pleaded for action and S.E.VIE together with Action10 decided to address the situation and initiate a programme that would prevent pregnancies among school girls below the age of 15. It was further agreed to raise awareness regarding early pregnancies and early marriage targeting young women aged 15 to 18 and to provide adequate support to teenagers who have become pregnant. The programme shall also address the use of adequate contraception to control pregnancies. Action10 turned to Rotary Stockholm International who agreed to partner around the initiative and to raise the necessary start-up capital. The prevention of early pregnancies programme is composed of trainings and awareness raising discussions targeting all stakeholders.
Copying a successful concept: The concept as presented above is firm and sustainable and can be copied to other locations in Togo and to other countries. S.E.VIE will coach the implementation. Each unit holds construction of ten family toilets (pit latrines), prepare one water well and install one water committee providing water to 1000 persons. Coaching the water committee. Training of 30 trainer about prevention of early pregnancies, inform and educate 400 teenagers and 100 adults including parents, youth leaders and authority representatives.
Strengthening a successful concept: The strengthening of the concept shall be addressed through HR&S, while building on previous established practices. The strengthening involves adding additional components to the already developed programme, in order to increase quality, impact and financial sustainability. The added components have either been identified by the villagers or is known by the Programme partners to offers solutions that have been successfully implemented elsewhere. i) Regularly examining the water quality to ensure it is safe to drink. Establishing an accredited water laboratory that can serve the region. ii) Install ecological sanitation system and providing hygiene solutions. Provide sanitary pads. iii) Provide access to contraception. iv) Provide health care related to women needs and child birth and support to young mothers.
Sustainable economy, efficient use of funds and impact:
The implementation requires a start-up capital of 30,000 Euro, which will be collected by Rotary Stockholm International in collaboration with Action10. This is a donation that will not be paid back. The income from selling water is expected to be 5,000 EURO per year and will cover the operations on-ground. Thus, benefiting form a start-up donation the programme becomes sustainable both in operations and in financing. For the strengthening of the initiative a start-up capital of 300,000 Euro will be requested for from the Aid budget or any other donor. The programme will benefit from the HR&S S.E.VIE Innovation centre (InnoC) and have five employed staff in Togo. The added components are: i) An accredited water laboratory will be established that will serve the region as well as the government and the private sector, and be linked to the Lomé and Kara University. The laboratory will be require a start-up donation and will then be financially self-sustained through selling analyses and training. HR&S has extensive experience from setting up such laboratories (FAST). ii) An ecological sanitation programme will be established that will safe guard the drinking water from being polluted from defecation and at the same time increase the crop yield through the compost generated and urine nutrients. The increased crop yield will generate income that will sustain the programme after a start-up donation has kick-started the activities. iii) Entrepreneurs will be supported to start businesses around selling contraception and sanitary pads. The start-up support requires a donated start-up capital. iv) Small health clinics will be build and educated staff employed. The customers will pay for the service and the medicine. S.E.VIE already have experience from setting up a health clinic in rural Togo. The clinic will be require a start-up donation and will then be financially self-sustained.
Small scale business coaching in Nigeria
Language education to adults
Business survey: An HR&S partner in Nigeria, SpellAfrica made a survey on the need of business coaching in Nigeria. The study was performed in 2015 in Benin City and 20 local businesses owners were interviewed together with 10 start-up entrepreneurs aiming to start a business. The survey team also interviewed a local corporative who had the mission to support local entrepreneur and who served some of the businesses in the SpellAfrica survey. The survey team also visited ten businesses over a period of four month to monitor achievements and challenges when running the businesses.
Short summaries of some of the interviews:
- Mama Lyabo is 43 years old and has five children. She had started a business four years earlier. She started it out of necessity when her husband lost his job as a taxi driver. Her husband had not been employed since. Her business was provision of food, such as rice and beans, and she ran the business from her home. Her initiative start-up capital was N 20 000 (about 50 €). Mama Lyabo could not inform about how much she earned per week and she did not keep any such records. She has no education, not even elementary school. She could communicate perfectly well with Nigeria pidgin though. Her opinion about her business was that it was not good and she would have liked to end it if she could. She would have preferred to buy bags of rice from northern Nigeria and sell in the south where the price is higher.
- Mama Ehis does not know her age and is a mother of seven children. Her business is to sell food made of proceed cassava and she had run it for twelve years. She buys the food from a nearby village and sells in the streets of Benin City. Her opinion about the business is that it is good and she wants to continue running it. She would like to scale-up by establishing a shop within a market and be a larger-scale distributor.
- Mr. Chika is 37 years old and single. His business is to repair computers, both hard and software. Mr. Chika had run his business for nine years. He claimed to have had a shop which he lost three years earlier and is since running it from his home, a one room apartment. His opinion about the business is that it is profitable and he would like to scale up by renting a shop again.
- Ms. Adesuwa is 28 years old and a single mother of 2 children. Her husband abandoned them for Europe five years earlier and they have not heard from him since. Mrs. Adesuwa’s business is to sew native clothing for women from her area. She has one sewing machine. Her opinion about the business is that it is good and she wants to expand by renting a shop and buying two more sewing machines. Mrs. Adesuwa has had some education and could read and write in English.
- Mr. Bobi is a 25 year old student in secondary school. His father is late and his mother is doing trading business. Mr. Bobi has started a small business which he runs in parallel with school. His business is to provide cooked noodle with fried eggs every day 7pm -10pm. He invested N16,000 (about 40 €) into the business six months earlier and was generating a monthly profit of N2,000 (about 5 €). His opinion about the business is that it is going well. Mr. Bobi is providing the food in the open without protection and his greatest desire is to build a shelter, as rain has been disturbing the business.
- Mr. Otabor is a young graduate who has many business ideas, but had not started anything. He claimed his challenge was lack of investment capital. Among all his business ideas, if he had access to an investment capital of N500,000 (about 1,300 €) he claims he would start a shoe production business. Unfrotunately Mr. Otabor was never trained in business and does not know what a business plan is.
Results: Many of the business owners are woman above 40 years of age, who has gone into business as a matter of urgent income for survival as the only family income provider. They tend to manage with the little they have and may suffer from little or lack of education. Most business start-ups entrepreneurs are young educated men eager to get successful businesses going. It was noted that the business owners at first were hesitant to reply to the questions and reluctant to provide detailed information and figures, worrying over that the survey was part of a governmental control. When ensured it was not, they opened up and shared.
Business owners: Among the 20 business owner interviewed; all 20 said they would benefit from investment capital; 18 did not do bookkeeping; 12 were interested in learning about a trade or achieve a skill; 10 would change are of business if possible; 2 were interested in business management training or coaching; 2 were interested in belonging to a group of entrepreneur.
Business start-ups entrepreneurs: Among the 10 start-ups entrepreneurs; all 10 said they would benefit from investment capital; all 10 agree to be trained and mentored.
Language education to adults: The Back2School Initiative is a programme run by Spell Africa that addresses the problem of adult illiteracy and poor knowledge of English in Nigeria. The target group is underprivileged adults who did not get the chance to learn English at school. The programme offers evening classes in English and encourages adults to in the age of 24 to 45 years attend. The classes are taught by qualified and enthusiastic teachers using the Montessori teaching method. This is an educational approach characterized by an emphasis on respecting the individual’s learning needs. The expected outcome is increased employment and other means of economic income among the students and ability to read, write and speak English, Nigeria’s official language, is a major step towards eradicating poverty in the country. The target group is 300 adults.
Copying a successful concept: The ‘Language education to adults’ programme can be copied to other places in Nigeria. SpellAfrica will coach the implementation.
Strengthening a successful concept: i) Develop a more firm study about the needs and ambitious among business owner and start-up entrepreneurs in Nigeria and publish the results. ii) Construct an Innovation Center (InnoC) providing business management support to entrepreneurs in Nigeria. iii) Run a school teaching English to adults within the premises of the Innovation Centre (InnoC) and offer business management training in parallel. iv) Develop a business, SpellAfrica and HR&S together, (or provide investment capital with 10 % interest for SpellAfrica) to develop an Application addressing English education for adults. This is one of the SpellAfrica’s own business ideas.
The strengthening of the concept shall be addressed through HR&S and SpellAfrica together, while building on previously established practices. Such a strengthening of the ongoing programme will be made possible as a result of more staff and more resources.
Sustainable economy, efficient use of funds and impact: 3,000 Euro was collected by Action10 from private givers which contributed to performing the survey and to setting up the Back2School project. To get the Back2School project financially sustainable with a target group of 300 persons, another 2,000 Euro is necessary which will be collected through Action 10. Application addressing English education for adults is an innovation idea by SpellAfrica that has attracted international interest but no support and that requires an investment and engagement at a larger scale than can be requested for by Action10.
For the strengthening of the initiative a start-up capital of 200,000 Euro as well as an investment capital of 100,000 Euro will be requested for from the Aid budget or any other donor. An Innovation centre (InnoC) will be constructed which will be owned by HR&S and SpellAfrica together, equal shares. Further inputs and benefits will also be shared equally. The Innovation Centre will have ten employed staff. It will run services in-house that will cover its running costs, such as restaurant, accommodation and transportation. The InnoC will host the Back2School programme as well as offer business training to start-up entrepreneurs and business owners. The Centre will also offer innovation support and investment capital to develop and implement the SpellAfrica’s innovation idea ‘English education for adults’ application. The InnoC will also provide services to its members and other stakeholders, as presented elsewhere, and generate income through membership fees, interest from loans, and from providing training, meeting platforms, networking and consultancy.
Basic services, education and research in Kenya
Empowering women initiatives
Table banking in villages
Background: Kenya has an established tradition with ‘SACCO’. The word SACCO means Savings and Credit Cooperative Organisation. A SACCO is owned, managed and run by its members and a member of a SACCO is a person admitted to membership after registration in accordance with the SACCO’s by-laws. The way SACCOs operate are: A person becomes a member, sets her saving target (maybe €500) and saving time (maybe 6-12 months) and then starts saving. After reaching the saving target the member is entitled to borrow 2-4 times the saving depending on the regulation of the SACCO. The paying back period is 2-4 years and the interest is around 12 %. The debt is paid monthly and is often withdrawn automatically from the member’s salary. Repayment ability is assessed at the time of registration, often as a result of the member’s salary, and determines the maximum level of the loan. The loans are secured, often by a guarantors’ shares and sometimes by town properties.
Table banking in Sirikwa: A women cooperative the ‘Amani women group’ has approached the HR&S Programme partner in Kenya the ‘Livelihood Improvement Programme’ (LIP) and requested support with setting up a Table banking institution in the village Sirikwa. A Table banking institution borrows the idea from the SACCO concept and adopts it to the conditions in rural areas, which means little resources and weak infrastructure. Thus, the Amani Women Group is the innovator and the owner of the programme and LIP and HR&S are facilitators, together with Action10. Action10 provided a start-up capital of 2,000 € in 2015, and two full years passed before loans were approved by the Amani women group management to its members. During these two years, the Amani Women group arranged awareness raising sessions about saving attitudes and thus put strong emphasis on the community to save before being approved to take a loan. The purpose was to develop a deep understanding about saving before investing, and about the obligation to pay back in time.
Internet connection in villages
Through our interactions the programme was exposed to the ‘Environmental Youth Soldiers’ (EYS) in Sirikwa. EYS is an organisation composed of young people, which has an elected Board and regular meetings, and which is inspired by and collaborating with the Amani Women group. EYS presented their ambitions to LIP and HR&S, which is to have access to computers and internet in the village. The organisation explained that being isolated from information and knowledge prevented them from arranging their lives in a positive manner. HR&S and LIP agreed to continue discussing and seek opportunities.
Higher education for women
Background: The CEO of LIP is a woman with a university M.Sc. degree on environmental issues. Ms. Githaigah grew up in Sirikwa and has made it from the village to a M.Sc. exam on her own, being a woman in a patriarchal society. To honour her achievement and benefit from Ms. Githaigah capacity to be a role-model, the programme addresses higher education for women in Kenya. The initiative addresses a group of registered members.
Activities: The ‘Higher education for women’ programme builds on two pillars; encouragement and practical solutions.
- Encouragement is addressed through; i) a mentor programme with empowering awareness raising sessions, ii) contact with role-models, iii) and a firm and supported network of women v) awareness raising among stakeholders surrounding the members of the programme, and v) workshop programme including training on scientific matters.
Workshop programme: The workshops are offered within the HR&S premises in Nairobi. The topics reflects the finding from the ROPE evaluations and thus the exact needs of the Target partners (the output map according to ROPE terminology). The workshops are outcome based, thus the programme measures whether the participant were able to act differently and achieve targets as a result of the workshop.
Mentor stewardship: HR&S offers a coaching, and motivation programme for mentors.
- Practical solution activities addresses; i) payment of tuition fees, ii) access to a lap top, internet and more to enable efficient study conditions, also from home iii) access to child-care, possibly at the campus, iv) safe and comfortable transportation, and v) practical arrangements around travelling abroad, possibly by bringing the children and a care-taker.
Related challenges that may affect women in general are also reflected on, such as; domestic violence, child and sexual abuse, early pregnancies, early marriages and access to comfortable sanitary pads.
Strategic partner collaboration: HR&S is collaboration with a Swedish organisation named ‘Women for education’ which provides tuition fee and mentoring for women in Kenya to take a B.Sc. exam. HR&S contributes with facilitation of activities on the ground including three main assignments; measuring outcome, a series of workshops and mentor stewardship.
Measuring outcome: The outcome of the programme is measured real-time and programme adjustments related to lessons learned are proposed to the ‘Women for education‘ management, using the HR&S tool ROPE (Real-time Outcome Planning and Evaluation). ROPE provides; i) a strategy for designing programs based on the needs and the knowledge of the members of the programme, ii) means to overcome the challenges identified by the programme members, iii) sustainable economy, and iv) institutional capacity. All ROPE related information is compiled in a master document, the Programme journal (PJ).
Supporting initiatives among students in higher education: Students at the University of Nairobi have reached out to seek collaboration around starting a social enterprise facilitating communication for the science community in low resource settings through social media e-platforms.
Copying a successful concept: i) The Table banking programme can scaled-up and include more members in Sirikwa. It can also be copied to other villages in Kenya and to countries. LIP will coach the implementation.
Strengthening a successful concept: i) Address other concern among the villagers in Sirikwa in a social enterprising partnership manner. ii)Construct an Innovation Center (InnoC) providing Internet, computers and also business start-up support to youths in Molo, (a city close to Sirikwa) to address the needs of YES and others. The Table banking programme and related businesses identified in villages will be facilitated through the InnoC. iii)Construct an Innovation Center (InnoC) providing business start-up support to entrepreneurs in Nairobi. The InnoC Nairobi will address students at the Nairobi University and also manage the Higher education for women programme.
The strengthening of the concept shall be addressed through HR&S and LIP together, while building on previously established practices. Such a strengthening of the ongoing programme will be possible as a result of more staff and more resources.
Sustainable economy, efficient use of funds and impact:
2,000 Euro was collected by Action10 from private givers which established a capital for the Table bank in Sirikwa. Another 2,000 Euro or more will be raised by Action10 and offered to Amani women group, until the interest covers the salary of one staff members to run a sustainable Table banking business in Sirikwa.
For the strengthening of the initiative a start-up capital of 250,000 Euro as well as an investment capital of 100,000 Euro will be requested for from the Aid budget or any other donor. An Innovation centre (InnoC) will be constructed in Nairobi and an InnoC hub in Molo. Both will be owned by HR&S and LIP together, equal shares. Further inputs and benefits will also be shared equally. The Innovation Centre will have ten employed staff. It will run services in-house that will cover its running costs, such as restaurant, accommodation and transportation. The InnoC will also provide services to its members and other stakeholders, as presented elsewhere, and generate income through membership fees, interest from loans, and from providing training, meeting platforms, networking and consultancy.
Programme: Cross-cultural partnership and learning, integration, preventing forced migration
As different cultures have different strengths and weaknesses, cross-cultural collaboration and thereby sharing and implementing knowledge across borders, can significantly increase the quality of both operations and life itself. At the same time, to understand another culture is not always easy and before international partners start working with each other, we have to understand the other partner’s point of view, so that whatever happens will not be confusing to us. For example, whether we plan to take an employment in another country, put effort in designing a project, invest money, or start a new business, we have to understand the expectations on us by our new colleagues and partners, and we ourselves have to make the necessary effort be clear about what we expect from the partnership. Moreover, HR&S argues that implementation of sustainable partnership require a institutional framework where partners collaborates as equals, and thus contribute and benefit equally.
The HR&S Cross-cultural partnership programme (CCP) offers platforms for cross-cultural knowledge sharing. Such knowledge is based on both scientific findings as well as testimonies from persons with deep cross-cultural experiences. We offer workshops, seminars, social events, coaching and written material. Different scenarios are discussed, and contacts are established.
The aim with the Cross-cultural partnership (CCP) programme is to:
- Increase general cross-cultural knowledge and understanding.
- Provide information about conditions and realities on the ground.
- Provide information about systems and structures.
- Impose empowerment and respect.
- Meet needs.
- Make people successful in what they are doing and want to do.
- Capture good ethics, good structures and efficiency within collaboration across cultures.
The CCP addresses:
- Improved livelihood.
- Scientific collaboration.
- Social enterprising partnership.
- Development programme collaboration.
The CCP has been developed by the HR&S CEO and the GPS CEO together, and the tool is framed by their personal experiences. Both have taken big cross-cultural steps in their lives over which they have reflected a lot. The two COEs have complementary experiences which makes them a suitable team for developing the CCP Programme. The CCP programme developers claim that the tool is a very strong stepping-stone and a powerful bridge for cross-cultural understanding and integration. It prevents forced migration, transfers livelihood improvement solutions across borders and enables the implementation of locally developed solutions.
Within the HR&S operations we continuously make sincere efforts to collect and analyse information about the realities on the ground. For example, when the HR&S staff visit our Partner countries, then we stay with, or close to, our Programme and Target partners. Living close together also strengthens the equal partnership approach. Also, HR&S benefits from qualified Country support teams, composed of Partner country advisers in Sweden and within the Partner country.
Programme: Cross-cultural partnership and learning, livelihood improvement and integration.
The InnoC-Sweden, hosted by the HR&S @ Impact Hub Stockholm, offers monthly cross-cultural events (1st Saturday every month). These are announces at the HR&S website and GPS Facebook. The events includes:
- Monthly events for cross-cultural socialising (1st Saturday in a month). These are announces at the HR&S website and GPS Facebook (for example workshop, seminars, group walk, grill, music, cooking, dancing, handicraft).
- CCP workshops.
- Brainstorming sessions about ideas and solutions.
- Round Tables with Swedish stakeholders including authorities and policy makers.
- Awareness raising sessions addressing:
- Prevention of alienation among the Swedish people and among newcomers to Sweden.
- Prevention of performance stress. (It is generally agreed that a large portion of the world’s population, often in OECD countries, suffers from performance stress and alienation.)
- Truth and trust. (Sweden has shown to rank in the very top of the world when it comes to agreeing to the statement “Most people in this society are trustworthy”, about 80% which gives Swedish businesses a good competitive power.)
- Reflect over how to take care of old parents.
- Reflect over wild-life in Sweden as compared to Safari parks in Africa.
- Sales of products produced by target partners. Items are presented at HR&S website and interest can be announced through e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Business start-up support for immigrants who want to stay in Sweden.
- Partner country InnoC collaboration programme for immigrants who wants to leave Sweden.
Programme: Prevention of forced migration
Researchers in non-OECD countries presents important research findings, innovators create amazing solutions and entrepreneurs are eager to start successful businesses, but their findings, innovations and efforts are often unrecognised and unsupported. Such conditions generates poverty, maintains extreme poverty and force people to migrate against the own desires. HR&S offers tools to prevent forcing talents to go abroad to find opportunities to succeed. HR&S also provides opportunities for researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs who have migrated to Sweden, out on necessity rather than desire, to return if they want, and implement their ideas in their home countries instead.
This programme is managed by the Innovation centre (InnoC) programme (please find more information about InnoC elsewhere).
Copying a successful concept:
- The two programmes mentioned above are still small, but have an immense potential to have impact on a number of cross-cultural issues. These small seeds can be copied and HR&S and GPS can coach the implementation.
Strengthening a successful concept:
- The programmes can and should be scaled-up; the needs, the staff and the tools are available and now we just need to add the resources.
- Construct an independent Innovation Center (InnoC) in central Stockholm. The Centre will manage a café and meeting venues for spontaneous meetings. It shall be a place for Swedish and immigrants to connect and have nice social time together.
The strengthening of the concept shall be addressed through HR&S in partnership with GPS, while building on previously established practices. Such a strengthening of the ongoing programme will be possible as a result of more staff and more resources.
Sustainable economy, efficient use of funds and impact:
In kind work hours have been invested by the HR&S CEO and by the GPS CEO.
For the strengthening of the initiative a start-up capital of 200,000 Euro as well as an investment capital of 100,000 Euro will be requested for from the Migration budget or any other donor. An Innovation centre (InnoC) will be constructed in Stockholm owned by HR&S. The Innovation Centre will have ten employed staff. It will run services in-house that will cover its running costs, such as a café and event management. The InnoC will also provide services to its members and other stakeholders, as presented elsewhere, and generate income through membership fees, interest from loans, and from providing training, meeting platforms, networking and consultancy.
Access to functioning advanced scientific equipment
Central laboratories with sustainable economy
One important factor in the scientific development of a country is the availability of advanced scientific equipment. Unfortunately, many scientific laboratories in non-OECD cannot provide the researchers with access to functioning advanced scientific equipment, due issues related to procurement, installation, service, maintenance and use. Thus, the FAST (Functioning Advanced Scientific Equipment) programme addresses the access to advanced scientific equipment at scientific institutions in non-OECD countries.
The HR&S offers coaching in the management of advanced scientific equipment including; selection, laboratory preparation, transportations, installation, training, quality assurance, use, good laboratory practice, maintenance, repair, decommissioning, institutional capacity, sustainable economy and outcome evaluation planning. The coaching targets the scientific institution stakeholders; the management, the researchers and the technicians, as well as, the equipment suppliers. These four groups are referred to as Target partners. The role of HR&S and collaborators (referred to as Programme partners) is to address any constraint that the Target partner may experience and to coordinate stakeholders and activities. Details about the coaching is presented elsewhere. The expected output from FAST is the establishment of Central laboratories that:
- Provide access to functioning advanced scientific equipment required to achieve the expected research output for the universities.
- Run quality assurance programmes and become certificated within the appropriate disciplines.
- Offer a platform for quality collaboration with other universities.
- Offer analytical services and trainings for other stakeholders including the government and the private sector.
- Are financially self- sustained.
The development of the FAST programme has benefitted from the output from the PRISM (Procurement, Installation, Service, Maintenance and Use of Scientific Equipment) pilot project. The PRISM pilot project was initiated, designed and managed by Assoc. Prof. Cecilia ÖMAN, hosted by the International Foundation for Science (IFS) and funded by the MacArthur Foundation with supplementary funding from TETFund in Nigeria and the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRID) in Nigeria. The pilot project was initiated by a stakeholder meeting in 2002 in Cameroon (Öman and Gamaniel, 2006), was continued with an equipment audit during 2007 – 2008 (Öman et al 2008), an implementation project during 2008- 2011, and stakeholder meeting in Nigeria in 2015.
The services offered by HR&S are compiled in the FAST Support programme which can be downloaded from the HR&S website (www.humanrightsandscience.se). FAST further be extended to include also other scientific capacity strengthening activities from the OutSciCap programme and the support packages can be tailor-made to address any topic identified by a partner.
Programme: FAST in Nigeria
The objectives with FAST Nigeria to develop and maintain a national wide support programme for the procurement, installation, service, maintenance, use and accreditation of advanced scientific equipment. Such support programme shall offer service to all scientific institutions in the country. The expected output is Central laboratories offering the equipment required for advanced scientific development of the country as well as Centres of Excellence providing the required analytical services to country stakeholders such as the government and the private sector.
The Procurement, installation, service and maintenance of equipment SCIENTIFIC ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (PSAN) was registered in Nigeria thereafter launched in Abuja 13th June, 2012 at Bolton White Hotel, Abuja. PSAN has as objective to coordinating the FAST programme in Nigeria.
The PSAN office was initially hosted by NIPRD. In May 2017 PSAN established its own office in Abuja.
Since early 2017, private initiatives have invested new resources in PSAN, enabling a strengthening of the FAST programme in Nigeria. Stakeholders are coming together to establish concrete programmes designed and managed by PSAN in Nigeria in equal partnership with HR&S in Sweden. A Launching of the Nigeria FAST programme is planned to take place in Abuja in January 2018.
A meeting and equipment training is planned to be arranged by ABU in Zaria March 2018. Attendance and participation will be expected from several Nigeria Universities as well as internationally especially from Sweden, Madagascar and Burkina Faso. The purpose with the meeting is to i) Showcase the research and development capacity of ABU and its Multi-user Science Research Laboratory (MSRL). Ii) Be visible to potential donors. Iii) Offer a training on two key equipment. The expected cost for the meeting is €12,000 and funds will be applied for externally. The training is expected to generate an income of €5,000 (the participants, 50 persons, pay a fee, €100 per person) which will co-fund the meeting.
Programme: FAST in Rwanda
FAST visibility seminars have been held in 2016 at the University of Rwanda (UR) and in 2017 at the Private universities INS and UNIK. The Ministry of Education in Kigali was informed in 2016 as well as the Rwanda Embassy in Sweden together with the Swedish Embassy in Kigali.
An equipment audit of the two main laboratories of the University of Rwanda was made in collaboration the International Science Programme at Uppsala University (ISP). The audit was performed twice, in 2016 and in 2017 and the survey reviled that 75% of the advanced scientific equipment was non-functioning (Eriksson, 2017).
The HR&S, HR&S Country support team and the equipment supplier Chemetrix visited university of Kibongo (UNIK) early 2017 and discussed the FAST implementation at UNIK. The output reviled that the limiting factor at the time of the visit is funding. Otherwise it was suggested that HR&S FAST can provide useful coaching that will help UNIK acquire the right equipment and analytical solutions, thus increase institutional capacity and help generate income to the institution. HR&S FAST can further be very useful with coaching on the management of equipment, the procurement process, developing a central laboratory, and the collaborate with other universities.
The HR&S together with the HR&S Country support team also visited visited the Univarsity of INES in Misanze early 2017 and share about the FAST programme. The INES management showed an interest.
A follow-up FAST programme implementation seminar was held at the University of INES in August 2017. One output was introducing the opportunity to a formal network of nine private universities in Rwanda and informing World Bank Rwanda.
Programme: FAST in Uganda
The HR&S FAST programme was introduced to a group of researcher and technicians at the Makerere University in Kampala Uganda in November 2016. A follow-up meeting was arranged in August 2017.
Programme: FAST in Togo
The University of Kara in northern Togo has shown a deep interest in the FAST programme and opportunities for implementation are explored.
About the Founder
- The team leader is the Founder and CEO, Assoc. Prof. Cecilia Öman. Cecilia has been active in non-OECD countries since 2001 and has in her capacity of Assoc. Professor at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), CEO and founder of Human Rights and Science (HR&S) and President and founder of Action10, developed a deep understanding about realities on the ground, as well as a capacity for cross-cultural partnership relations with equal and mutual responsibilities and benefits. Cecilia has successfully developed and implemented tools and programmes in non-OECD countries that are offering opportunities for entrepreneurs to start and run sustainable businesses, and for researchers and innovators to implement their findings. She has also developed and implemented tools that strengthens scientific capacity. Her programmes have already been implemented in seven countries in Africa and are scaling-up.
The leadership team, partners and advisors are carefully selected to cover the different sectors required to run such a broad programme as the HR&S programme. All members of the team have in depth knowledge about their assignment as well as understanding and interest in quality cross-cultural partnership relations.