In a groundbreaking initiative, People (Professional Employers Pvt Ltd) joined hands with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to organize a comprehensive training program for Afghan Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). The program culminated in an Exposure Visit to Pakistan, creating a unique platform for cross-cultural learning, collaboration, and the exchange of best practices. This blog sheds light on our impactful presence in Kabul, the training sessions conducted, and the subsequent exposure visit.
Our Presence in Afghanistan:
People (Professional Employers Pvt Ltd) has been actively engaged in Kabul, Afghanistan, with a focus on enhancing the capacity of local CSO members. Recognizing the critical role these organizations play in community development, our team facilitated a series of training sessions aimed at empowering Afghan CSO members to navigate the challenges of a rapidly changing environment.
Training Sessions in Kabul:
The heart of our initiative lay in the training sessions conducted in Kabul, where CSO representatives gathered to enhance their skills, share experiences, and delve into the intricacies of effective organizational management. The sessions covered a spectrum of crucial topics, including:
- Organizational Sustainability:
- Strategies for ensuring the long-term viability of CSO members in dynamic and challenging contexts.
- Project Management:
- Practical insights into project design, implementation, and evaluation to maximize impact.
- Advocacy and Partnership Building:
- Techniques for effective advocacy and building sustainable partnerships to amplify the influence of CSO members in the community.
- Capacity Building:
- Empowering CSO members with the tools and knowledge needed to build and strengthen their organizational capacity.
- Leadership and Team Development:
- Fostering leadership skills and promoting effective team dynamics for greater organizational success.
Exposure Visit to Pakistan:
Building on the foundation laid in Kabul, the training program reached its zenith with an Exposure Visit to Pakistan. CSO members, now equipped with enhanced skills and knowledge, embarked on a journey to learn from leading organizations in Pakistan. The itinerary included visits to renowned entities such as PPAF, UCH, IMC, AKDN, and others.
- Travel to Islamabad:
- Welcome Dinner at Monal
- Exposure Visit to Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF)
- Lunch by PPAF
- Exposure Visit to Urban Cohesion Hub (UCH)
- Best Practice Presentation by International Medical Corps (IMC)
- Exposure Visit to Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN)
- Fun Day – Murree Hills:
- A day dedicated to relaxation and team-building in the scenic Murree Hills.
- Travel to Lahore:
- Presentations by Search for Justice – Child Protection
- Vceela – Online artisan’s portal
- FOS – Online grievance system
- Lahore City Tour
- Exposure Visit to Akhuwat
- Exposure Visit to HomeNet Pakistan
- Return to Islamabad:
- Checkout from Hotel
- Travel back to Kabul, Afghanistan
Presentations and Interactions:
Each host organization delivered comprehensive presentations covering their work areas, achievements, upcoming projects, success stories, and challenges. The top management of these organizations facilitated interactive question-and-answer sessions, providing the CSO members with valuable insights and practical experiences to navigate challenges, especially in the post-regime-change environment in Afghanistan.
The exposure visit yielded several key learnings that can potentially reshape the landscape of CSO initiatives in Afghanistan.
- Best Practices:
- CSO members gained insights into various models and approaches adopted by leading development sector organizations in Pakistan. For instance, the interest-free loan model of Akhuwat emerged as a potential strategy that could be replicated in Afghanistan with government support, aligning with Islamic principles.
- Innovative Approaches:
- Exposure to innovative platforms like “Vceela” opened avenues for creative thinking. Implementing similar concepts in Afghanistan could empower women artisans, providing them with a dignified livelihood while ensuring their safety.
- Adaptation to Change:
- The visit emphasized the necessity of adapting to change for the long-term sustainability of an organization. CSOs were guided on navigating sensitive areas such as Gender-Based Violence, Women’s Rights, and early child marriages by experts from IMC and HomeNet.
- Community Engagements:
- AKDN and PPAF showcased successful case studies where community engagement played a pivotal role in project success. These instances highlighted the importance of involving communities from project design to completion, ensuring long-term success.
Our collaboration with UNDP and the training program in Kabul exemplifies our commitment to empowering civil society organizations in Afghanistan. By providing valuable skills and facilitating cross-cultural exchanges, we aim to contribute to the sustainable development and resilience of CSOs in the region. Stay tuned for more updates on our initiatives as we continue to bridge gaps and foster collaboration for a brighter future.