Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Alternate Livelihoods for Refugees

Today is World Refugee Day: There are now more displaced people on the planet than at any other time in human history. UN Security Council has failed to prevent war through negotiation, diplomacy, and sanctions. By the end of 2015, 65.3 million individuals had been driven from their homes as a result of persecution, conflict, generalized violence or human rights violations. Of these, 21.3 million were refugees, 40.8 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and 3.2 million asylum-seekers (UNHCR, 2015a).

The civil wars always have unfolded refugee crisis in every part of the world. The refugee choose to transit to safe locations and may become “stuck” in a country that was intended to be a pit stop on a longer journey. But why don’t refugees just stay in these countries such as India, Turkey or Greece? Human Rights as well as Living conditions of destination where migrants had most wanted to reach significantly affect their migration intention. The reasons for this are clear: poor living conditions, lack of employment opportunities and the desire to fulfill their initial plans. Even once they are migrated to destination, they apply as asylum-seekers, and keeps them waiting, sometimes for years, for refugee status.

This is the time for investing in skill development for livelihoods. . Getting newcomers quickly into the labour market is “the only way” to integrate them. The assistance must including livelihood support be given through cash grants, medical assistance, vocational trainings and Non Food Items (NFIs).

1. Language Barrier: The first task is overcoming language barriers through using services of social connections like diaspora. A key to pursuing sustainable livelihoods is social capital to overcome language barrier and adaptation to the new place. Innovative use of technologies for data gathering with social networks should be piloted to overview the required support for target population.

2. Grants and Micro Credit: Cash and in-kind safety-net transfers under humanitarian programs are an important coping resource for the displaced. There must be setup of micro credit services to provide loans to refugees. Otherwise the majority of the refugee falls into trap of lenders who are connected to organized crime. Initial grant must be a hybrid of vulnerability fund as well as start-up capital to invest in skills or business. Integration with mobile platforms and with mobile money expands the client base and makes the services easier to use. Credit activity can also be self-sustaining in financial terms, something that is particularly useful as donor funding is in decline. Aligning with on-line crowd-funding also expands the base of donors.

3. Skill Development: The third setup is to assess their education and skills systematically. There is necessity in the recognition of foreigners’ qualifications especially in face of Europe’s excessive demands for credentials. Once the assessment of entrepreneurial and employ ability of the candidate over, a careful planning to ensure that vocational training is imparted and marketing support is provided. In this way livelihoods are secured. This becomes more important as most displaced persons have background of farming and pastoral livelihood practises; The refugees who upgrade their current skills and learn on their own will find it easy, whereas the traditional learner who doesn't add to his skills will face challenges. Workforce skills acquires special significance viewed from the perspectives of both Lifelong Learning (LLL) and the Knowledge Economy (KE).

Challenges: Humanitarian agencies and host governments have predominately used the camp and settlement systems as opposed to supporting the settlement of refugees in urban areas. Social and economic conditions in refugee economies are distinct from those in more settled and integrated economies. This is particularly true where refugees live in camps designated by gender, ethnicity, or language, and are separated from mainstream urban activity.The whole proposition of livelihoods become infeasible in remote camp-based areas with depressed economic conditions such as East Sudan, requires market responsiveness and carefulness.

Unfortunately, the refugee crisis is not temporary. Most refugees do not expect to be displaced for long, but in reality displacement lasts about 17 years on average. As a result, there is a need to address longer-term development needs to complement short-term humanitarian assistance. Hence, there is need to learn on the Refugee Livelihoods. Reference: UNHCR evidence document and Guide to market-based livelihood interventions for refugees.

Friday, June 9, 2017

First Time Manager

As a fresher, I always thought experience is just a word, but now I certainly believe in it. I have understood the ebbs and flows of the profession better.  What really do organizations want out of the professional? The simple answer is “get the job done”. Generally speaking, all managers are charged with three responsibilities: making money for the firm while saving time and reducing expenses. In below lines, find few tips for the first-time managers:

Skill development It is always expected to have basic skills to conduct meetings, reviews, analysis, and communication skill. There must be always focused on developing self-capacity to increase productivity. This includes a small task of planning for day work in hours to being updated with the latest know-how in the field. Work on your written and verbal communication skills to become more appreciative and acknowledging of your coworkers.

Ask for Trouble- Effort is important but where to put effort distinguishes achievers from hard workers. It is important to get your hands dirty by taking over troubled account or project. The problem can be varying from small communication gaps to a series of missteps. Learn about the root cause of the original problem. Why previous attempts to turn things around were unsuccessful?The solution approach helps in understanding the nature of business development and service quality of the organization.

Understand Business- It is always beneficial to spend some time with senior management. The process to design strategy, decision making and contribution are widely learned in this process only. Consumer behavior, public policy, and external environment are constantly changing and managers ability to anticipate and respond to these changes is vital to the top leadership.

Networking - The meaningful connections with teammates, clients, and supervisors is relationship building in the simple and effective form. It is always better to have network spread across age, sex, ranks, department, and alumni network. This involves regularly answer to emails and returning phone calls, engaging with employees in the hall and break room. Be Assertive, Admit when wrong and Make promises what you can keep.

Managing Team - Make sure that same rule is applied for everyone. If a manager seems to be close friends with just one or a few members of a team — to the exclusion of others — this could be a case of playing favorites that could easily escalate. Any manager that checks in with individuals on time utilization far more than necessary is likely a micro-manager.

Decision Making - It is always better to be consistent and a bit of flexible on decisions, responding emails, approach towards a problem, in monitoring team progress. The reputation of the person flip-flopping under pressure decays rapidly. Never fall into a meeting trap, in which meetings are routinely and unnecessarily convened, because constantly meetings for “input” or to consult about an issue could signal a problem with indecision.

It is important to never lose sight of the basics. Sportsmen are the best to emulate on the competition and positive attitude. Regardless of their ranking, they train regularly to strengthen and refine their basic techniques. It is important to understand what really matters to someone, whether an entry-level team member straight out of school or a veteran employee. A manager must seek to understand what each people in the network really care about. This may sound obvious, but in the midst of pressure for deliverables, it’s often forgotten.

The working culture, beliefs, and attitudes prevailing in the organization dilute individual beliefs in most of the cases. There will be a lot of unknowns when one is naive and young: Do I belong here? Am I good enough? There's a lot of proving to do along the way, to yourself and to those around you. Sometimes you need a bit of success to just say: I actually belong here!

Please read 10 Challenges That Every First-Time Manager Will Face by Jacob Shria for more such gyaan.


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This Blog is meant purely as a personal diary of a rural manager in making. It exists to record information, experiences and opinions about various issues encountered in the line of duty. Any person, institution and organization mentioned here doesn't assume any liability for its contents. This is not a deliberate attempt to defame anyone. And if you have actually read all that is written in the blog and aren't mad at me, then thanks for your time and patience !


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