Oxfam in Azerbaijan: Program description 1999-2000
1. Capacity building support
In the 1998/99 ECHO funded project year OXFAM started to support IDP communities who took the initiative for the formation of community- based Steering Committees. In this way, 22 Steering Committees were formed and supported.
Under the 1999/00 ECHO funded project the same capacity support was provided to previously established and newly formed Steering Committees. Knowledge, experience and skills gained through the training sessions, linking meetings and exchange visits arranged by OXFAM have increased their capacity to coordinate all community-based initiatives such as assessing and prioritizing needs; planning, identifying internal resources and making links for external support.
Five active Steering Committees united in one NGO called "Union of IDP communities" have successfully completed their 6 monthly project financed by OXFAM's grant programme the aim of which was to support other IDP communities to form and develop similar types of Steering Committees.
2. Water and sanitation
This included water and sanitation related interventions such as the improvement of water schemes; construction of standard pit latrines, bathhouses, sun/rain shelters, community centres; provision of small repair kits, rubbish collection points, pest vector control kits; public building rehabilitation; training on preventative health care for community leaders.
The distinctive feature of all engineering interventions was the direct involvement of communities in all repair-rehabilitation and construction works through the coordination of their Steering Committees.
3. Drug Revolving Fund scheme
The First Aid Revolving Fund was a pilot initiative within ECHO 1999/00 project the philosophy of which was to set up; First Aid Revolving Fund units in identified communities located far away from the health centres.
First aid kits with extra medication depending on the needs of communities, were provided to qualified nurses/midwives who are now delivering first aid support to people for a minimum charge agreed by communities' Steering Committees. The money collected is being used to top up the contents of first aid kits.
Nurses/midwives have been provided with appropriate training, and jointly agreed and developed guidelines for the management of first aid revolving fund system and links have been established with relevant health departments.
4. Income Generation/ Local Production
Locally identified items such as: floor rugs, vests and socks were produced by IDP producer groups and distributed to needy communities
Within all the project sites of the 7 IDP groups who had specific skills to set up small business, activities like barbershops, carpentry, etc. were identified and provided with grants.
The valuable aspect of this grant provision is that through the coordination of Community Steering Committees grant receivers have been linked with drug revolving funds from their income.
5. Kitchen gardening
500 selected vulnerable households were provided with seasonal vegetable seeds, tools and pesticide.
Relevant information and training by the Agriculture Specialist was provided to beneficiaries.
6. Novib funded Savings and Credit programme
In 1997 OXFAM started S&C programme in Barda and surrounding regions, the primary aim of this is to support IDPs and vulnerable local people through access to financial resources by establishing a self-sustainable MFI (Micro-finance institution)
The programe is based on "group working" principles. Groups consist of 10-20 members which may be composed from IDP's and local people and may be either women, men or mixed groups. Currently there are 30 groups.
S&C programme has already received new funding from NOVIB for the next 3 years.
OXFAM GB Barda 2000/01 ECHO funded programme
OXFAM is changing its approach in favour of working through partners rather than direct operational work. The 2000/01 programme funded by ECHO which is to run from July 2000 - June 2001, will be the last stage of Oxfam's operational involvement with IDP's/refugees in Azerbaijan. By the end of this programme Oxfam will close its Barda sub-office and there-after, grant support to selected IDP/refugee settlements will be provided on a case basis in which communities through established Steering Committees will implement community based development projects.
Programme has the following components:
1. Water supply and Sanitation
Oxfam, together with communities has constructed and rehabilitated many water and sanitation facilities. Some of them are being maintained and managed by communities themselves with very little support from Oxfam. However, there were still gaps in some settlements in term of managing water supply and sanitation facilities. As part of this programme Oxfam will continue providing technical support, maintenance and training of water supply and sanitation technicians in 20 settlements through the provision of essential tools and equipment to carry out repair work whenever needed.
2. Basic Health service
Oxfam's experience in this is limited to the Drug Revolving Fund which was implemented within ECHO 1999/00 project.
Under 2000/01 ECHO funded programme Oxfam will continue to support the 10 previously established Drug revolving Fund units and 10 new similar units will be established. Appropriate training and funds for basic repair works of DRF units based on needs will be provided.
As part of this programme 10 communities will be assisted to rehabilitate, equip and manage 10 primary schools in collaboration with Local Educational departments.
Training will be provided to communities for the management and rehabilitation of schools.
Grant: Under this programme grants and technical capacity support will be provided to 5 producer groups with no other source of income but with proven specific skills and experience in agriculture and with access to land and water supplies.
Kitchen gardening: 600 households will be provided with vegetable seeds, tools and agricultural extension services.
5. Community Mobilization
This is an important part of the programme providing additional support to ensure that communities are prepared to take over programme components.
48 Steering committees/Action Groups and a number of women's and youth groups that have been established in resent years.
As part of this programme 24 previously established and 12 newly formed community steering Committees will be supported in terms capacity building through training, exchange visits and linking meetings.