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Youth Facilitation Center By Needs
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Khurram Owais Shah



Joined: 07 Nov 2007
Last Visit: 09 Oct 2010
Posts: 45
Location: Karachi
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 1:23 pm    Post subject: Youth Facilitation Center by NEEDS Reply with quote

Project: Youth Facilitation Center
Organization: Network for Educational and Economic Development Services
Amount Requested: US$ 5,000
Location: Charsadda, NWFP

Overview: The aim of the project is to facilitate poverty reduction through social mobilization. The Youth Facilitation Centre is intended to act as a resource centre where youth will be provided training (and post-training follow-up) along with access to information via the web. The primary focus of the project is to enable 200 youths to get the necessary business skill training required for establishing/identifying small businesses and income generation opportunities. Through such entrepreneurial activities, these individuals can improve income generation and ultimately reduce crime. (Please view attached file for detailed project proposal.)

Project Team: Kamran Niazi, Sabrin Beg, Mariam Nasir, Natalia Mehmud

Advisors: Shahan Zafar, Omar Biabani
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Shahan Zafar



Joined: 22 Nov 2007
Last Visit: 15 Oct 2009
Posts: 10
Location: San Francisco
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 1:48 am    Post subject: EC Recommendation List Reply with quote

Guys:
Please find below key take aways from the EC call as per our phone call discussion. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions.

Key Issues / Recommendations:

1) Assessment of market demand and how that maps into training courses and content. ADP wants to see a concrete path to a job post graduation to make this project is worthwhile. Market assessment is the key first step before you recruit trainees to ensure post graduation job placement success. We will fund seed money for market study if need be. The project team should know this but not the NGO (NEEDS)


2) Training quality and measurability. ADP needs to have high confidence that the training is relevant and impactful in achieving the end goal of getting a job. Credentials of course trainers, trainees' credentials, course content and conclusions from market demand study should be helpful here.


3) Sustainability and risk mitigation. How sustainable is this model and can it thrive standalone? We should consider funding for 2 months and reevaluate after that for round B funding based on performance against key metrics. How will that strategy play given the fixed vs. variable cost structure of the project?

4) Organization structure, bench strength and roles and responsibilities. ADP needs to understand how deep is the NGO and what are the credentials, roles and responsibilities of each individual.

5) Trainee criteria. Who is the ideal trainee candidate? How are the trainees selected and how do we know we are actually targeting deserving individuals? What is the science behind the number 200? Is that number supply or demand constrained? To ensure quality of the trainee pool, and to weed out free riders, should we recommend a nominal fee?


Good luck!!!!
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Kamran Niazi



Joined: 22 Nov 2007
Last Visit: 14 May 2009
Posts: 7
Location: Peshawar/Lahore
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 2:54 am    Post subject: NEEDS Feedback Reply with quote

My comments in Red

Key Issues / Recommendations:

1) Assessment of market demand and how that maps into training courses and content. ADP wants to see a concrete path to a job post graduation to make this project is worthwhile. Market assessment is the key first step before you recruit trainees to ensure post graduation job placement success. We will fund seed money for market study if need be. The project team should know this but not the NGO (NEEDS)
You can look at it two ways, you can create people for the local job market, or you can look at the Gulf Market. There are so many Pathans there, that you need not speak English. NEEDS can talk to different recruitment agencies and find a ready made market.

2) Training quality and measurability. ADP needs to have high confidence that the training is relevant and impactful in achieving the end goal of getting a job. Credentials of course trainers, trainees' credentials, course content and conclusions from market demand study should be helpful here.
You would find it difficult to match qualifications with the results. There are so many people with high degrees (even from abroad), who I would not hire as consultants. I have had bad experiences from such trainers / consultants (even Lahore Based Ones). As far as trainees are concerned, please remember that, these people come from the lowest of the low and they are trained / taught by the lowest of the low. So we will have to:
a. Be very careful about the trainer
b. Ensure that, they are given the max possible support.


3) Sustainability and risk mitigation. How sustainable is this model and can it thrive standalone? We should consider funding for 2 months and reevaluate after that for round B funding based on performance against key metrics. How will that strategy play given the fixed vs. variable cost structure of the project?
Most of the NGOs here don’t think of sustainability through generating revenues of their own. They do pay lip service to the sustainability concept, but don’t work upon it. So how about reducing the costs and adding revenues streams to the concept. e.g. every trainee placed through a recruitment agency etc pays a commission in addition to the fee for the course.

4) Organization structure, bench strength and roles and responsibilities. ADP needs to understand how deep is the NGO and what are the credentials, roles and responsibilities of each individual.
Agreed

5) Trainee criteria. Who is the ideal trainee candidate? How are the trainees selected and how do we know we are actually targeting deserving individuals? What is the science behind the number 200? Is that number supply or demand constrained? To ensure quality of the trainee pool, and to weed out free riders, should we recommend a nominal fee?
I would recommend / require a fee. Otherwise, you would get lots of freeloaders. For long term sustainability, they should start looking at fees from the beginning. Keep on increasing fees, as ADP reduces its commitment. To ask people to part with money is a hard task and NEEDS would really have to deliver value for money, which is always a nice thing.
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Shahan Zafar



Joined: 22 Nov 2007
Last Visit: 15 Oct 2009
Posts: 10
Location: San Francisco
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 12:16 pm    Post subject: Schedules Reply with quote

Team:
Just so EC can manage their calenders, can you guys let us know 2-3 days when you will be able to share your diligence presentation with the EC? We need to nail down the calender for the team and EC asap.
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Kamran Niazi



Joined: 22 Nov 2007
Last Visit: 14 May 2009
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Location: Peshawar/Lahore
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 1:39 pm    Post subject: Availabiliy Reply with quote

I would be tied up till 16th. After that, I do have some commitments, but we can do something. What dates are convenient to you guys, let me know and I can try & rearrange my schedule.

Regards

Kamran


PS Shahan, about the Market Survey, lets talk about it, if we can focus on agribusiness products, I can ask my Organization to put in money also.
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Shahan Zafar



Joined: 22 Nov 2007
Last Visit: 15 Oct 2009
Posts: 10
Location: San Francisco
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 1:55 pm    Post subject: Presentation Schedule Reply with quote

Is the Project team all coordinated? You guys should tell us a couple of days that work fir the entire project team. Otherwise managing calenders will be a nightmare.
Kamran, thanks for the suggestion. You should definitely bring this up with the Project team.
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Sabrin Beg



Joined: 22 Nov 2007
Last Visit: 04 May 2008
Posts: 5
Location: New York
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

16 and 17 work for me (Kamran, does 17th work?). I will be posting my thoughts today. Hope to hear from everuyone before we do the diligence presentation.
Thanks
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Sabrin Beg



Joined: 22 Nov 2007
Last Visit: 04 May 2008
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Location: New York
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

• Overall the project is a new idea, from my knowledge, but I can forsee immediate and external spillover benefits in the short and long run, provided there is a clear plan for sustainability and identification of return
• In order to realize the returns we need to understand
o If there is any accountability on the part of the trainees. What are they doing after they get trained, are they actually getting into jobs or continuing with what they would have done if they hadn’t received training.
o What will drive the sustainability? Can we ask the trainees to stay back and train new people before they go out and look for jobs
o The proposal talks about “fee-charging” - we need to understand better what kind of fees will be charged, how much, I can see people coming to the center if there is no charge for the training but not so sure if people would be willing to spend time in training rather than working, esp. if there are no clear and immediate returns. Can the fees be charged in terms of services?
• Project is slightly theoretical – we need to have a better idea of the market demand of employment/job availability etc. to understand if the “training for skill development” will be effective. Will people get better jobs after the training, will those jobs be more profitable than the kind of jobs that people already engage in.

The project will support 200 youths in six months for self-employment from low-income families, youth with disabilities, youth with more or less education through integrated business skills training programme and post-training support services that will support small business and income generation opportunities to achieve sustainable development of the target communities through self-help and self-reliance.

Need to understand what the post-trainign services are, and what the small business and income generation activities are.

The aim is not to push the youth into stereotypical or non-profitable skills but to facilitate and enable them to fully participate in all steps of the programme i.e. from skill identification till self-employment. This is a comprehensive training package that identifies and assesses local economic opportunities, designs and delivers community-based skills training, and provides post-training services, including counseling, guidance, provision of information, linkages with employers and service providers to assist youths to organize themselves and mobilize the local resources for income generation.” [Project Proposal]


• What are the local resources and economic opportunities – and how can they be used for income generation. If the NGO can identify these and what kind of small business activities will be pursued by the trainees, we will better understand whether or not they use local resources efficiently, and how helpful they will be for the individuals and the community.


• Are there any specific incentives/arrangements for women?
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Natalia Mahmud



Joined: 22 Nov 2007
Last Visit: 24 Apr 2008
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Location: New York
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the 16th works for me.
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Natalia Mahmud



Joined: 22 Nov 2007
Last Visit: 24 Apr 2008
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Location: New York
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The proposed project will not be limited to the project duration but it will remain continue after the withdrawal of ADP support by taking the following steps to sustain the service delivery of YFC;
- Introducing fee-charging mechanism
[Project Proporsal]

What kind of fees? We have to remember ACE (a previous ADP project) where people who got employment through the organization were supposed to give 25% of the first month's salary to ACE as service charges and that didn't work out.
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Khurram Owais Shah



Joined: 07 Nov 2007
Last Visit: 09 Oct 2010
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Location: Karachi
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sabrin, thank you for summarizing the issues (file attached).

For the team as whole, I would like to remind you that we now need to start looking for answers to these questions and see if the issues can be resolved.

Thanks and regards,
Khurram
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Shahan Zafar



Joined: 22 Nov 2007
Last Visit: 15 Oct 2009
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Location: San Francisco
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 1:37 pm    Post subject: EC Team Meeting Agenda Reply with quote

Team:
As a reminder, EC has already taken a cursory look at the project and has a perspective on what key questions should be (which I posted already). The Project Team needs to a) come up with a more comprehensive diligence questions which the team feels should be answered before we fund the project and b) find answers to those questions.
I would suggest the project team posts its comprehensive diligence list on the forum so that EC and others can chime in if need be. We already have enough questions floating around in this thread that someone in the Project Team can lead that effort of consolidating the diligence list and assigning owners against those questions. The owners can then go ahead and start their diligence against their assigned questions (which may mean contacting the NGO etc) and report back to the Project Team. The Project Team should then opine on the merits of the project and discuss their findings and concerns with the EC (first EC / Project Team Presentation / Call). That call will probably lead to some additional diligence areas / questions that the Project Team can run down and then propose a go no go recommendation to the EC in the final EC / Project Team call. Let me know if the expectations and process makes sense.. Please coordinate with Khurram on what dates work for the first EC call. I am not sure if the Project Team is ready for having a meaningful call with the EC so I suggest we nail down the revised dates for the first and the second call asap.
Best regards,
Shahan
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Kamran Niazi



Joined: 22 Nov 2007
Last Visit: 14 May 2009
Posts: 7
Location: Peshawar/Lahore
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 11:30 pm    Post subject: Feedback on Sabrin's Post Reply with quote

a. Sabrin, my comments on the file are in Red and I agree with Natalia's Comment.

b. The email to Mr. Khan is also very nice

c.Team, Things really seem to moving now

Take care
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Sabrin Beg



Joined: 22 Nov 2007
Last Visit: 04 May 2008
Posts: 5
Location: New York
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In response to Shahan Zafar's post, I am available to have a call with the EC anytime next week.
We probabaly also need to look at the list of diligence questions and come up with more comprehensive answers and assign them to members of the team so each member can go ahead and start diligence.
we can work off the initial diligence report that I posted. And each person can volunteer to take up responsibility for one or more questions. Each person can then think about the reponses, and do further diligence and report back to the team. ok?
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Sabrin Beg



Joined: 22 Nov 2007
Last Visit: 04 May 2008
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Location: New York
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

materials for call
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