Friday, May 4, 2007

The Social Promotion of the Culture Foundation, A Success Story



A SUCCESS STORY for: AMR INNOVATION FAIR 2007 - http://amrif.blogspot.com/


PRESENTED BY: The Social Promotion of the Culture Foundation (FPSC), http://www.fundacionfpsc.org/. The Social Promotion of the Culture Foundation (FPSC) is a Spanish Non Governmental Organization in General Consultative Status with United Nations ECOSOC. Since 1987 FPSC works for the human development and the promotion of the culture. Through its programs and projects, tries to promote a human, social and economic development according to the dignity of the person and respectfully with the cultural identity of the peoples and social groups. Its philosophy settles on a model of “small, agile and independent organization” that allows it to strengthen and to capitalize the realized work and to attack the future challenges over a high capacity of management, optimization of resources and cost economy.
PRESENTED PROJECT: The MEDWA Project: “Stakeholder Participatory Sustainable Water Management at Farm Level - MEDA Co-Operation with Jordan and Palestine”. Project web site: http://www.medwa.org/.

Following the call for proposals launched in 2002 in the framework of the Euro-Mediterranean regional program for local water management (so called MEDA-Water, http://www.medawater-rmsu.org/), the MEDWA project have been awarded a grant contract from the European Commission. MEDWA project is a consortium formed by The Social Promotion of the Culture Foundation (FPSC), Hilfswerk Austria http://hwa.hilfswerk.at/, Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC) http://www.pal-arc.org/, and The Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development (JOHUD) http://www.johud.org.jo/.

The Overall Project Objective is: “Improving the Stakeholder Participatory Sustainable Water Management at Farm Level through MEDA cooperation with Jordan and Palestine.”

WHY DO WE PRESENT THIS PROJECT TO AMR INNOVATION FAIR 2007? Because it fits perfectly well with the proposed theme for the 2007 AMR: “Strengthening efforts for the eradication of poverty and hunger through global partnerships for development”.

A) FITTING WITH THE FIRST COMPONENT OF THE AMR THEME: “Strengthening Efforts For The Eradication Of Poverty And Hunger Through Global Partnerships For Development”

Quoting Kemal DerviĊŸ[1], United Nations Development Programme Administrator, the 2006 UNDP Human Development Report, titled “Beyond scarcity: Power, poverty and the global water crisis”, looks at an issue that profoundly influences human potential and progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. Access to water for life is a basic human need and a fundamental human right. Throughout history human progress has depended on access to clean water and on the ability of societies to harness the potential of water as a productive resource. Water for life in the household and water for livelihoods through production are two of the foundations for human development. Yet for a large section of humanity these foundations are not in place. In our increasingly prosperous world, more than 1 billion people are denied the right to clean water and 2.6 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation. These headline numbers capture only one dimension of the problem. Every year some 1.8 million children die as a result of diarrhoea and other diseases caused by unclean water and poor sanitation. At the start of the 21st century unclean water is the world’s second biggest killer of children. However, today we have the finance, technology and capacity to consign the water and sanitation crisis to history just as surely as today’s rich countries did a century ago. What has been lacking is a concerted drive to extend access to water and sanitation for all through well designed and properly financed national plans, backed by a global plan of action to galvanize political will and mobilize resources.
Irrigation water management in Jordan and Palestine suffers from various obstacles which are related to socio-economic, cultural and technological weaknesses. Technical water related problems include the inefficient and ineffective management of national water resources, old worn out and partly leaking water networks, subsidized water to some end users, poor surface water quality, inefficient water irrigation networks and limited water quantities for household use.
In combination with a concerted technical effort to develop a critical quality of water and irrigation management, the relationships between various stakeholders on community and village level play a decisive role for regional development in Jordan and Palestine and thus have to be systematically addressed. Due to different interests between e.g. irrigation water suppliers and farmers, there is a real need for intervention to regulate the relations and mediate the communication processes. A second drawback of the current stakeholder relationships is the role of women in agriculture. Although women do the biggest part of the agricultural activities, they are marginalized, being practically excluded from decision making bodies, partly by a traditional role of understanding, but also by lack of Know-How. The empowerment of women has been addressed by local NGO activities, but not yet as a relevant strategic goal in the country and as a mainstreaming topic.
The MEDWA Project combines socio-economic as well as technical approaches to the multi-level problems of the Jordan and Palestine water management sectors and thus aims at a holistic and sustainable approach to regional development.
The MEDWA Project focuses:

Target Groups:
Empowerment of local communities’ capacities in water management.
Efficient water demand management.
Efficient water supply management.
Establishment of effective program for experience exchange among stakeholder.
Water users/farmers,
Households with focus on women, and
Community based organizations

Mechanisms utilized in enhancing local community participation in sustainable water management:
• Establishing network linkages with various stakeholders and beneficiaries and effective fora for experience exchange.
• The project enhanced local communities’ active participation in relaying their voices and concerns to decision makers, in order to create positive change
• Encouraging local communities to work collectively together as teams as a tool to achieve overall objectives
• ُIntegrating the project’s activities with external activities and programs to maximize benefits and impact
• Communities participated actively in setting properties in planning phase.
• Communities involved heavily in determining of allocation of resources within the approved interventions.
• Community representatives (municipalities, village councils, water user associations, farmers committees) were involved in implementation and monitoring of activities.
• Cash and in-kind contribution, though not demanded, of beneficiaries in the cost of provided hardware was seen in most activities which improve sustainability and ownership.
• Ongoing evaluation of the project to ensure activities meet the needs of local communities

Knowledge dissemination and participatory activities: “Project software”:
• Definition of a know-how and technology pool in each participating country.
• Training courses and materials.
• MEDWA website http://www.medwa.org/ ; Informative pamphlets and brochures.
• Local visit exchange among beneficiaries.
• Cross-borders visit exchange among project team.
• Cooperatives and associations formation.
• Stakeholders forums; Conferences and meetings among stakeholders.
• Baseline surveys in the targeted areas.
• Capacity building and monitoring missions.

Pilot projects in different themes of work: “Project hardware”
• Wastewater treatment plants and Reuse schemes.
• Rehabilitation and extension of Irrigation networks.
• Demonstration on irrigation techniques (Tenssiometers).
• Use of brackish water in irrigation (date palm)
• Individual water cistern and Communal water cisterns.
• Metallic water reservoir (Individual and Collective).
• Rehabilitation of groundwater wells.
• Permaculture home gardens.
• Household grey water treatment units.
• Rehabilitation of springs and distribution channels.

Challenges
• Enhance access to information and resources on sustainable water resources management for members of the local communities.
• Ensure proactive involvement of local communities in identifying the priorities and needs, planning and implementation.
• Decrease the dependency among beneficiaries on external financial support.
• Strengthen linkages and networking between different stakeholders and decision makers.
• Improving technical and managerial capacities among the local communities.
• Need to replicate pilots interventions at larger scale to avoid diminishing interest of communities in these pilots which will endanger the continuous successful functioning.

Opportunities
• Build up of a solid base of stakeholders that can be constantly developed in the field of water management.
• Increased awareness of the problem of water in Jordan and Palestine among groups of beneficiaries can be directed toward best practices in efficient management of the dwindling water resources.
• Throughout the project implementation, new opportunities for alternative water resources have crystallized and need to be further explored.

Impacts
• Increase awareness among target groups on water management and water related issues.
• Increase the participation of local communities in the decision making process related to water management.
• Open the door for the other initiatives by stakeholders on water related subjects.


B) FITTING WITH THE SECOND COMPONENT OF THE AMR THEME: “Strengthening Efforts For The Eradication Of Poverty And Hunger Through Global Partnerships For Development”

The MEDWA Project joins efforts of different actors. On one hand efforts from South Organizations, from two different countries, as the water problem does not understand the meaning of national borders. As previously commented these organizations are Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC), and The Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development (JOHUD). On the other hand, efforts from North Organizations, and also from two different countries, The Social Promotion of the Culture Foundation (FPSC), from Spain, and Hilfswerk Austria. At the same time, these four Organizations are working in the frame of a Multinational Organization approach: the MEDA Programme, of the European Union. The Meda Programme has as its main objective “to implement the cooperation measures designed to help Mediterranean non-member countries reform their economic and social structures and mitigate the social and environmental consequences of economic development.”
The Location of Projects Management Units is:
European Partners:
HWA: Vienna, Austria
FPSC: Madrid, Spain
MEDA-Countries:
JOHUD: Amman, Jordan
PARC: Ramallah/Jerusalem, Palestine
[1] 2006 UNDP Human Development Report


The Partners Diagram and their inputs for the project as follows:


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