Livelihoods Project 2011-2013 Tibet Autonomous Region – China Interim Report October 2012 Bróna O’Donnell Livelihoods Project Technical Advisor
Livelihoods Project.Tibet Autonomous Region. PRC • Interim report • Reporting period: January 2011-October 2012 • The report focuses on the technical advisor role during this period
Handicap International is working in partnership with the Tibetan Disabled Persons Federation since 2000, to create a more inclusive society, to raise public awareness on the potential of disabled people and promote access to healthcare, education and employment. . During the period 2008-2010, with EU funding, Handicap International supported the Tibet Disabled Person’s Vocational Training and Job Referral Center to establish the first vocational training service for people with disabilities in the Tibet Autonomous Region. . The project provided capacity building for partner staff to develop the skills necessary to effectively manage a specialized vocational training service for PwD. This current Livelihoods project is a continuation of this initial stage, focusing on the wider scope of economic empowerment for PwD. Livelihoods Project.Tibet Autonomous Region. PRC Introduction
Tibet is one of the poorest areas of China, with a higher incidence of disability than the national average (7% of the population compared to 6.3%. Over 70% of families of persons with disabilities do not have a stable income and live on less than 100 EUR a year. Most working persons with disabilities are farmers or nomadic herders. Other live from retirement pension (7%) or receive a basic livelihood allowance from the government. Less than 2% have set up a business and only 1% have qualified jobs. Project background
Project background • Despite the general improvement of living conditions in China, the number of people living below the poverty line remains high, with inequality increasing. The national development policies, to date focusing on the larger populated areas, have yet to impact on those living in isolated rural areas, and in ethnic minority areas, such as Tibet. • In this isolated context, people with disabilities are exceptionally vulnerable. For the most part, they have no access to education and vocational training, resulting in limited employment opportunities. • The survey, ‘The Labour Market Situation of People with Disabilities in the Tibet Autonomous Region, 2011’ (HI & TDPFVTB) indicates 59% of PwD interviewed were unaware of support currently available in education, vocational training and employment opportunity. At present, PwDs in the region have little earning potential and remain without social protection, marginalized from the formal support structures
The local situation • The local situation in TAR is continuously sensitive, with travel restrictions, meetings curtailed and cancelled, the necessity for official approval for all activities. This situation was exacerbated by heightened political tensions of the 60th anniversary of the Liberation of Tibet (2011), and continues increasingly restrictive. • In 2012 the national priority continues to be stability in the region, discouraging public activities, gatherings, meetings and organisational changes. • Government staff may be discouraged from attending meetings and events, and committing to existing and new projects. • Ongoing travel restrictions impact on non nationals entering the region, with increasingly strict restrictions on HI expat staff working locally.
Disability by type in Tibet Physical disability is recorded as the most common type of disability, followed by hearing impairments. Mental illness and learning difficulties have the lowest proportions of incidence in Tibet. (national survey 2006)
The project aim is to strengthen the capacity of partners and local organizations by addressing locally identified problems and issues, and is aimed specifically at improving the lives of people with disabilities through vocational skills training and economic empowerment. Regular dialogue between all state and non-state actors (including associations, families and private sector) involved in the project should facilitate the setting up of flexible training and internships, adapted to the needs and habits of persons with disabilities and to the realities of the local market Project aims Although the primary target group are persons with disabilities, the overall results are expected to improve the vocational training and employment system in Tibet, resulting in a more participatory and inclusive system for all vulnerable & marginalized groups.
Existing vocational skills training systems offer a limited range of training opportunities for persons with disabilities. The available training programs are categorized by type of disability, disregarding the ability and/ or career wishes of the person. Training and employment strategies do not respond to the requirements of the formal and informal business sector and fail to address employers’ concerns and limitations in employing persons with disabilities. Limited collaboration between stakeholders results in an overall lack of service continuum, preventing effective interagency referral and tracking systems with a lack of coordinated response to the persons with a disability. Local authorities, services providers, associations of persons with disabilities and employers are not adequately informed about the existing regulations, policies and obligations of stakeholders regarding the rights of persons with disability. The specific challenges:
Livelihoods Project partnership & beneficiaries Partners TDPFVTC HI TDPF (10 staff) and its branches in Lhasa and Shigatse. Local authorities (Civil Affairs, Human Resources & social security and Education bureaus) 3 Disabled Persons Organizations 2 Self-Help Groups “Civil society” networks (Women’s Unions and Federations, village doctors and secretaries, youth leagues, and rehabilitation workers). Services providers: 3 pilot mainstream and 2 special vocational training centres, Lhasa and Shigatse Special Schools. “Private sector”: 20 current and potential employers 300 students and current/potential workers and 100 family members Target groups & beneficiaries
Key focus areas • Social inclusion for PwD through economic empowerment is the project’s primary focus, with skills training and education key tools to promote community inclusion. • PwD and their representatives are involved in implementing project actions, to include developing curricula, linking with the business sector, disability awareness raising, advocacy and personal representation in media campaigns. • The project actions will strengthen the capacities of the partner, the Tibet Disabled Persons Federation (TDPF), officially in charge of all disability issues in Tibet, to promote access of persons with disabilities to flexible, market-responsive vocational training and effectively accompany the persons throughout their inclusion process into employment, using individualized and participatory approaches
Project documentation, tools & outputs (Jan 11-Oct 12) 1) ‘The Labour Market Situation of People with Disabilities in the Tibet Autonomous Region. 2011’
‘The Labour Market Situation of People with Disabilities in the Tibet Autonomous Region. 2011’ commissioned to address the lack of quantifiable data on disability, training and employment available in the region. • The survey focused on a number of areas, including the dissemination of information on vocational training services to potential PwD trainees, vocational training labor market relevance, self employment options, and the business sector’s attitudes and perceptions toward PwD accessing mainstream employment. (available on request)
The survey was conducted at Lhasa municipal level and selected counties, with the coordination support provided by the regional and municipal labor bureaus. Questionnaires/ one to one interviews/ focus groups VT service provision for PwD Disabled job-seeker access to employment Informal business sector and self-employment The business sector’s perception of PwD accessing mainstream employment ‘The Labour Market Situation of People with Disabilities in the Tibet Autonomous Region’ Focus areas
Findings • The survey analysis provided valuable data in a number of areas, i.e. potential trainees lack of understanding of the aim and purpose of vocational training, a major disparity in perception between the business sector and PwD in the requirements for successful employment access and retention, the importance of vocational social skills to succeed in employment and the need for structured support in a self employment option for PwD. • The survey findingsare used in planning staff training, addressing service deficits and establishing support structures for PwD and the business sector to improve employment access and job retention.
Project documentation, tools & outputs (Jan 11-Oct 12) 2) • Developing Vocational Social Skills Training Curricula • Participatory Curricula Development • The Process
Developing Vocational Social Skills Training Curricula Livelihood Project 2011-2013 Tibet Autonomous Region – China
In TAR, traditional classroom delivery methods are used in the vocational training center and are generally a one way communication process, with the trainer delivering instructions, and little active participation in the learning process by the trainees. In TDPVTC, the skills training are delivered exclusively in-center, compounding the trainees’ isolation and lack of exposure to the ‘real ‘workplace. These factors often result in negative employment outcomes, with the graduating trainees demonstrating little understanding of appropriate work place behavior, and the social interactions necessary to a succeed in a job. To address this issue, it was agreed to form an advisory working group and use a participatory curriculum development (PCD) approach to develop training material, ensuring local context relevance and long term sustainability Developing Vocational Social Skills Training Curricula
Developing Vocational Social Skills Training CurriculaWhy? Participatory curriculum development • To ensure local relevance, ownership and sustainability, the inclusion of stakeholders in a participatory process of curriculum development is essential.
Developing Vocational Social Skills Training Curricula Who? • The multi agencyworking group was selected to include a range of background and knowledge, with a focus on those ‘working on the ground’, including stakeholders with disability.
Stage 1 Information sharing workshops with relevant organisations The process 2011-2012 Stage 5 The toolkit piloted in 10 vocational centres/ schools Peer training is provided by the working group to 30 trainers Stage 2 Working group formed Training by HI advisor Stage 6 (2012) Toolkit evaluation by the working group Revise and finalise toolkit Refresher training & toolkit dissemination. Stage 3 The working group, with input trainees with design and develop vocational social skills curricula. Stage 4 The pilot training is trialled in a classroom situation, with modifications based on participating trainee feedback and group observations
Goodpractice Through engagement in the process, individuals involved were able to able to build on their own knowledge, sharing their learning and experiences The inclusion of low literacy trainers in the working group ensured the training content designed was user friendly; as the majority of PwD (70%) in the region are illiterate Contextualised training and learning is more acceptable, as a PCD approach involves those who know the local situation best. The process allowed those with different sources of expertise contribute where knowledge and skill gaps existed, and suggest future strategies to address such gaps. Developing Vocational Social Skills Training Curricula
Developing Curricula The working group initially developed and trialed the lesson module, ‘Customer Care’, with 12 VTC trainees. . Developing Vocational Social Skills Training Curricula
This lesson plan involved action learning, role play and drama, and interacting in a ‘real’ workplace setting (local restaurant) followed by trainee feedback and recommendations Developing Vocational Social Skills Training Curricula Developing Curricula
Developing Vocational Social Skills Training CurriculaThe Toolkit HANDICAP INTERNATIONALANDTHE TIBETAN DISABLED PERSONS’ FEDERATION ! Getting a Job! Vocational Social Skills Toolkit A Trainer's Guide in teaching employment focused vocational social skills to people with disabilities
Developing Vocational Social Skills Training Curricula !Getting a Job!Toolkit follow up & evaluation • A follow up process took place in June 2012, to provide trainer support and evaluate toolkit relevance at ground level. • The evaluation was conducted with 16 trainers by project staff (HI and TDPFVTC) with support from TDPF and vocational skills training institutions. • Questionnaires / one to one interviews used in the process
Developing Vocational Social Skills Training CurriculaKey Recommendations • Produce a ‘professional’ movie • Develop further resources on vocational social skills • Submit the toolkit for official approval • Further staff training in delivering vocational social skills curricula • Provide captions on photos • Revise the toolkit structure, matching lesson plans to photos • Translate the toolkit to Chinese The toolkit is revised (September 2012) according to feedback & evaluation Refresher training and toolkit dissemination October 2012
Developing Vocational Social Skills Training Curricula Lesson Plans • The 20 lesson plans provide a structured guide in teaching ` vocational social skills • The lesson plans may be modified and changed to meet trainee’s learning needs
‘Getting a Job’ Developing Vocational Social Skills Training Curricula Photo examples x 4 • Depicting negative & positive behaviour in the workplace
Project documentation, tools & outputs (Jan 11-Oct 12) 3)Starting a Business & Grant Aid • The Process
Starting a Business & Grant Aid Livelihood Project October 2011
Labour market survey (2011) • The majority engaged in self employment have no knowledge on employment rights, preferential policies and supports available • As the majority work outside the formal support system, there is a high risk of real hardship should the business fail. • The majority are illiterate, with limited or no understanding of business management Establish start up grant aid structures, business development training , support systems and follow up process to support trainees with disabilities set up a business.
WHY? • For many PwD, self-employment is the only option available, with ongoing barriers in accessing mainstream employment. • As most PwD have no access to start up funding, the Livelihood project established (2011)a grant aid process to help PwD earn a living.
Selection Criteria • Person with Disability (over 18) • Motivated to start a business • Appropriate skills level • Unemployed/ low income status • Vocational skills training successful completion • Internship period completed/or previous business experience
Grant Aid 5000 Yuan allocated per person Provided by project: • Sewing machine • Sewing tools • Fabric, thread
Gender. Age. Disability Gender Age Disability
Skills Training & Testing • Cutting • Finishing • Measuring • Hemming Sewing Skills Test
Business Training • Developing a business idea • Planning a business • Market research • Establishing start up costs • Making a profit • Customer Service • Identifying supports to succeed
Interim Evaluation(6 month) May 2012 Business location site visits to check progress. A questionnaire was used to gather information.
Monitoring and evaluation- PwD self-employmentQuestionnaire • If the participant stopped running the business, what is the reason? • Is the participant is following the approved business plan. If not, what has the participant changed and why? • Obtain monthly income figures. If the income is less than the projected amount, why so? • What is going well in the business? • What problems are being encountered? How is the participant solving the problems? • How does the participant market market the products? • How much is the participant able to save from the income till now? If no savings, why? • How is the participant dealing with emergency expenses? • What future plans does the participant have for the business? • What plans does the participant have when the project withdraws support? • What is the perception by the participant’s neighborhood community and family since starting the business?