Post Graduate Diploma in Disaster and Livelihood Recovery for Nepali students by WDAC & TISS

Post Graduate Diploma in Disaster and Livelihood Recovery for Nepali students by WDAC & TISS

After the destructive earthquake last year, people are still affected and have yet to recover. With many after shocks, the fear has crossed several season's and people still are looking forward to live a safe and happy life. +Women Development Advocacy Center partnered with +Tata Institute of Social Sciences Mumbai to address one of the biggest challenges of the recent times of unavailability of skilled resources and man power to guide through the process of the speedy recovery work by producing trained graduates in Disaster and Livelihood Recovery through their Post Graduate Diploma program. The trained graduates from affected communities will then be able to handle the situations of post-aftermath, they would be helpful in accessing the conditions in the rural areas. Especially, when the recovery process isn't going well in the rural areas, and the government still struggling to have a firm grip on reconstruction, the skills that the graduates will be learning, would be used into effect immediately. It would also be a skill that would help out in the near future.

Nanda Kishor Mandal, Founding Director of  WDAC
Photo Source - Facebook
+View Your Choice- तपाईको सोचाई हाम्रो रोजाई -  interacted with Nanda Kishor Mandal ( +nanda kishor mandal  ) the founding director of +Women Development Advocacy Center, who closely supervises this program here in Nepal. Mandal and his team have been empowering the underprivileged women and girls for sustainable development have made exemplary work in the rural and sub urban area of Nepal. Here's our interaction with him on their recent collaboration - 

View Your Choice - Why Post graduate Diploma Program in Disaster and Livelihood Recovery and Why in Nepal ? 
Nanda - The very basic existence of human beings depends on the livelihood and it becomes crucial from the very moment we are born in this world. April 25 not only took away life but it  taught us that we need to build resilient communities - homes, skills and mindset.  
The idea to launch this program was to build the skills of the local change agents/enterprise development/livelihood facilitator who is going to be there in the communities and will be working for the communities, among the communities and intends to be there for couples of years. And if we see the people working at the communities level, they are merely graduates, working at that level for couple of year and cannot move up the ladder because they do not have the right degree and the skill set. 
Nepal was obvious choice as we were recently hit by earthquake and sooner or later everyone would have focused on livelihood and merely pouring the money at  the enterprise level in the grassroots communities would not have give the desired result as the right skill set always matter and nothing could replace the practical education as its the only sustainable that contributes at large. Launching this program as fits with the motto of the Government of Nepal - GoN as Build Back Better.

View Your Choice - +Tata Institute of Social Sciences under Jamsetji Tata Tata Centre caters several programs such as Post Graduate Diploma In Disaster Management, Certificate Programme in Disaster Management for 6 months and IFRC (Certificate Course in Disaster Management) program but why did WDAC prioritize this program ? 
Nanda -  Yes, +Tata Institute of Social Sciences has this program with +IFRC - which is open to the participants from all over the world and the cost of the IFRC program is also much beyond the reach of the people that WDAC intends to build the capacity for sustaining the grassroots/small enterprise/entrepreneurs. 
WDAC is an organization who is on mission to co-create economic sustainability through knowledge based interventions. 
We strongly believe that first and foremost people has to be out of hunger and have to have food to live, rest of the things are by product of making the living. And that is why WDAC in consultation with TISS conceived this idea of livelihood program focused specially for people of Nepal and Chennai. We also very well understood all the development agencies will soon be focusing on creating economic opportunities for the people in the affected areas and they would be huge need of the skilled people. And if we want a sustainable change, the change agents has to be picked from the communities/domicile of that communities as migrants skilled human resource would not last long for any assigned livelihood program as they are merely doing that job because they are paid for that and if picked from the domicile areas, we might see a future entrepreneurs in the areas as he/she would have already gained the knowledge and understanding of the local ecosystem which is very much important and necessary. 

View Your Choice - Are you planning to introduce the other programs in near future as well ?  
Nanda - As of now we do not intent to introduce other degree programs, however, we have launched 2 other programs with TISS, Mumbai. The first one is 5 days residential workshop targeted to executives and decision makers of Social Enterprise/Enterprise called Social Innovation Exchange Workshop on Creating and Sustaining High Impact Organizations scheduled in August 21-16, 2016 in Pokhara and it will be our annual program.  
The proceeds of this program would go to our another program - Rural Micro Enterprise Accelerator Program based out of Dhanusha, Janakpur in partnership with +Tata Institute of Social Sciences Mumbai. The idea is to scale up 10 micro enterprise every year by supporting with all the required inputs to scale the micro enterprise.

View Your Choice - The applicants pursue the degree from +Tata Institute of Social Sciences and what is the affiliation with WDAC about ? How does both the institution involve their role here ? 
Nanda - TISS will be facilitating the contact class extensively and rigorously in a workshop model because of which they have been able to bring down the entire contact class to  8 weeks of stay in Mumbai in first semester and 2 weeks of contact class and examination in 2nd semester with hand holding from the time they are admitted. 
18 weeks is a block/field placement, in Nepal so this is a practical course on developing the practical knowledge of the participants. Here comes the role of WDAC, WDAC will be responsible to place the participants in the organizations working in the livelihood space, co-create the deliverable of the students aligned with the organizations output and objectives so that both of them benefit. WDAC is also discussing some stipend for the participants be paid by the organizations employing the fellows.
View Your Choice - +King's College and true north are also part of it, can you update us what are their roles as well ? 
Nanda - Livelihood program cannot run in isolation. It has to deal with market, human and market dynamic, complex structure and the risk associated in the process of generating economic opportunities. Skills enhancement is a continuous process required for people working in the livelihood space and a rigorous monitoring and evaluation is required so stay focused. So to over come the challenges and also to add more value and resource to the program, we partnered with King's College as Knowledge Partners whose key objective is to promote entrepreneurship among the youths and in the nation. 
True North is helping us to provide some bursary to the participants of this course on a case to case basis after they get selected for the course so that no person who deserves to be there be left out because of the financial hardship. 

View Your Choice - Most of the students in Nepal, have a tough situation of placement post their graduation. Does your initiative look forward in answering and fulfilling this need ?  
Nanda - We are placing them in the midway of the course as a intern as a part of the course fulfillment (18 weeks). We will be co-creating the deliverable in consultation with our partners and the students and together strive to achieve that.  We are very sure, with this process, by the time our fellows graduate, they will already be familiar with the organization purpose and existence and which organization would not like to hire these kinds of people who has already been part of them since a year. But having said that we have to ensure that the quality of the performance is maintained. 

View Your Choice  - How do you plan to promote this program across students from the affected communities as that's your priority to have their interest where as how are you analyzing the application procedure to come from these affected communities ? 
Nanda - This has been our challenge, as we have not been able to reach them directly, we have been reaching out to the different organizations working in these affected areas, however we are positive of getting the right person. We are also signing a MoU with National Volunteer Development Program as our collaborator and outreach partner as they have penetration in 38 districts of Nepal. 
In regard to the selection, this has been kept at the TISS level as they have been the maters of selecting the right people considering all the background they come from and that is what they have been know so far for.

View Your Choice - What does WDAC plan for the year 2016 -17 other than this initiative ? 

Nanda - WDAC will be only doing the below mentioned program for another 5 years. 
Digital Fellowship - Training females on computer skills and placing them as computer teachers in local schools 
Social Innovation Exchange Workshop -   Creating and Sustaining High Impact Organizations 
Rural Micro - Enterprise Accelerator Program - The idea is to scale up 10 micro enterprise every year by supporting with all the required inputs to scale the micro enterprise.  
PG Diploma in Disaster & Livelihood Recovery


Eligibility Criteria :

With only 20 seats available, preferences would be given to those working on disaster affected communities. Candidates should have a bachelor's degree of minimum 3 years or equivalent with the minimum average of 50 percent.

For more information, contact :

Mr. Nanda Kishor Mandal at 9817684555.

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