Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, October 21st, 2018

CEO Orders USAID’s Promote to Tighten Reporting Procedures

CEO Orders USAID’s  Promote to Tighten  Reporting Procedures

KABUL - CEO Abdullah Abdullah on Saturday asked Promote management to strengthen monitoring and reporting procedures to government regarding the implementation of their projects.
Abdullah made the remarks at a ceremony in Kabul that marked the launch of the National Teacher Preparedness Training Program which is part of the USAID-funded Promote program.
The event was attended by Abdullah, officials from the ministries of education and women’s affairs and representatives of Promote.
Abdullah’s remarks come just days after the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) stated in a report that Promote had to date been a failure.
“Based on the experience, improvements should be brought in reporting to the Presidential and Sapedar Palaces,” said Abdullah.
Abdullah meanwhile said quality education was critical in order for Afghanistan’s economy to grow and for development in the country.
“The quality of our education is critical to national economic growth and the future of Afghanistan. It is the foundation on which all else is built,” said Abdullah.
Promote staff said however that under this new program, 2,500 female teachers will be trained nationwide in order to increase the standard of lessons, improve classroom management, curriculum development, lesson planning and other skills needed for a sound learning environment. 
According to officials, this three-month program will include teachers from primary and secondary schools and will follow a curriculum developed by the Ministry of Education.
“We have worked together with the ministry on a teacher’s preparedness program which is really quite simple in its premise. It does not teach the subjects of instruction, but it teaches people how to prepare for classes, how to put together lesson plans, how to manage a classroom and more importantly structure curricula and activities so there is a more hands on practical learning process,” said Michael Morgan from Promote.
Although SIGAR reported the Promote program a failure, Promote staff said on Saturday said the report only covered a section of the program and that a large part of their objectives are still to be implemented.
Promote is a five-year program funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID.) The program started in 2015 and aims to train and help Afghan females to find jobs or get better jobs.
Susan DeCamp a director of USAID in Kabul said so far 64,000 Afghan women have benefited from Promote.
“The Promote investigation took place a couple of years ago; in the first two years of the program and it is a five-year program. So since then a lot of good results have been achieved,” said DeCamp.
DeCamp said the new teacher program will also play a key role in enhancing teachers’ skills. 
“Receiving a good education is a fundamental right for society; we are committed to working with the education system in Afghanistan to assist teachers in uplifting their skills, building their confidence, and helping Afghan youth to receive quality schooling,” said DeCamp.
SIGAR Report on Promote
The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said in a recent report that the program had helped somewhere between no women and roughly 60.
USAID’s "Promote" program is the agency's "largest women's empowerment program in (USAID) history," according to the program's website.
It was supposed to train Afghan women to enter the private and public sectors, and then help them become eligible for promotions in their fields. And it was intended to extend those training and hiring benefits to 75,000 Afghan women.
But SIGAR stated that in the three years since 2015, the number of women who found "new or better" employment was closer to 55.
SIGAR said that it could not conclusively credit the women’s successes to the program.
SIGAR also said that it was unclear whether or not the Afghan government would choose to support the program as the Afghan government might not be able to hire all of Promote's graduates.
It is also unclear whether the graduates would obtain jobs in the private sector in large numbers due to the country's low projected economic growth rate, the SIGAR report said.
Quoted by The New York Times, John Sopko, head of SIGAR, said that women's groups found the program to be "poorly designed and oversold." The program is scheduled to end in 2020, giving it only two years to meet its goal.
Despite the SIGAR report, USAID last week said the program "directly benefited 50,000 Afghan women with the training and support they need to engage in advocacy for women's issues, enter the work force and start their own businesses." (Tolo news)