The Basic Package of Services for Infrastructure
TAMKEEN offers a wide range of project options related to infrastructure. Many of TAMKEEN’s infrastructure projects are very normal projects like power, water and road projects, but they focus on rehabilitating the damage done by the war. For example, TAMKEEN infrastructure projects can repair damage to roads done by bombing or clear unexpoded ordinance. Many TAMKEEN power and water projects focus on restoring the supply of public utilities that have been damaged in fighting, or cut off by the Regime. TAMKEEN provides options to rehabilitate sanitation and drainage, and to improve solid waste management. Again, these are likely to focus on rehabilitating existing systems. The infrastructure BPS takes a very broad definition of infrastructure, also including options to work on civil defense, farm infrastructure and bakeries.
The Basic Package of Services for Education
TAMKEEN’s Education BPS covers a wide variety of needs, from “hard” to “soft” and familiar to unfamiliar. The BPS includes options for repairing school infrastructure, for rehabilitating classrooms and replenishing school supplies. It also includes project options for providing stipends or salaries to teachers. The BPS includes options for training teachers to deal with emergency situations, to establish and support Home Learning Programmes and other alternative education delivery models, and to promote child safety. It includes a project option for psychosocial support to children, and options for vocational training and learning centres for women and girls. Like the Infrastructure BPS, the Education BPS focuses on restoring and rehabilitating damage done to the conflict. It emphasizes finding alternative ways to adapt education to the demands of the conflict, therefore helping children keep learning even during the war.
The Basic Package of Services for Health
TAMKEEN’s Health BPS covers a range of health needs including primary, secondary and preventative health care. Its projects include options for the most obvious, major health needs of Syrian communities, for example the need to rehabilitate clinics and hospitals, to restock pharmacies and to provide working ambulance services. The project options also address less widely known but serious issues, for example to control the epidemic of Leishmaniasis in Syrian cities (caused by accumulation of waste and rubble) and to provide physical and psychological therapy for ex-combatants who are traumatized, physically handicapped or both.
The Basic Package of Services for Governance
TAMKEEN’s BPS for governance includes a range of capacity building projects for local councils, including projects to build financial management capacity, to improve public records management, to establish revenue collection and to administer civil registration services. It also includes the very popular option of organizing a census or survey of the local community, in order to help to prioritize aid and service delivery. The Governance BPS also includes options to address other aspects of good governance, for example to faciltiate dialogue and mediation, to build Community-Based Organizations and to improve reporting of Human Rights Violations.
How we develop our BPSs
We draw the information we need for our BPSs from several places.
- First, it comes from the research that we do in each community before implementation begins. Our research team interviews expert informants and organizes focus groups in the community in order to understand what the communities need.
- Second, we draw on the actual experience of delivering the programme. Often, communities request certain projects or use our project options in ways that the programme was not expecting. TAMKEEN can then use this to improve and update the BPS in the future.
- Third, we draw on other sources. Our research team and experts for each sector review research reports produced by other organizations. We consult and network with other programmes and programme donors to find out what is needed and what is already being done. This might help us to identify other needs, but it also helps us to recognize when a certain type of project is already available through other programmes.
- Fourth and finally, we identify which needs TAMKEEN can meet. Many of the needs we identify can’t be met at the community level- they need to be addressed at the level of a city, governorate or even a whole country. Many are too expensive or take too long to implement. We remove these sorts of projects until we find the ones that it makes sense for TAMKEEN to offer.
In the end, we have a set of options that we can give communities which we know are needed, which we know are appropriate, and which fit with what other stakeholders are offering.
Why the BPS approach works
The BPS approach works for at least three reasons.
- First, because the BPS combines top-down and bottom-up approaches. The bottom-up approach, drawing from research and implementation experience, makes sure that the projects options offered address real needs and are relevant to what is happening in our communities. The top-down approach, drawing from networking and analysis, ensures that our project options fit into the overall programme of assistance for communities in Syria.
- Second, because the BPS system accelerates the process of choosing and designing projects. The BPSs give communities clear options to choose from, making prioritization easier. The BPSs are also supported by extensive guidelines and capacity development materials, and communities have access to experts provided by TAMKEEN to help them design their projects.
- Third, because the BPS system is quick and efficient. The BPSs are approved in advance by donors, and as long as projects proposed by communities remain within the guidelines, they can be approved by the Programme team, without having to go back to donors. This means that programme can approve projects in days or weeks, rather than weeks or months.