Knowledge sharing between NGOs and civil societies has the potential of being one of the most useful techniques for strengthening and improving implementation on the ground level. It not only helps share experiences, successes, failures and resources but also is the beginning of creation of new knowledge systems. While there is enough recorded evidence on the benefits of exchange programs, it still has a long way to go before establishing itself as a necessary practice across various fields of work, partly due to the expense of such endeavours falling outside of normal funding for NGOs. Whilst India and Ethiopia are at different stages in their development the two participant organisations showed strong linkages between the countries (e.g. FGAE was established by a few health and social work students who were studying in India; and, having populations of people who are isolated – the fuga in Ethiopia and the so called untouchables in India) and in the demographic they serve (youth, women and other vulnerable groups) in the general areas of health and development.
This case study focuses on a study trip between Jatan Sansthan (Jatan) and the Southern Region Offices of the Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE).
Jatan is a grassroots Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) based in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India. Jatan work with the rural populations of the Rajsamand and Udaipur districts in Rajasthan. The scope of their work covers health, education, employment and participation in democratic processes. Their target demographic is youth and women.
FGAE is a volunteer-based, charitable organisation. The scope of their work is to ensure access, choices and service provision of integrated, comprehensive, quality gender sensitive sexual and reproductive health programmes. FGAE work with the underserved and vulnerable population, focusing on youth and women.
Kailash Brijwasi applied for a fellowship from Arkleton Trust to enable a study trip between the two organisations where FGAE visited Jatan in India and vice versa.
The objectives of the study trip between Jatan and FGAE were as follows:
The long-term objectives for Jatan and FGAE are to ensure that the learning from the trip is shared within both organisations beyond only those staff that attended, and where appropriate to incorporate those new and adapted processes and practices learnt from the study trips in the field operations.
In January 2014, the Ethiopian group had visited Udaipur, India. Then the Ethiopian group were hosts to the Jatan group who travelled to Hawassa, Ethiopia in February 2014.
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