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MSM Research intern

Functie omschrijving

This internship is approved as a 22 ECTS curricular internship for SBE/Emerging Markets (EM) students.

Maastricht School of Management (MSM) offers opportunities for SBE Bachelor Emerging Market internships in its international projects in a variety of countries, in particular Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Indonesia, South Africa, Kenya, Mali and Uganda.

Description / Tasks

The intern will have the following tasks:

• Familiarize with the MSM activities in Bangladesh
• Collect data and personal interest stories on the results and impact of the Strouven-funded gender project
• Undertake a market assessment for new MSM partners and projects in the area of gender, food security, sustainable local economic development
• Assist the team of the Center for Woman & Child Development if and when needed.

Functie eisen

Job requirements:
Hands-on attitude and have good report writing and analytical skills as well as good communication skills.

Language skills:
Proficient in English

Arbeidsvoorwaarden

Conditions of employment:
Interns receive one flight ticket (return, economy class) and contribution to costs of living allowance of euro 100 per month.

Timeframe internship:
Minimum internship period of 616 working hours, which is equivalent to 17 weeks of 40h work per week - maximum of 26 weeks

Bedrijfsprofiel

Project context
Health care providers equipped to support Gender Equality and Women Empowerment
Capacity enhancement to achieve Gender Equality and Women Empowerment and address Sexual and Gender-based Violence in the medical sector in Bangladesh and Ethiopia
Funded by the Elisabeth Strouven Foundation (Maastricht)

In December 2019, MSM started to work with doctors and nurses of the Dhaka Shishu Hospital in Dhaka with a Gender and Female Talent Development training. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, no follow-up training workshop could be organized. Instead, concise action-based research was conducted in December 2020, to assess the gender aspects of COVID-19 in Bangladesh. Female health staff of the Dhaka Shishu Hospital was engaged in conducting the research as a matter of capacity building in gender-sensitive research in the health sector. This assessment has helped to provide insight into the effects of COVID-19 on poor and middle-income groups of women and female health staff. The research also introduced female health staff to gender aspects in the health sector.
Following this, a gender-in-health network was started in March 2021. Ten online platform meetings were conducted on gender in health-related topics, such as how to make health services gender-sensitive, the disproportionate effect of COVID-19 on women and the working conditions in the hospitals. Due to COVID-19, the activities took place online and the planned gender training had to be postponed.
The year 2022 is the last year of this project, in which additional training is given to management and teaching staff of the hospital.

The project has been executed by the founder and director of the Center for Woman & Child Development (see annex). The internship will be hosted by this centre that has an office in Dhaka, Bangladesh. beyond the project-related task, the intern will have the opportunity to assist the team of the Center for Woman & Child Development in their field work with women groups.

Annex. Center for Woman & Child Development


Background

Great changes were in the air as we entered the new millennium but greater changes were needed to retain the successes achieved through the combined efforts of all the stake holders. Failure to grab opportunities for development brought about a decline in progress and ended in despair for half the nations of the world. Thus there have been successes and failures. Though there has been a decrease in the maternal and infant mortality rates and an increase in human life expectancy, number of educated adults, school going children and general food production has risen, the number of hungry people has trebled. There are now more people subject to exploitations, without safe water, usable latrines and habitable accommodation. The gap between rich and poor has widened with little hope of changes in the near future.

"Despite the unprecedented prosperity that technological advances and the globalization of production and finance have brought to many countries, neither Governments, nor the United Nations, nor the private sector have found the key to eradicating the persistent poverty that grips a majority of humankind." Spoken in 1997 by UN Secretary-General Kofi A. Annan, the statement still holds true today.

In Bangladesh, despite some sporadic successes with EPI and Primary education, poverty, mother and child malnutrition and ill health are still increasing. Women and Children are the worst victims and remain at the lowest rung of receiving services and lack access to facilities to a greater degree. They also bear the brunt of frequent natural disasters. Food insecurity is still they most immediate fear. To mitigate their suffering and achieve sustainable development, plans concerning the poor, especially women and children and those especially challenged sections of the population should be integrated.

Whenever we talk about development we must remember that issues related to them are inseparable. Priority should be given for the development of their conditions in all developmental projects. Their vulnerability caused by natural disasters, deluge and manmade conditions are our main concerns for today.

With this backdrop The Center for Woman and Child Development (CWCD), a non-partisan, development organization was established in June 1990. Its activities are based on the combined experiences of its founder member’s work with women and children in difficult circumstances; promoting and protecting their rights (in line with the UN convention of Child Rights and the provisions of CEDAW). Its main thrust has been working towards equity in progress alongside the disadvantaged people of the community. Towards this it uses a two pronged approach: Firstly, providing consultancy services to Government of Bangladesh, Development Partners and Non-Governmental Organizations; Secondly, implementing programs at the field level. It is registered with the Ministry of Social Welfare.

CWCD Philosophy

We believe that each and every person has immense and inherent potentialities to develop themselves. All persons deserve the right to receive assistance to do so.

CWCD Vision

To be one of the leading organizations in building a society based on equitable distribution of resources and free from all forms of discrimination.

CWCD Mission

Improving society by ensuring dignified assistance to the disadvantaged population in the community, especially the women and the children coming from difficult circumstances.



CWCD Objectives

CWCD's goal is to motivate and mobilize the community to help themselves and each other in attaining economic solvency and building a strong social network through the RAPID method.

- Raising awareness on social issues (child marriage, dowry, domestic violence, oppression/exploitation, rights, roles and responsibilities in local and community affairs).

- Adult literacy and numeracy.

- Providing life enhancing skills development.

- Imparting health education.

- Developing human capital at grass roots level.

Our Approach

In implementing the above CWCD :

- Recognizes the inputs of all development partners in understanding the issues of the vulnerable members in the community.
- Views itself as a cog in the wheel in the global movement of empowering the vulnerable groups.
- Maintains collaborative partnerships with other like-minded groups and organizations.
- Ensures participation of all the stakeholders who play critical roles in developing strategies for community empowerment.
- Fuses essentials from other fields of development e.g. health and nutrition, education, water and sanitation, environment, disaster management, poverty reduction, gender, women and child development, community participation, women child and human rights and good governance.
- Uses indigenous resources so that the participating communities can make their development efforts sustainable.

Activities

The activities of CWCD were started with the objective of providing sustainable guidelines for community development using local resources. Its focus has always been recognizing the need to preserve a person's dignity in the process of empowerment. Based on the degree of vulnerability of the disadvantaged groups in the community, their lack of access to resources, inability to voice their needs, absence of bargaining power and the insecure environment in which they are compelled to live, CWCD is committed to work towards equity in progress and development of life skills of the at risk groups.

Towards the above CWCD has been actively contributing in the integration of the VCM (vulnerable community members) as active agents of development and participants at par with other community members by reducing poverty, increasing health enhancing behavior and life sustaining education.

Some Core Activities
1. ‘Keep the child safe’ is one of our programs in Dhaka (the capital city of Bangladesh); it assists children (mostly of single mothers, abandoned, divorced or widowed ladies) coming from the poorest section of the community. These mothers go out to work early in the morning, mostly on construction sites as day labours. They earn Tk. 300 (US $ 4) per day. In addition to meeting all other expenses, many of them have to provide for 3 or 4 children.
We provide a safe place for these mothers to leave their children so that they can work with peace of mind (thus avoiding work related accidents). The children’s age ranges from 2.5-8 years. We engage them in participatory activities like “building’’ with LEGO blocks, drawing pictures, colouring each other’s drawings. Twice a week they watch cartoons on TV in the class room. Together with these activities we assist them to learn the alphabets, numbers, colours , names of the days in the week, months and seasons. They participate in competitions (arithmetic, poetry, drawing, hand writing and singing). They learn to write their names. The centre provides them with books and writing materials. Each child receives a weekly ration of 3 kilograms of rice, .5 kilogram of lentil, 250 grams of cooking oil and 100 grams of salt. We provide them with a daily snack. They are extremely happy to come to ‘’school’’.
The “community” does not have the time to be involved in the children’s ‘’education’’. Our daily struggle is to keep the children off the streets. The mothers, but mostly the fathers (if there is one) want to put them to work. For them where survival is paramount education is a low priority and paying for education is just not on their shopping list. For us each day that a child comes to ‘’class” is a victory. One child has been with us for 18 months (this is one of our major achievements).
Twice a year we display the children’s work and give them prizes for their efforts. We invite the parent/s to come just watch how proud the children feel about their achievements. We request them to please allow their child to come to ‘’school’’ for just a little while longer. We come to the centre each day praying that all the children who came yesterday will be here today. What we are doing is not a lot by any account but if our program is able to keep one child safe for ONE MORE DAY that is our ACHIEVEMENT!
(Current this activity is on hold; lack of work opportunities due to the pandemic has driven most of these families back to the villages).
2. Income Generating Skill Development and Knowledge Sharing for Empowerment of rural women as the title states it’s an activity undertaken outside of Dhaka. Compared to other organizations its coverage is small (Mymensingh, Muktagacha, Kushtia, Jhenidah and Horinakunda). Total number of participants 1800 (approximate number of family members benefitted 9000 (@ of 5 members per family))
Main components of the activity include:
A. Skill development:

i. Training in tailoring (the participants are taught to sew 22 items of ladies and children’s clothing by trained tailor masters, shopping bags, school bags and net bags for the kitchen markets).

B. Supplementing existing knowledge base on:

i. Principles of basic good health (including good practices in hygiene),
ii. Water and Sanitation,
iii. Nutrition (for adolescent girls, women of reproductive health, pregnant and lactating women, and children under 5 years of age),
iv. Basic knowledge on laws relevant to them (marriage, divorce, inheritance, ownership of land and property, dowry, their rights and duties as citizens).
v. Creating liaison between the participants and the local retailers selling sewing machines so that the women can purchase sewing machines on instalments.
C. Health and Nutrition:

i. Growing vegetables in and around the homestead.
ii. Learning appropriate food preparation methods for pregnant ad lactating mothers and < 5 children.
To test the feasibility and the results of providing inputs to program participants within their comfort zone, in October 2015 a five year pilot activity was undertaken in 15 villages in Kushtia, a district within the Khulna division in Western Bangladesh.

5 women facilitators with 8 years of formal education and 1 supervisor (graduate) were recruited locally. Of them, 1 was a widow, 1 had a co-wife, 1 was divorced, 1 was abandoned; the supervisor and 1 facilitator were still living with their husbands. All of them were mothers. The supervisor and the facilitators were trained in sewing/stitching by a master tailor from the local department of social services. They were trained in the other components of the activity by experts drawn from among the local extension officers from the departments of agriculture/livestock, public health, nutritionist and lawyer.

Modules were procured from organisations like Ain O Salish Kendra (legal component), Department of Public Health (water and sanitation), Department of agriculture/livestock (kitchen gardening and nutrition), Department of Women’s Affairs and Social Welfare and Ahsania Mission. These modules were then modified and simplified to match the level of understanding of the facilitators. The facilitators initially, underwent 8 weeks of training at the CWCD office in Kushtia, Each year they were given a 3 day refreshers course.

In the field, each facilitator was responsible for 3 villages, she formed women (and some men, 2 of them were differently abled, mostly interested in the sewing classes) groups. Each group consisted of 30 members from the age of 13/14 with no upper age limit or education barrier; they enrolled for the 3 month course with Taka 200, they were also offered a printed certificate of achievement for an additional Taka 50. It turned out that each year each 4 groups (4 X 30 = 120 participants) were ‘graduating’ from the ‘course’ with certificates’. At the completion of the pilot in November 2020 there were approximately 9000 ‘graduates’.

The classes were designed to run in the verandah or a room of one of the participants; in many instances the whole neighbourhood listened in on the discussions, for us this was a bonus because they then heard and understood that we were not there to ‘contaminate’ their women folk. One mother in law even ventured to ask if the course could be shortened so that her daughter in law could start earning money.

And then the pandemic struck.

Though a full impact analysis has not been done as yet, initial feedback from participants reveal that:

- For all of them the ‘certificate’ was the first concrete proof of their ability and skill.
- It boosted their confidence level because they had a marketable skill.
- Most of the participants were currently engaged in earning an income through employment in the garment industry, self-employment, bought their own sewing machines on easy instalments.
- Some have started their own small business (buying own fabric from the wholesale market, stitching garments and selling them from their homes.
- There is no conflict in the family as they are earning and income while staying in purdah.
- The facilitators have become friends of the participants and their advice is sought in other non-program matters.

Funding

So far all of CWCD’s activities are self-financed. As and when required (e.g. during emergencies like natural disasters the centre raises funds locally through seeking donations and wardrobe hunts).

CWCD Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
The uniqueness of this program is that unlike other organizations, CWCD does not give the participants any incentive in cash or kind for attendance. The women do not have to come out of their homes to attend classes. CWCD facilitators go to them and hold classes at a time set by the participants and within the community, in space provided by one of the group members
I believe have in a small way we have succeeded in equipping people living in extreme poverty—earning less than $1.90 a day—with the tools, skills, and support to escape the poverty trap. Through our approach that the poor should be treated with dignity not charity and ‘Graduation’ approach, participants unlock their potential and lift themselves out of poverty.

Hoe te solliciteren

This is an EM approved internship for 22 ECTS in spring 2023.

Interested? Please send your CV and motivation letter to emergingmarkets-sbe@maastrichtuniversity.nl by Friday 30 September, 10 AM.

Locatie vacature

Bangladesh

Werkgever

Maastricht School of Management (MSM)

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