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6. For-profit and NGO training activities
There are two basic types of private sector training institutions (PSTI) - for-profit and not-for- profit. For-profit PSTIs usually focus on the sale of training services. With economic liberalisation, most governments have adopted a more positive attitude towards PSTIs and have, therefore, taken steps to create a more enabling environment. Many NGOs are only involved in income generation and other activities (advocacy, life skills) where skills development is mainly on a learning-by-doing/learning-by-earning basis.
There is an enormous range in the type of NGOs working with the poor in developing countries. On the one hand, there are numerous charitable organisations run by churches and elite, mainly urban-based groups which provide conventional training courses for the poor and the disabled. Some believe that many of these NGOs are in such "close embrace with the state that they are tantamount to voluntary agents of the government and thus can hardly be considered as non-governmental organisations"(Harriss-White, 1996:9). However, the fact remains that in many developing countries, these more traditional NGOs provide the bulk of training for the poor, especially in rural areas. In Tanzania, for example, vocational training centres funded and managed by the Catholic and Lutheran Churches account for over half of all formal VET enrolments in the country (see Bennell et al, 1998).
On the other hand, there is a new generation of NGOs that are more radical and innovative both with respect to their objectives and the methods they employ to support and work with the poor. An increasing number of donor agencies see these NGOs as being a particularly appropriate institutional vehicle for 'working with the poor'. They are more 'flexible' (i.e. non-bureaucratic), politically committed to supporting the poor, use appropriate intervention strategies that encourage the poor to identify their own needs and address them in ways that are 'empowering'. As will be discussed below, they also have a marked propensity for group schemes and co-operatives, especially for women.
Most of these organisations are, however, heavily reliant for funding from NGOs in the North (e.g. OXFAM, CARE, ITGD, NOVIB, SCF, ActionAid) for the bulk of their activities. External funding of NGO programmes has increased very significantly during the 1990s as donor agencies have become more aware of the relative effectiveness of well managed NGOs in delivering services and empowering the poor. However, as was discussed earlier, donor support for more traditional NGOs that focus mainly on training activities may be falling in some countries.
EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING
Learning to change: Skills
development among the
economically vulnerable and
socially excluded in
Employment and Training Department
International Labour Office Geneva
First published 1999
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References: Learning to change: Skills development among the economically vulnerable and socially excluded in developing countries
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