Afghan eQuality Alliances Project

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Washington State University

Afghan eQuality Alliances Project



January 25, 2011

Afghan eQuality Alliances


Afghan eQuality Alliances (AeQA)

was a USAID
-
funded project of
Washington State University to help build the capacity of higher education
institutions in Afghanistan.


The goal of the project was to provide equal access to quality education
and e
-
education resources for faculty members and students.


AeQA partnered with Ministry of Higher Education, Afghan public
universities, U.S. and international universities, and other organizations to
implement activities and achieve project outcomes.


Total funding for the project was $12.3 million USD.


The project started on June 16, 2006 and completed operations on
December 31, 2010.


Selected activities will continue under a new Afghan eLearning English
Support Project (
AeLESP
) funded by the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.


AeQA: Program Areas





1. Merit
Scholars

2. MPPA
Program

4. ANGeL
Centers

3. Digital
Libraries



Master’s in Public Policy


and Administration Program


at Kabul University



Study Abroad Programs at


UW and WSU



Alternate Programs at Kabul


University and the Asian


Institute of Management



Graduate Degree Programs in


engineering, international studies,


public administration, and computer


science



Graduate Certificate Programs


in engineering and geosciences



Study tours to the U.S. and


third countries



Selection, cataloguing, and


bar
-
coding of library materials



Access to online databases and


electronic journals



Training programs for library staff,


professors, and students



Infrastructure development



Afghan Next Generation


eLearning (ANGeL) Centers.



IT courses



English courses



eLearning training



Internet access at selected


public universities

AeQA: Results

Baseline


Few training centers or programs for IT or
English language instruction were available on
university campuses in Kabul or in the provinces








Low level of IT and English language skills among
faculty members and students




No Internet access on university campuses;
many professors and students had never used
the Internet before







Currently


7 ANGeL Centers established at Kabul University,
Kabul Polytechnic University, Balkh University,
Herat University, Nangarhar University, Sheikh
Zayed University, and Kandahar University



3 ANGeL Centers at Kabul Medical University and
the Faculties of Education at Herat University and
Balkh University were transferred to the AED
Higher Education Project in 2010



AeQA ANGeL Centers have trained more than
1,500 faculty members (>30% of all faculty
members) and 10,000 students in basic IT and
English language programs



Internet access provided at 7 public universities
where AeQA is active via local Internet Service
Providers and the NATO Silk Afghanistan Network

AeQA: Results

Baseline


Few Afghan professors had Master’s Degrees or
had completed graduate
-
level study abroad
programs




No Master’s in Public Policy and Administration
Program in Afghanistan



Low level of capacity among government and
public sector employees




KU professors had limited experience advising
graduate students



Hardcopy materials at university libraries were
not catalogued or organized



Few linkages existed between Afghan higher
education institutions and universities or
organizations in the U.S. and third countries







Currently


35 professors from Herat University, Kabul
University, and Kabul Polytechnic University have
completed or will complete graduate programs in
the U.S. or other countries by 2011



Implemented the Master’s in Public Policy
Administration (MPPA) Program at Kabul University



60 junior and mid
-
career government and NGO
professionals graduated from the MPPA Program
and received Master’s Degrees in December, 2010



58 professors from Kabul University trained as
MPPA thesis advisors and readers



More than 20,000 hardcopy materials selected and
catalogued at Kabul University Library



AeQA partnered with more than 35 organizations in
the U.S. and other countries to build the capacity of
higher education institutions in Afghanistan

AeQA: Cost Share/Leveraged Funds

$9.04 million USD

$1,900,000

$0
$1,000,000
$2,000,000
$3,000,000
$4,000,000
$5,000,000
$6,000,000
$7,000,000
AeQA Subcontractors
World Bank Leverage
WSU
Calif State University - East Bay
Indian University of PA
Colgate University
Monterey Institute for International Studies
Sister Cities Foundation
Aga Khan - Nursing Education Program
Aga Khan - Health Science Research
Acomet Family Hospital
University of Washington
Teri University
University of Hartford
Ohio University
University of Colorado
University of Western Cape
University of Arizona
California State University - Northridge
CSTDD Interns
World Bank (University of Hartford)
WSU Extension Prime
WSU IR&D Prime
$1,337,101

$5,798,604

1. Merit Scholars Programs: Overview



Female

Male

Total

London School of Hygiene and Tropical
Medicine (
Public Health)



1

1


Study Abroad



Active
, PhD Program

In Progress



1

1

Ohio
University (
Civil Engineering)



7

7


Study Abroad



Completed
, Master’s Degree

Completed



7

7

University of Colorado at
Boulder (Civil Engineering and Geosciences)

1

6

7


Study Abroad



Completed
, Graduate Certificate

In Progress

1

6

7

University of
Hartford (
Civil Engineering)

3

9

12


Study Abroad



Completed
, Master’s Degree

Completed

3

7

10


Terminated



Absconded



2

2

University of Western
Cape (
Computer Science)



8

8


Study Abroad



Completed
, Master’s Degree

Completed



1

1


Study Abroad



Completed
, Master’s Degree

In
Progress



7

7

Monterey Institute of International
Studies (
International Studies)



1

1


Study Abroad



Completed
, Master’s Degree

Completed



1

1

California State University at
Northridge (
Public Administration)



1

1


Terminated


Married U.S. citizen



1

1

Grand Total

4

32

37

“When I started teaching, I was
told not to be nice to the students
or they would make trouble for you.
Not listen to what you say. Now I
know that I don’t have to be so
harsh. I enjoy teaching more now.”


Professor of Engineering and

AeQA Merit Scholar

Kabul University

Mahsa

Khatibi
, Professor of Engineering, Herat University

Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Ohio University

“When I was a student, the professor would give us an assignment and then go to his office. He
only checked our work at the end of class. I try to help my students as much as I can. I help
students who are having problems, and I give extra work to students when they finish early.”

Merit Scholar Programs: Results

Afghan professors who participated in USAID
-
funded Merit Scholar Programs:


Are able to update critical professional and technical skills.


Correct deficiencies in undergraduate coursework and take new graduate
-
level courses.


Participate in modern teaching and learning environments.


Improve English language skills: listening comprehension, speaking, and technical writing.


Can audit courses at no additional expense to universities or donors.


Integrate into regular campus environment.


Take classes with other U.S. and international students.


Access to libraries, field work, and laboratory equipment.


Learn about American culture and society.


Benefit from formal and informal “faculty
-
to
-
faculty” exchanges in the U.S.


Afghan professors received extra materials including lecture notes, course syllabi, textbooks, PowerPoint
presentations, and online resources that they use to create new courses when they return to Afghanistan.


Are able to develop new curricula more quickly and more easily.


New Faculty of Computer Science established at Kabul University. (2008)


New Architecture and
Mechatronics

Programs proposed at Herat University. (Proposed, 2011)


New Transportation Program in Civil Engineering at Kabul University. (Proposed, 2011)


Updated or are updating more than 40 existing courses.


Created or are creating more than 12 new courses.


Collaborate with other Afghan faculty members and universities.


Engineering Development Conference at Herat University (July, 2010).


Afghanistan National Engineering Policy Workshop at Kabul University (August, 2010).



Merit Scholar Programs: Challenges


Low English levels


Weak academic and technical backgrounds


Communication issues between partners and students


Different academic terms and schedules


Family pressures


Security situation


Absconders


Distance learning models have been problematic


Teaching responsibilities


Registration difficulties


Shipping textbooks/customs


Oversight and advising


Merit Scholar Programs:

Lessons Learned


Many professors require additional English language preparation before
they begin their graduate studies


Pre
-
departure advising can help but does not eliminate adjustment issues


Coordination/academic advising is a critical component for success


need
someone to keep students on track and monitor their progress


Need engaged and committed university partners


Faculty
-
to
-
faculty exchanges impact how new knowledge is learned and
applied when participants return to Afghanistan


Afghan professors also benefit from their experience as graduate students


Positive changes in course development and institutional capacity start to
occur before faculty members return to their teaching positions


Distance learning programs should be refined before expanding to other
areas

2. MPPA Program: Overview


Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Administration at Kabul University


Designed to teach practical skills and build the capacity of junior and mid
-
career
professionals in the Afghan government and non
-
governmental organizations


62 MPPA candidates (21% female)


(8 ACSI employees)


(42 Afghan government employees)


(18 NGO employees)


Structure: 10 core courses, 2
-
3 month study abroad program in the U.S., and thesis
requirement with original research


English medium of instruction


International and Afghan instructors


Study abroad programs at the University of Washington or Washington State
University


Alternate Programs at Asian Institute of Management in the Philippines and Kabul
University in Afghanistan for students who couldn’t study in the U.S.


Master’s Degree granted by Kabul University

MPPA Study Abroad Program at Washington State University

4
th

of July Parade in Pullman, WA

“If I am a good leader or a good organizer, it is because of this program. I think of the
lessons that I have learned in class when I am discussing policy or in meetings at the
ministry.” (MPPA Student)

MPPA Program: Results

MPPA Skills In Practice

(Survey of MPPA candidates)


90% Strategic Planning


86% Policy Analysis and
Development


79% Human Resources
Management


79% Monitoring and Evaluation


79% Data Analysis


72% Critical Thinking


68% Program Design


62% Gender Equity Issues


55% Financial Management


45% Economic Development

Job Promotion and Career
Advancement


80% of MPPA candidates report
that they have received a
promotion, new job, or increased
work responsibilities as a result of
their participation in the MPPA
Program.



62% of MPPA candidates report
that they have conducted training
at their workplace based on
course content or skills acquired
in the MPPA Program.


MPPA Program:

Sample Thesis Paper Topics


The Impact of Foreign Aid in Afghanistan Since 2001


The State of Regulation of Medical Practice in Afghanistan


Domestic Violence Against Women: A
GoIRA

Policy Analysis


The Effect of Public Reform and the New Pay and Grade System in the
Ministry of Public Works


The Coordination of Food Security in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation,
and Livestock


Strategies to Increase the Income of Small Business Owners in Afghanistan


An Impact Study of Afghan Civil Service Institute Training Methodology on
the Civil Service of Afghanistan

MPPA Program: Challenges


No Faculty of Management at Kabul University


Few public administration instructors at KU


Administration of degree


Sustainability issues


Inadequate AeQA staffing at the start of the program


Length of student time in the program


Selection of MPPA students


Screening and prerequisites


English language requirement


Study abroad component


Visa applications


Absconders


Thesis requirement


Limited research experience of students and advisors




MPPA Program: Lessons Learned


Training of faculty advisors is essential


Thesis process should be structured and monitored


Hiring of full
-
time Program Manager, Program Coordinator, and KU Faculty
Liaison positions


Admissions process was redesigned in partnership with KU and MoHE


Short, intensive courses: pros and cons


High
-
intensity management is advantageous to students


Ongoing instruction in research methodology and English is necessary

3. Digital Libraries: Overview


Implemented through a
subgrant

with University of Arizona Library (UAL)


Provided training, technical support, and resources to develop the
technical and professional capacity of Afghan librarians to work with an
open source, open code digital libraries platform and to catalog open
content and educational materials that all Afghan universities can share
and use

“I used to use Google, but
digital library sites like
HINARI make it easier to
find good information.”


Professor of Geology

Kabul University

Library Staff Member

Kabul University Central Library

“Now we have a modern library. We can check out books and use computers to help
students find the materials they need for their classes.”

Digital Libraries: Results


Created digital library reference guides and tutorials in English and Dari


Translated 14 Library and Information Science course modules into Dari for Afghan
university libraries


Scanned and digitized 34 volumes in The Afghanistan Yearbook or

Da

Afghanistan
Kalany

(
Kalani
) from 1932
-
1990


Negotiated free access to scholarly materials from various vendors valued at over
$200,000 per year


Introduced the Library of Congress system at Kabul University and Kabul
Polytechnic University


Trained 97 faculty members and 168 students to use digital libraries, scholarly
journals, and online databases


Trained 23 library personnel from seven Afghan public universities to use the KOHA
open source Integrated Library System


Selected and catalogued more than 20,000 bibliographic entries at Kabul
University Library and 1,000 entries at Kabul Polytechnic University Library

Digital Libraries: Challenges


Lack of trained library personnel


Lack of awareness about library and information sciences


Fragmented funding/resource environment


Lack of computers and Internet access on campus and at university
libraries


Moving from training to implementation cannot be assumed


Access to resources does not automatically lead to their adoption or use

Digital Libraries: Lessons Learned


Need full
-
time Afghan coordinator to oversee in
-
country training and
development activities


Expertise in library science/Master’s in Library Science (MLS) Degree is
critical


Short training programs can be effective


Long
-
term project with long
-
term benefits


Need to build capacity of library staff and universities to sustain the digital
libraries programs

4. ANGeL Centers: Overview


Classes for professors, university staff members, and students


Emphasis on female participants


All classes are free and voluntary


Focus on basic and intermediate skills


Use open source software (
Ubuntu
,
OpenOffice
, and
Chisimba
)


Internet access and open labs for faculty members and students


Transitioned to the International Computer Driver’s License (ICDL) testing
and training curriculum in March, 2010


Other courses include:


eLearning


Digital Libraries


Auto
-
CAD


Medical IT


Server Management


Web Design


Web Development with
Joomla


Computer
-
based English


“Some people say

you are lazy if you use a
computer for calculations,
but it is not true.”


Professor of Physics

Kabul Polytechnic University

Hamida
, Professor of Biology and Pharmacy, Kabul University

ANGeL Center Courses:
OpenOffice

Writer, Presentation, and Internet Skills

“Now I can make presentations and course materials for my students, and I can get
specific information from the Internet in Dari and English much easier.”

Number of ANGeL Center Completions by Quarter

(Includes participants who completed more than one training in the fiscal year)

3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
Faculty Members_Running Total
18
190
233
274
548
553
631
631
661
811
1024
1123
1388
1707
1907
Students_Running Total
55
250
390
611
879
1814
2516
4159
5320
6801
7964
8414
8937
10114
11128
Total_Running Total
73
440
623
885
1427
2367
3147
4790
5981
7670
9063
9612
10400
11896
13110
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
12000
14000
Number of Participants

Improved data
collection

beginning in
Quarter 14

2010 AeQA Survey of Faculty Members


55% of faculty members (384/704) have taken at least one class at an
ANGeL Center.


22% of faculty members (157/704) have taken at least one IT or English
class offered by another organization on campus.


15% of faculty members (109/704) have taken at least one IT or English
class offered by an “off campus” location.

Faculty members who took ANGeL Center
classes reported better IT skills than their peers

Direction of Change

Survey Findings: Faculty members who used
ANGeL Centers were:

More likely to use MS Word or
OpenOffice

Writer to …


Make reading assignments for
students (52% vs. 42%)


Make quizzes and tests for
students (62% vs. 48%)


Write official letters or
documents (46% vs. 36%)


Do other work (35% vs. 33%)


More likely to use MS Excel or
OpenOffice

Calc to …


Keep track of student grades
(34% vs. 21%)


Do other work (19% vs. 15%)


More likely to use MS PowerPoint or
OpenOffice

Presentation to …


Give presentations in class (45%
vs. 39%)


Give presentations at meetings or
conferences (37% vs. 34%)




More likely to use e
-
mail
applications to …


Communicate with other
lecturers and colleagues at work
(60% vs. 45%)


Communicate with students (38%
vs. 31%)

ANGeL Centers: Lessons Learned


Continue IT and English courses for faculty members


Digital libraries


Advanced IT courses


English for Specific Purposes


Minimum TOEFL scores and preparation courses for faculty members who
want to study abroad


Continue IT and English courses for students


Computer Assisted Language Learning


Open Source Software can provide effective, affordable, and adaptable
tools for IT teaching and learning


More high
-
speed Internet access for faculty members and students on
university campuses




Thank you!