|APPEAL - Training Materials for Continuing Education Personnel (ATLP-CE) - Volume 5: Income-Generating Programmes (APEID - UNESCO, 1993, 127 p.)|
This Volume deals with Income Generating-Programmes (IGPs) within the context of Continuing Education in Asia and the Pacific. All Member States aim to improve their economic potential and the social well-being of their citizens. All have socio-economic development plans. Central to these plans is the aim to improve living standards and to increase the capacity of people to produce goods and services - that is to generate income. Income-Generating Programmes and activities, therefore, need to be promoted and implemented in the context of overall national development, in the context of community development and in relation to individual needs.
B. The Socio-Economic Context of IGPs
At present there are many social and economic factors operating in the Region which influence the provision of IGPs. Some of these factors are illustrated in the following diagram (Figure 1.1). Each of the factors is described below:
Figure 1.1: Socio-Economic Factors Influencing Income-Generating Programmes
(a) Growing levels of literacy
Levels of literacy vary from State to State and group to group ranging from as low as 10 per cent in some instances to almost 100 per cent in others. The overall situation, however, is gradually improving as more and more effort is being made to eradicate illiteracy, through formal, non-formal and other modes of education.
Member States are witnessing an evolutionary growth from illiteracy towards the emergence of learning societies though the intermediate stages of semi-literacy, neo-literacy and functional literacy. As a result, the number of people requiring, and indeed demanding, continuing education is rapidly increasing. In particular there is a high demand for those continuing education activities which focus on improving the capacity to increase income. There is a growing realization that as literacy skills improve so capability of generating income improves. This is a major driving force for the provision of IGPs.
(b) Increasing Aspirations
With increasing literacy and access to information on global development, the aspirations of the people are growing to improve their living conditions and quality of life. The urge for higher levels of income is constantly on the increase. This has resulted in more and more people seeking opportunities to engage in economic activities through acquisition of relevant productive skills and abilities.
(c) Urban Migration
Many people residing in rural and semi-urban areas are migrating to nearby cities. This is because increased industrialisation has restricted opportunities for gainful employment in rural areas. Many social and economic problems arise from this trend. In order to minimize such problems people should be encouraged to stay in rural areas by helping them develop appropriate skills and abilities for improving their income generating capacity through agriculture related businesses and enterprises.
(d) Poverty Alleviation
A great majority of people in many developing countries are living below the poverty line. In addition the economic conditions of some sections of society even in developed countries need to be improved. This calls for preparing the people with technical, vocational and entrepreneurial skills aimed at income generation in order to solve the problems associated with acute poverty.
(e) Equity and Social Justice
Several kinds of disparities exist in the living conditions among the different sections of society. This is mainly due to differing capacities and opportunities for income-generation. Groups especially disadvantaged in this regard include rural women, unemployed youth, the aged and certain ethnic minorities. In order to minimize disparities and provide social justice, adequate opportunities need to be provided to equip less fortunate people with competencies to raise their levels of income.
(f) Changing Employment Patterns
Due to rapid changes taking place in technological, industrial and economic spheres, the world of work is undergoing rapid transformation. Some jobs and businesses are becoming obsolescent giving place to new ones. The scope for paid employment is not in keeping with the growing demand. Self-employment and co-employment (with partner or cooperative) are on the rise. More and more women are entering the work force. To cope with these trends and changes, people need to be trained and retrained to continually sustain their earning power.
(g) Economic Prosperity
All Member States are concerned with improving their economic prosperity. They wish to become less dependent on other nations and obtain maximum advantages from the changing complex interdependent world economy. This is only possible when a great majority of the people are in a position to richly and effectively contribute to the national economy. Hence there is need for involving maximum numbers of people in income generating activities.
C. Income Generation Programmes
(a) The Focus
Nations and their Governments have responsibility to take care of all citizens.
There are disadvantaged persons in the community who, if provided with support, could become self-supporting. In other words they could begin to generate sufficient income to provide for themselves and, their families. It is for these people that Income-Generating Programmes are especially required.
(b) The Meaning of Income Generation
Income generation takes many forms. Originally it was a term used only by economists to explain the intricacies of a nations economy. However, it is now quite widely used to cover a range of productive activities by people in the community. Income generation simply means gaining or increasing income. There are three ways income can be generated. Firstly, income generation does not always mean the immediate getting of money, although in the end we use money to place a measurable value on the goods and services people produce. An example of income generation which does not lead to getting money would be a situation where a productive person produces enough food to feed himself or herself and the family. Skills have been used to meet immediate needs and thus savings have been achieved. A money value can be placed on the food produced and so the food can be seen as income.
A second way a person can generate income is by astute investment of existing resources. An example would be development of a piece of land through planting a crop for sale. The money gained is income. An indirect form of investment is to bank savings or to purchase part ownership (shares) in a productive enterprise such as a business. Money generated from such investments is income. A third way to generate income is for people to use their skills by serving another person who pays for the use of those skills. That is they earn wages.
In summary, income can be generated by self-employment, by working for others or by adding to personal resources through investment.
(c) The Priority Target for Income Generating Programmes
This volume focuses upon those members of our community who have difficulty in generating income, in particular on those with not enough income to become self-sufficient and so enjoy a reasonable quality of life. Self-sufficiency and quality of life are, of course, relative terms. The so called poverty line is described in many ways but at its most basic it identifies those persons who have such low income that they cannot exist without regularly calling upon the rest of the community for assistance to acquire the most basic things in life - food, clothing, shelter, education and good health. (Figure 1.2). In some instances whole communities are below the poverty line and assistance is not immediately available.
Figure 1.2: Income Generating Programmes are like a bridge between two islands
In this Region there are many people whose income generating powers are very limited, indeed, in many cases so limited that they are unable to fully provide for themselves. Human resources are the single most important factor in the economic development of a country. People at or below the poverty line have a negative effect on the total disposable wealth of a country. Income Generating Programmes (IGPs) seek to redress this imbalance by equipping these people with knowledge, skills, attitudes and values such that they become positive contributors to their nations economy.
In addition, as shall be developed in more detail later, these programmes assist these people to develop self-esteem and be self-reliant. In brief IGPs are designed to contribute to both the social and economic welfare of a community and a nation.
A general definition of an Income Generation Programme was given in ATLP-CE Volume I as follows: -
AN INCOME-GENERATING PROGRAMME HELPS PARTICIPANTS ACQUIRE OR UPGRADE VOCATIONAL SKILLS AND ENABLES THEM TO CONDUCT INCOME GENERATING ACTIVITIES.
This general definition was focused more sharply by an additional statement.
IGPS ARE THOSE VOCATIONAL CONTINUING EDUCATION PROGRAMMES DELIVERED IN A VARIETY OF CONTEXTS AND WHICH ARE DIRECTED IN PARTICULAR TOWARDS THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE CURRENTLY NOT SELF-SUFFICIENT IN A MODERN WORLD, THAT IS THOSE PERSONS AT OR BELOW THE POVERTY LINE.
It must be appreciated however that income generating programmes can cover a wider range of people than our primary target group - the poor. Indeed vocational continuing education as a major means of preparation for people to develop income-generation capabilities, covers a very wide spectrum of occupations, industries and groups in the community. At the very highest level senior executives and professionals undertake twining to upgrade their skills and improve their earning capacity. Still others study and train to equip themselves for more highly paid positions. However, it is a far better priority for governments to lift the income generating capacity of those persons who are not adequately contributing to the economy than to ignore them and continue to invest only at higher levels.
(d) Income Generating Programmes as an Aspect of Continuing Education
In Volume I of ATLP-CE CONTINUING EDUCATION is defined as A BROAD CONCEPT WHICH INCLUDES ALL OF THESE LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES THAT PEOPLE WANT OR NEED OUTSIDE OF BASIC LITERACY EDUCATION AND PRIMARY EDUCATION. Income generating Programmes are indeed one of those learning opportunities. Income generating programmes invariably involve adult people with particular learning needs, who require customised as often as conventionally structured packages which should be available at any stage of their life.
This idea is illustrated in figure 1.3 below:
Figure 1.3: IGPs raise income levels progressively as a community develops.
There are many reasons why people at a number of stages in life will need to improve their income generating capability: They may be retrenched from employment: they may suffer an injury or ill health; they may find their skills redundant; or they may need to supplement their pension after retirement. However, this volume directs the application of lifelong learning principles towards that large proportion of people in the Region who are poor and disadvantaged.
D. Purpose of Income-Generating Programmes
The main purpose of an IGP therefore is the promotion of a better quality of life for all citizens. In order to achieve this there is a need to develop vocational skills, knowledge, attitudes, and values, and to ensure that these are used to generate income.
Another important purpose is to upgrade work ethics so that people become useful and productive members of society. Only then can they meaningfully contribute to nation building.
The central focus of IGPs as provided in this volume is to alleviate poverty and to contribute to the development of human resources. This is achieved in the following ways:
a) By empowering people to identify their economic needs and explore ways and means of fulfilling those needs;
b) By developing self-confidence and ability to undertake income generating activities through appropriate and adequate training and motivation;
c) By providing opportunities for continuous upgrading of vocational knowledge and skills for gainful employment;
d) By developing a team spirit for working together for sustainable social and economic growth.
E. Promoting Income Generation Programmes
The following policies are suggested to ensure that IGPs will be accepted and promoted within any country or community. See Figure 1.4.
Figure 1.4: Promoting Income Generating Programmes
(a) Political will
There is need for political commitment to IGPs if they are to effectively alleviate poverty and enhance human resource development. Since IGPs provide skills, improve work habits and ethics and promote business enterprises which generate income, they should be seen to be part of a nations overall process of development. This implies that they should be built in to any overall programme of development.
In order to foster political will there is need for awareness campaigns, mainly through the mass media. These should reach the decision makers and policy planners, potential implementors such as formal and non-formal educational agencies, industry, the business community and the people as a whole.
Since many agencies must be involved in developing and implementing IGPs the approach is multi-sectoral. This means that each country needs a lead agency which coordinates all aspects of implementation and which provides overall guidelines. The agency should have a facilitating rather than a controlling role.
In order to convince various agencies which could be involved in providing IGPs that such activities contribute to improving the quality of human resources including alleviation of poverty, it may be appropriate to launch a pilot IGP. This would have a demonstration effect.
(b) Focus on Practical Learning
In most if not all countries of the Region there are income generating activities and programmes. These need to be surveyed and analyzed with the aim of maximising learning. This learning should focus on the development of relevant marketable vocational skills. The quality of the learning is critical. While there should be a strong basis in theory the majority of time should be given to practical activity - preferably on job. Opportunities for IGPs should be available at any point in the adult life of all citizens according to need. Perceptions of organisers and learners should be in tune to ensure maximum relevance.
Policy should be such that neo-literate adults should be motivated to continue to learn throughout life with the aim of increasing their capacity to improve income. This lifelong learning should help in adapting to new situations, and in taking maximum advantage of new opportunities.
It is suggested that exemplar programmes be used as «models» for implementors and trainers, either directly or through video. This approach has been shown to be especially useful in programmes dealing with self-employment.
Implementation policy involves intervention at the production processing, and marketing stages of the products or services arising from any income generating activity. In particular a careful market analysis is needed to ensure success.
(c) Resource Policy
All existing relevant government and non-government agencies need to be motivated and mobilized for the delivery of IGPs (Chapter Four). Resources needed include personnel at levels A (national), B (provincial) and C (local) levels. These personnel need to be appropriately trained (see Chapter Six). A second category of resources includes buildings, equipment, raw materials, as well as learning materials and transportation facilities. Adequate financial and administrative back-up is also necessary.
To ensure success a concerted effort needs to be made to mobilize the following:
· Experienced skilled personnel from both government and non-government agencies and from the business and industrial sectors.
· Credit organizations - both government and private.
· Individual mentors and decision makers.
· Government financial resources.
All available facilities for training should be utilized and coordinated. These include:
· All the relevant institutions of the formal education system.
· Learning centres, reading centres and community centres.
· Distance learning institutions.
· Youth camps and recreational camps.
· Workshops, businesses, farms and factories - for on job training.
· Any other relevant community agencies.
(d) Policy in Regard to Accreditation
For maximum effectiveness there should be provision for appropriate recognition and credit for those who may wish to continue their education. Involvement in IGPs may need to be given credit and certification which may relate to existing levels and categories in the world of work and employment. In IGPs flexibility and inter-sectoral co-operation in regard to accreditation is an important aspect to ensure maximum involvement.
(e) Evaluation Policy
Evaluation studies should be conducted to determine the impact of IGPs and to facilitate corrective intervention wherever necessary. If possible all aspects of programme planning, development, and implementation would be facilitated if Management Information Systems (MIS) could be developed at national, provincial and if possible at local levels. In particular such systems could provide valuable data for monitoring all aspects of IGPs to ensure their optimum efficiency, effectiveness and productivity.