Improving access to water and healthcare in East Darfur and West Kordofan: Contractors training kicks off in Sudan

On 21 March 2021, the ILO kicked off a three-week training course for local contractors from the East Darfur and West Kordofan States. The theoretical component of the training, held in Khartoum with a hybrid format of online and in-person lectures, aims to equip local contractors with labour-based and cost-effective construction techniques. These techniques have a significant capacity to absorb community workers in need of livelihood opportunities.

News | 06 April 2021
The training course explores a variety of topics necessary to apply a labour-based approach, including the safeguarding of decent work conditions, technical and engineering designs for infrastructure, and sustainable business and contract management, among others. Strict prevention measures against COVID-19 were implemented on the training site, including specific spacing arrangements that allow for sufficient physical distancing and adequate ventilation, in addition to the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

After the successful completion of the theoretical training, a complementary practical training under the overall supervision of the ILO is planned. Once certified, participating contractors from the two states will be offered a trial contract to apply what they learned during the classroom training to their respective duty stations.

Participants in the contractors training.
In 2020, the ILO conducted a market and community needs assessment to determine the priority intervention areas under the PROSPECTS partnership. The assessment identified water and healthcare facilities as pressing needs and key for the value chain development in the target areas. Based on these results, the ILO applied the Employment-Intensive Investment approach to bridge the humanitarian-development nexus through the rehabilitation of water and health infrastructure assets and the provision of immediate employment opportunities. By leveraging these employment opportunities, the project will enhance livelihood opportunities for both host communities and displaced persons.

Theory of change of the PROSPECTS partnership showing the EIIP’s focus areas.
Sean Paterson, Chief Technical Advisor for PROSPECTS, taking participants of the training through the different components of the theory of change.
Prior to the launch of the training, the ILO held a number of consultations with local contractors’ associations, local communities (both the host and displaced communities), as well as local government officials, to determine the scope of work and sensitize the stakeholders on the upcoming works. The ILO then widely disseminated the invitation to local contractors for participation in the EIIP (Employment-Intensive Investment Programme) training, receiving twenty-eight applications from the two states in total. After due diligence processes, including reference and legal documentation checks and capacity assessments, ten contractors (five contractors from each state) were selected.

Thirty representatives from the ten contractors, as well as eight representatives from the Ministry of Labour and Administrative Reform and Ministry of Infrastructure, will play key roles in mainstreaming the employment-intensive methods in the country, as a cost-effective alternative for construction works that have the potential to generate sustainable livelihood opportunities.

I participated in the training to increase my knowledge in the construction industry and to grow my business. I learned a considerable amount of information about labour-based construction methods that I am now ready to apply in my future work."

Mr. Ali Osman, Managing Director of Alkabanger.

The training gave me an opportunity for periodic knowledge refreshment to address my job tasks and responsibilities and relates to my position and department. In addition, the training topics included real world situations and scenarios, which promoted my practical understanding rather than only learning theories."

Mr. Alrasheed Abdallah, a representative of the Ministry of Infrastructure from West Kordofan State.

The training gave me new insights and energy to promote labour laws and occupational safety measures in the construction sector. It was great to have participants from different states with broad experience, as it helped enrich the discussion. It was an excellent way to learn about the dynamics of fieldworks in real situations."

Ms. Fadwa Alhassan, a representative of the Occupational Safety Department of the Ministry of Labour and Administrative Reform in Khartoum.