Afghan eQuality Alliances Impact Assessment

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
• Graduate Degree Programs in
engineering, international studies,
public administration, and computer
• 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
1. Merit
3. Digital
4. ANGeL
• 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
• Afghan Next Generation
eLearning (ANGeL) Centers.
• IT courses
• English courses
• eLearning training
• Internet access at selected
public universities
AeQA: Results
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
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
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
No Internet access on university campuses;
many professors and students had never used
the Internet before
Internet access provided at 7 public universities
where AeQA is active via local Internet Service
Providers and the NATO Silk Afghanistan Network
AeQA: Results
Few Afghan professors had Master’s Degrees or
had completed graduate-level study abroad
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
No Master’s in Public Policy and Administration
Program in Afghanistan
Implemented the Master’s in Public Policy
Administration (MPPA) Program at Kabul University
Low level of capacity among government and
public sector employees
60 junior and mid-career government and NGO
professionals graduated from the MPPA Program
and received Master’s Degrees in December, 2010
KU professors had limited experience advising
graduate students
58 professors from Kabul University trained as
MPPA thesis advisors and readers
Hardcopy materials at university libraries were
not catalogued or organized
More than 20,000 hardcopy materials selected and
catalogued at Kabul University Library
Few linkages existed between Afghan higher
education institutions and universities or
organizations in the U.S. and third countries
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
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
AeQA Subcontractors
World Bank Leverage
1. Merit Scholars Programs: Overview
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (Public Health)
Study Abroad – Active, PhD Program—In Progress
Ohio University (Civil Engineering)
Study Abroad – Completed, Master’s Degree—Completed
University of Colorado at Boulder (Civil Engineering and Geosciences)
Study Abroad – Completed, Graduate Certificate—In Progress
University of Hartford (Civil Engineering)
Study Abroad – Completed, Master’s Degree—Completed
Terminated – Absconded
University of Western Cape (Computer Science)
Study Abroad – Completed, Master’s Degree—Completed
Study Abroad – Completed, Master’s Degree—In Progress
Monterey Institute of International Studies (International Studies)
Study Abroad – Completed, Master’s Degree—Completed
California State University at Northridge (Public Administration)
Terminated – Married U.S. citizen
Grand Total
“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.
Integrate into regular campus environment.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
4th 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)
Job Promotion and Career
• 90% Strategic Planning
• 86% Policy Analysis and
• 79% Human Resources
• 79% Monitoring and Evaluation
• 79% Data Analysis
• 72% Critical Thinking
• 68% Program Design
• 62% Gender Equity Issues
• 55% Financial Management
• 45% Economic Development
• 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
• 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
• 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
• 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:
Digital Libraries
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)
Number of Participants
Improved data
beginning in
Quarter 14
Faculty Members_Running Total
Students_Running Total
1814 2516 4159 5320 6801 7964 8414 8937 10114 11128
Total_Running Total
1427 2367 3147 4790 5981 7670 9063 9612 10400 11896 13110
1024 1123 1388 1707 1907
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 …
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 …
• Keep track of student grades
(34% vs. 21%)
• Do other work (19% vs. 15%)
• 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!

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