Thursday, June 23, 2011

Case study and Impact Assessment - ийг тооцохгүйгээр төсөл бичиж болохгүй

Organization: Central Public Library of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Project: The Establishment of the DAISY Talking Book Center
Case Study and Impact Assessment

Case Study

Identify Quotation

Mr. Boldsaikhan, Director of the Occupational and Training Enterprise for the Blind:«The DAISY project with its modern technologies brightens up new perspectives to all the Mongolian blind people»

As statistics say, there are currently 130 thousand people with visual impairment in Mongolia, of which 9,400 are partially or totally blind. Approximately 10% of the handicapped are the blind. Out of nine thousand people, only 150 are employed and presently the major way of information access for these people is the human reading which is not available to the majority and not persistent.
The Ulaanbaatar City Public Library was chosen as a site for the project implementation as it is the major institution for providing information to the broader circles of population and has a networking with all the information and culture organizations of the country. It was established in 1980. Today UPL is composed of the Central and 4 branch libraries. By 2009 UPL had over 500,000 books, periodicals, sutras, Braille and large print books. There are 743 audio records of 247 titles, 1,263 Braille books of 151 titles, 34 large-prints of 30 titles available to the customers. The new Braille books were donated from the Asian Foundation (USA), and are prepared at the Braille Center of the Mongolian National Federation of the Blind. The audios were recorded in the Audio Center of this Federation. Large prints were donated by the All-Russia Federation of the Blind in 2004.
Mongolia has 21 provinces and over 300 soums (counties). All of them have Culture Centers and one librarian working for the networking which is much important. Unfortunately, these rural libraries have no materials for the visually impaired persons.

Project Description
The purpose of this project is to introduce a highly efficient and new for Mongolia content-creation technology that is the Digital Talking Book prepared on DAISY. It is greatly hoped that the implementation of this project will establish a firm foundation for the continuous skill development training for adults, help the children and teens to be more self-esteemed and, in general, encourage all to be more enthusiastic in looking for the information that could factually increase their living standards.
In accordance with the project plan, the following activities were implemented:
-       the studio was designed in  the premises of the Ulaanbaatar Public Library
-       PC and listening devices were implemented
-       announcement, selection and training of the sited reader
-       conduct a public opinion poll for selecting the titles of the books for the recording
-       Operate moving library to serve the workers of the Rehabilitation and Training Center for the Blind and the students of the special school No 116.
The major objective of the project is the production of high-quality digital talking books. For this end, public opinion polls were organized twice. The first public opinion poll was conducted for finalizing the list of books that should be recorded. For getting opinions, a 5-page Large Script as well as a 4-page Braille text with DAISY introduction materials was prepared to be distributed among the low vision and blind people. The Project implementing officers took part in the Youth Forum and the Open Discussion Meeting of Women organized by the Mongolian National Federation of the Blind (MNFB). At these meetings they participated in debates, explained the tasks of the DAISY Project and disseminated the opinion poll materials.
After a thorough consideration of the received answers and all the opinion poll materials, the following 12 Mongolian titles were chosen to start the reading for setting up the DAISY library:

1. World History (volume 1)                                                           - 263 pages (9 h, 57 min)
2. World History (volume 2)                                                           - 504 p. (21 h, 59 min)
3. Mongolian History                                                                      -  453 p. (18 h, 23 min)
4. Human Body Anatomy and Physiology                                                -  219 p. (13h, 57 min)
5. Manual on Japanese Massaging                                               -  86 p. (3h, 52 min)
6. Bulgakov M.A "Master and Margarita"                                      -  410 p. (16h, 53 min)
7. Western Mongolian "Jangar" Heroic Epic Poetry                      - 260 p. (6h, 19 min)
8. Literature read in high schools - Mongolian and
    World Classics (volume 1 includes 14 stories of 11 authors)    - 249 p. (9h, 40 min)
9. Literature read in high schools - Mongolian and
    World Classics (volume 2 includes 31 stories of 14 authors)    - 394 p. (19h, 43 min)
10. Samuel S."Self-Support Techniques"                                      - 140 p. (6h, 38 min)
11. Narangerel S., Oyuntsetseg B. "New Technologies –
      for Production" (cooking classes)                                            - 125 p. (5h, 04 min)
12. Financial Guide (manual by the Open Society,
      Mongolian NGO)                                                                      - 158 p. (5h, 53 min)
Totally                                                                                                            - 3,261 p. (138, 03 min)

The 2nd public opinion poll was organized at the Rehabilitation and Training Center for the Blind, and the Special Special School No116. At these institutions the users were asked about the importance of DAISY services for them, on the ways of improving the services and other questions related to the assessment of introducing this new  way of information transmission.

Actual vs Proposed
·         The main problem encountered during the project implementation period was related to the financial issues. For instance, the sudden rise of building materials prices made influence also on the unpredicted raising of payment to the work related to the repairing of studio rooms as well as the electricity wiring work. The prices of construction materials rose in several months that past after the writing and submission of project documents. In other words, the inflation rate was to be predicted for a year period ahead when making the project preparations.
·         There were some major issues related to the budget expenses that were not taken into account during the project elaboration period.
·         When the Studio designing work started, it was found that the electricity network and wiring condition were at the level that could not meet Technical Safety and Fire Prevention requirements. Important was to change all the wiring in the rooms.
·         It was truly not expected that the training of people with visual disparities could be so difficult. It was found that the training with them needs some special qualifications and the methodology should be completely different meeting all the important requirements including the specifics of social psychology.
Strategies, Tactics and Tools
One of the most important issues that made the project successful was a close cooperation with the professional organization of the blind of Mongolia. Established in 1978, the Mongolian National Federation of the Blind (MNFB) is a non-profit and non-governmental organization. Its purpose is to assist the members to gain access in education and acquire employment opportunities; running cultural, sporting and charity events; protecting the rights of members and of the blind population; and supporting the further involvement of the blind in normal social life.
Mr. M.Tsengel, an IT Instructor of the Federation's Rehabilitation and Training Center, took part in the seminar named "DAISY for All - International Training Trainers" organized by DAISY Consortium in Bangkok, May 2008. During the seminar the major player software called AMIS (Adaptable Media Information System), as well as recording programs (SigtunaDAR3 and MyStudioPC) were introduced. In case if the project is approved, he will serve as the major expert in introducing DAISY in Mongolia.
Another issue that has a great impact on the successful implementation of the project was the demonstration of the best examples. For this purpose, the national radio and TV, as well as FM channels were used extensively. The encouraging examples of the people who achieved success while listening to DAISY books were broadcast and published nationwide, and not only the blind themselves but also the people around become more aware of their needs and start thinking of their contributions in further developing these kinds of services.

Key Benefits
The social and economic benefits followed after the implementation of the project are enormous. Take just one example. Currently the blind people have only one place where they can work and get income. This is the Occupational and Training Enterprise for the Blind People located in the capital city which employs nearly 150 persons. Another 50 persons are working individually. Thus just 2% of the total number of the blind has job opportunities and 98% have to rely on their family members or the relatives during this difficult period of economic recession and skyrocketed inflation.
It is hoped that DAISY books, much of which to be prepared as talents improvement manuals, will tremendously encourage these people because the knowledge can bring exciting changes while motivating and fostering passionate approach. Of great importance are also the changes that may happen in the social psychology because the blind people will become deeply knowledgeable in some areas and able to serve as the carriers of information, provide consultancy and give advice on specific issues within the local communities.

Success Stories
-       One of the most vivid examples of the direct impact of DAISY books on the improvement of the living of the disabled. For instance, Erdenebat, 38, totally blind, studied in massage training course. He is a citizen of Ulaanbaatar city, a driver, lost the vision due to the road accidence. He noted that “before attending the massage courses I didn’t know that such an excellent equipment had ever existed. Thanks to this project I have got a confidence that I would successfully complete the courses. I am changing my profession and I was not sure that can become a true massageur. I didn’t know the Braille script and wasn’t able to read the manuals written on it. Now I believe in myself because the listening of DAISY books helped me to understand a lot, get deepper knowledge and have clear vision of what is massaging.”
-       The PLIP project was widely publicised in mass media, especially when the project was being started. Thanks to this, DAISY was understood in broader circles and the Mongolian National Federation of the Blind was successful in the fund raising for changing their analogue Audio Talking Book Studio into the digital DAISY Book Studio. All the processes of the Studio in the UPL were replicated there, thus there are now 2 DAISY studios in the city that can provide services to the people with visual disparities.
-       All 12 titles of DAISY books were recorded to DVDs and distributed to 120 blind people during the Annual Youth Forum as well as at the Meeting of 3 Generations organized by the Mongolian National Federation of the Blind. 30 DVD are being distributed to the province libraries.

Lessons Learned

In the beginning, i.e. when the project was initially outlined, the dissemination of information and networking through the Internet was thought to be done easily. However, when the process started, it was found that the coordination of activities from center is quite a difficult issue. It was especially problematic with those who had never heard about such an equipment and had no experience of working with disabled and low vision people. In other words, the networking of activities nationwide needs to be thought once again from the angle of improving the management and coordination tasks. Especially, the organization of an Internet seminar to instruct the librarians in all 21 provinces and 300 counties was not possible.

The library services were provided mostly to the low vision people as well as students with visual disparities. This issue brings another understanding that the totally blind people can not receive library services under present economic and social circumstances of Mongolia. For tackling this issue, there should be conducted a special study that shall reveal better managerial and other solutions.

Though it was an uneasy task to work with disabled people, who had never attended schools and live sparcely in rural area, have problems in commuting and transportation, the PLIP project laid a firm foundation for the improving educational level of the people with the visual disabilities.

Project Cost

The project’s budget is USD 30,000 and it is to be implemented during a one-year period.

Impact Assessment


What to report (metric)
1.    Number of public library service points providing the new service supported by the PLIP grant
There are 14 DAISY talking book services provided through 14 points currently, which are as follows:
-       The Reading Room, DAISY Talking Book Center, Ulaanbaatar Public Library
-       The Audio Studio, Mongolian National Federation of the Blind
-       The Special School No 116
-       The Rehabilitation and Training Center
-       The Cultural Club of the Occupational and Training Enterprise for the Blind People
-       9 provinces (Khovd, Govi-Altai, Bulgan, Darkhan-Uul, Tuv, Govi-Sumber, Dund-Govi, Umnu-Govi and Bayankhongor)
2.    Percentage change in number of physical visits to public libraries supported by PLIP
One week visits to read the books:
-       The Reading Room, DAISY Talking Book Center, Ulaanbaatar Public Library
(baseline – 0, mid project – 10, end project 15)
-       The Audio Studio, Mongolian National Federation of the Blind
(baseline – 0, mid project – 4, end project 5)
-       The Special School No 116 
(baseline – 0, mid project – 25, end project 28)***
-       The Rehabilitation and Training Center
(baseline – 0, mid project – 20 massage course students, end project - 20)***
-       The Culture Center of the Occupational and Training Enterprise for the Blind People
(baseline – 0, mid project – one person in each of 5 days a week, end project -5)
-       9 provinces (Previously the low vision and blind people had never visited libraries in the provinces. Thanks to the project, rural people started realizing that there is such an important place does exist where one can go and get services that are useful and enjoyable)
*** the number of visits increases during the operation of the Mobile Library (more listening devices leased for a certain period) in these places because they  have 1 BookSense each
3.    Number of workstations and other pieces of equipment available paid for by PLIP.
2 workstations were bought as it had been stated in the project proposal.  One is used only for the preparation of DAISY books. There was a MyPC software installed in this computer. This program is for working to make quality records by the sighted readers.

The 2nd PC is used by the producer where the GOLDWAVE software had been installed. A sound card and a microphone are connected to the PC additionally. This PC is used for the DAISY production and editing.

The above computers are used for the duplication of DVDs that contain  12 titles of the recorded DAISY books.
One more computer was bought for the use in the DAISY Talking Book Center where people can browse the Internet for improving knowledge and for copying DAISY digital books directly to the BookSense DAISY player from that computer. 5 to 6 readers use this PC from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for 5 days a week (from Tuesday till Saturday included).
The 3rd additional computer was bought while using the balance appeared due to the discount  of 40 pcs of BookSense provided from the seller.

4.    Workstation use rate
A – 3, B – 3 (100%)
5.    Number of library workers or partners trained under the PLIP grant.
The following librarians attended the training classes:
-       Librarian of the Reading Room, DAISY Taking Book Center
-       A sited reader of the DAISY Talking Book Center
-       Volunteer 25 sited readers to work on MyPC software for making records.
-       Librarian of the Special School No 116
-       Head of the Rehabilitation and Training Center
-       Head of the Cultural Club, the Occupational and Training Enterprise for the Blind People
-       Librarians of 9 provinces
Totally 40 persons
6.    Number of library users trained by the PLIP program in the skills described in  the proposal.
Approximately 200 low vision and blind persons were trained to use the BookSense device and listen to the records. Many of them were re-trained once again as more learning was needed to get a full understanding.
7.    Commentary on partnerships.
The partner institution which is the Mongolian National Federation of the Blind does its best for the project being implemented in due time and successfully.
8.    Commentary on sustainability.
During almost a one-year period since the start up of the project last summer, a completely new studio was established in Mongolia. This is an issue of great importance as it provides an opportunity for conducting a real digital production. To make this work truly productive and sustainable, we are applying to different instances and organizations in the city, especially asking for the salary of the people who will work here in coming years.
9.    Impact on users and staff.
Public opinion polls were organized twice – one before deciding and selecting on the exact titles of the books to be recorded, and the 2nd – after the books were released and became possible to listen to.
10.  Outputs relating to content created
-       Description
-       User’s views via questionnaires
-       Case studies
This is a fully content-development project aimed at easing the access of the visually disabled persons to major types of the printed materials. The content was initially chosen based on the public opinion poll. Greater attention was and will be paid to the increase of general knowledge of the target group people, help them in getting knowledge that might encourage them in studying subject important for the income generation and self-sustainability. This included titles related to the massage learning, feeling the human body, studying the basics of the accounting, etc. In future, more attention will be paid to the teaching of vegetable plantation that may vividly increase the healthy foodstuff  production and improve their diets.
11.  Particular issues relating to an individual projects.

No comments:

Post a Comment