The following paper describes a programme that is currently being implemented by the Regional Education Bureaus (REBs) and Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) commissions and one women's associa tion in six regions/federal states of the Republic of Ethiopia. It is a slightly amended version of a presentation given at the international conference held at the University of Botswana, 14th to 16th June 2004 on "Adult Education and Poverty: A Global Priority". It will be published as part of a book entitled "Adult Education and Poverty Reduction". The author is the IIZ/DVV Director of the East Africa Region.
Community Based Non-formal Livelihood Skills Training for Youth and Adults in Selected Regions of Ethiopia (EXPRO)
The project is aimed at the establishment of model Skill Training Centres (mainly Community Skill Training Centres/CSTCs, Vocational Training Centres/VTCs, rural TVET Centres – in summary called CSTCs) in geographically and socio-economically diverse environments to provide systematic skills training for educationally disadvantaged people, mainly in rural areas. The model CSTCs are intended to develop into
officially recognized providers of efficient training
centres of information and innovative practice, and
local points for further training and experience sharing for planners of adult and non-formal education (ANFE) or vocational training programmes, administrators, coordinators and trainers of other CSTCs, thereby expanding the programme to other areas in the respective regions
The programme was named EXPRO simply because it was officially started as an extra programme additional to IIZ/DVV's regular country programme in early 2002, with special funds from the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The "Action Programme 2015" was set up by the German Government in 2001 to help alleviate poverty, thus actively contributing to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
Whether or not this programme can be considered a "model of good practice" cannot yet be finally decided. However, the results of an impact evaluation of a three-year pilot programme show that such an adult education approach does help to reduce poverty among poor people. The reactions from target groups, local stakeholders, ANFE experts and administrators and concerned politicians are predominantly positive and encouraging. Nevertheless, a final judgment will only be possible after the first two to three years of the implementation of the full training programmes.
The Political Background and Context
Ethiopia, with a population of 70 million in October 2003, is the second most populous country in Africa. With a real per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of about 90 US$, it is one of the poorest countries in the world. According to the Ethiopian Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction Programme (SDPRP), 70% of the adult population is illiterate (MOFED 2002). About 25 million adults working in agriculture, by far the main sector of employment, are lacking basic education, skills and technical knowledge (Sisay 2003).
The Government of Ethiopia considers education one of the key development sectors and provides technical and vocational education and training (TVET) through the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the REBs to those who complete grade 10, whereas for young people and adults above the age of 15 with less than grade 10 or no education at all it offers literacy programmes and basic skills training in CSTCs where these are available. According to the Education Sector Development Programme II (ESDP II) for the period 2002ñ2005, the target is to provide basic skills training to 65,000 young people and adults in 43 new CSTCs (MoE 2002a).
Whereas the primary education and TVET sub-sectors have been accorded top priority in the education sector by the Ethiopian Government, ANFE has been the least important and only marginally supported education sub-sector for the last decade. Only recently – after the Dakar Forum on Education for All (EFA) and the formulation of the new Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) – has non-formal education as an alternative route to basic primary education received stronger political support. In addition, livelihood-oriented adult and non-formal education initiatives and activities of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community-based organizations (CBO) have been recognized as important contributions to the development of the education system (and gradually as a means of poverty reduction).
Compared with other African countries, the national adult education system is unevenly developed among the regions, and then only partially. Programmes at district (woreda) or community level provide ñ if at all ñ either purely literacy education or skills training but no functional literacy or livelihood training, not to talk of other fields of adult education such as civic, cultural or environmental education or the wide field of continuing education. A major factor is the general lack of professionally trained experts at virtually all levels: community development workers, programme facilitators and coordinators, planners, materials developers, writers, trainers, lecturers and in particular researchers. Only a very small number of non-governmental adult education initiatives are operating, if at all, at community or village level only. Regional NGO networks are hardly functioning and not sustainable; national adult education networks do not exist.
Training providers, such as the more than 400 CSTCs, are badly underused not only due to low budgets but also due to lack of trained coordinators who can design need-based and life skill-oriented training programmes. Staff are largely unmotivated, not sufficiently trained or not in place at all. Skills training areas are all the same in most centres. However, they differ both in the complexity of the content and in the duration of courses, depending on the availability of funds. The training concentrates only on technical know-how and it does not prepare learners for economic activities or enable trainees to open a business. Training materials such as tools, working instruments and raw materials are available in insufficient quantities only, and learning materials are virtually absent. The programme is not demand-oriented, and neither linked to credit schemes nor fully owned by the community (Albinson/Olofsson/Salomonson 1985, IER/AAU 1994, SNNPR Education Bureau 1996, Abebe 1996, ANFE Panel OREB 1997, Asnake 1998, Burckhardt 2000, Guluma 2002, Zelleke 2003).
Against this background, IIZ/DVV has been assisting, among other programmes, the basic skills training programme of the MoE and some REBs right from the beginning of its support to Ethiopia in 1995 (Hildebrand 1998). Theoretical explanations and justifications of the approach can be found in the documentation on many practical experiences, in theories and concepts of empowerment, income-generation, livelihood, community development and vocational training. Particularly over the last four to five years, the EXPRO programme has subsequently evolved out of a number of practical interventions, which can be characterized as follows:
a) Practical support for training at CSTCs and training of their staff, and support for pre- and in-service training institutions related to skills training, including publication and distribution of teaching/ learning/training materials (1996 ñ1999)
b) Pilot projects on integrated community development and introduction of participatory methods such as Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA), market and training needs assessment and Competency-based Economies through Formation of Enterprise (CEFE) (1999 - 2001)
c) Training of trainers (TOT) in livelihood skills training (situation analyses, PRA, market analyses, training needs assessment, institutional analyses, CEFE, basics of adult learning) and training on Project Cycle Management (PCM) such as project/programme planning using the logframe approach, monitoring + evaluation (M+E), management information systems (MIS) for ANFE for key partner staff (MoE, REBs, plus NGOs) of six regions (2002-date)
d) Introduction of the new extra programme (EXPRO) by awareness- raising and orientation of decision-makers and key people (politicians, higher officials from REBs, Regional Capacity Building Bureaus/RCBB and lower levels, and from NGOs) (2002-date)
e) Development of training materials for trainers of trainers (TOTs) on livelihood skills training, for trainers and coordinators at CSTCs and training of ANFE experts at district level plus CSTC coordinators (2002-date)
f) Further development of CSTCs and VTCs of NGOs and establishing of model CSTCs/ VTCs/rural TVET Centres in six regions by means of renovation, equipping, furnishing and purchase of materials, and a programme advisory service (2003-date)
With the formulation and implementation of the new Technical and Vocational Education and Training Programme (TVET) of the Government of Ethiopia (MoE 2002c), an additional challenge has recently come up that may well develop into another objective of the EXPRO programme: providing non-formal vocational training to special target groups such as youth, especially school drop-outs who have no access to the formal vocational training system. A pilot project on the establishment of rural TVET Centres has already started in one region. It is planned to provide alternative routes to vocational qualifications for learners who do not fulfil the requirements (grade 10+1) by linking non-formal with formal vocational training programmes.
Evaluation of the Pilot Programme and Training Courses
Together with the Oromia REB, IIZ/DVV carried out an integrated pilot development project on non-formal basic education and community skills training for Kolba-Gode peasantsí association and for Lume woreda in Mojo town, in the East Shoa zone, between 1999 and 2001. Apart from the communities in both localities and the Woreda Education Office (WEO), other government offices such as the Woreda Agriculture Office (WAO) and Health Office (WHO) were involved in the multi-sectoral project, which aimed at reducing rural poverty. The project implementation took about three years and was monitored throughout this period.
With a view to applying some of the project components to other parts of Oromia, both IIZ/DVV and OREB were interested in finding out the impact of these interventions in a systematic way. Subsequently, a team proposed by OREB was organized, composed of ANFE experts from Oromia Development Association, OREB and MoE, and supported by a consultant working with IIZ/DVV in the implementation of the project. Although not all activities planned were completed, the impact assessment was carried out in February/March 2002 with the following objectives:
To identify the major achievements registered so far (What is the impact of the project measures and activities on different target groups? Who benefited the most? What are the crucial factors for success?)
To assess the main problems encountered during the programme implementation (Why was the impact not as great as expected? What are the factors that determine failure?)
To find out about the costs of the project, especially the per capita costs of each single component/type of training or activity
To suggest recommendations that would be used as guidelines for similar programmes in other areas or localities (What works? What doesn't work?)
The survey resulted in a comprehensive report that was discussed among the stakeholders before it was printed (IIZ/DVV East Africa Regional Office 2003a). It provides answers to the questions above, addresses major problems and provides not less than 18 detailed recommendations for those who want to replicate or start similar projects.
Generally, all major events, such as orientation meetings, training courses or planning of some of the model CSTC projects, have been documented and distributed as "Internal Papers" to all involved or expressing an interest. In addition, frequent reports on the pilot project, on orientation meetings, training courses and planning workshops of individual projects, have been prepared by various partners and published in the Newsletter "Focus on Adult and Non-Formal Education in Ethiopia", jointly published by the IIZ/DVV Office and the Non-formal Education (NFE) panel of the MoE. This Newsletter is the only regular publication on adult education in Ethiopia and is distributed all over the country. Key presentations, documents and plans are published as separate books or booklets.
The future annual, bi- and tri-annual monitoring and evaluation (M+E) of EXPRO will be carried out according to a project planning matrix (PPM) which was developed in early 2002 and was integrated into the overall annual plans of the IIZ/DVV Ethiopia country programme on "Support to Adult and Non-Formal Education in Ethiopia". For the overall objective, the project objective and the results expected, objectively verifiable indicators have been developed and sources for verification have been described. Together with important assumptions for achieving results and objectives, this will allow evaluation of the impact of the entire programme.
Objectives and Results Expected
The programme aims at enabling poverty-stricken young people and adults to generate income (project objective), thus contributing to reduction of poverty in selected regions/federal states of Ethiopia (overall objective).
It is assumed that these objectives will be met by achieving the following results or goals:
a) Decision-makers, relevant NGOs and CBOs at national, regional and district levels are sensitized, informed and partly advised on the need for and possibilities of ANFE, and support the programme.
b) Curricula for non-formal skills training at CSTCs and functional adult literacy programmes and similar institutions are developed and/or revised; handbooks and manuals for trainers and coordinators, teaching and learning materials are developed, partially translated into different languages and distributed in limited numbers together with teaching aids.
c) Professional adult educators with different profiles are trained by higher education institutions and posted accordingly; administrative and teaching personnel of government and other institutions in selected regions and districts are oriented and partly trained with regard to planning, implementation and evaluation of demand-oriented and income-generating adult education programmes and projects; trainers for orienting and training personnel in livelihood skills are trained.
d) A limited number of suitable CSTCs/VTCs/rural TVET Centres in selected regions are upgraded and enabled to become officially recognised providers of non-formal demand-oriented and income-generating skills training programmes for young people and adults.
e) Model projects on Functional Adult Literacy (FAL) for government, NGOs, CBOs and others are initiated and established mainly in rural areas; concepts such as REFLECT and FAL are piloted and ready for comparative evaluation with non-formal literacy programmes of REBs. ANFE related capacities of relevant NGOs are strengthened and cooperation between regional and local governments/administrations and NGOs are improved.
These results have been achieved so far to a varying degree. They are interlinked with each other and the activities aimed at achieving the results have therefore been carried out in parallel. Fifteen model centres have been established to date, all of them already running up to three different training programmes for different groups at the same time.
Guiding Strategies and Methods
To carry out these activities, strategies and methods have been and will be applied as outlined. Like the programme itself, they have been developed over time by building on those that have proved successful in other programmes, by experimenting in different contexts and by learning from experience and from many partners. It is understood that these "guidelines" will be revised and amended in the course of the implementation.
Ensure information, sensitization and orientation for decisionmakers and key people: Experience has shown that without support from decision-makers and other key people, major innovations are not very likely. In Ethiopia, it is necessary to include members of regional parliaments, the federal MoE, regional ministers or vice-ministers of capacity building (the lead ministry), education and TVET, representatives from health and agriculture, and high ranking representatives of development associations and womenís associations and from districts and zones where the model CSTCs are located.
Involve relevant line ministries such as capacity building, agriculture and health besides education: Since poverty is a multifaceted complex phenomenon, educational means alone cannot achieve sustainable reduction. Therefore, it should be understood that sensitization, orientation and training in the areas of health and agriculture must be included in the training programme. Additionally, the regional capacity-building bureaus and their staff at district level must be involved right from the beginning because of their overall responsibility in the area of capacity building. Representatives of the relevant ministries should be part of the Woreda Education and Training Boards or District TVET Councils; activities should be planned and included in the annual training programme of the CSTC (or if relevant in the community action plan).
Involve target groups and their communities in planning and implementation: By applying methods such as Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) and participatory and cooperative project planning, target groups and their communities are involved somehow in the planning. In order to make the training generally sustainable and demand-oriented, the communities in the coverage area of the CSTC need to be a decisive part of the Woreda Education and Training Board (WETB) or the TVET Council, where the CSTC has been moved from REB to a regional TVET commission. Their active participation should be designed in such a way that the community develops a sense of ownership of the CSTC and its programmes.
Design the training curriculum and content with a focus on livelihood skills: The term "livelihood" in used in EXPRO in a traditional sense of making a living in a predominantly agrarian society. It is more or less limited to the dimension of human capital, that is, to "the knowledge, skills, and methods used to produce or obtain the food, water, clothing and shelter necessary for survival and well-being, whether the economy is subsistence, monetized, or a mixture of both" (Oxenham et al 2002: 7). Of course, the definition includes making an income from off-farm activities. Other livelihood-related resources such as social, natural, physical and financial capital might be considered relevant in different combinations (as was done in IIZ/DVV's pilot programme), but cannot yet guide the training content for reasons of programme limitations. The types of skills, and thus the curriculum relevant to a particular area, will be identified through situational analysis and PRA, combined with market analysis and training needs assessment (TNA).
Make the training programmes market and demand-oriented: The programme must offer skills which can be applied at the household level or used to produce something marketable and in demand, first of all within the environment of the trainees, but not necessarily restricted to local use or consumption. It is of paramount importance to carry out a market analysis combined with a training needs assessment prior to starting any training. The decision on the skill area of the training programme must be based on the demands of the surrounding markets, and the livelihood and training needs of the target groups, taking into account, of course, not only economic and organizational considerations but also eco logical integrity. Depending on the geographical location of the CSTC, there are currently three options for choosing skill areas, all of them having implications for the target group: emphasis on livelihood needs, on market needs or on training needs. The decision at almost all CSTCs not yet covered by EXPRO is based, by contrast, on what has been offered habitually in the past or is arbitrarily known by the CSTC coordinator and available by chance.
Link the programme with credit and enterprise supporting institutions: To apply the newly acquired skills in their village or community, trainees need access to credit in order to buy working tools and raw materials or to set up a small enterprise. In Ethiopia, regional micro finance institutions offer their services in a few regions only. In addition, they have different lending policies and procedures with regard to borrowers and their working areas. It is important to involve the relevant institutions, banks, NGOs and micro or small credit information centres in the planning of the annual training programme right from the beginning. Within the national TVET programme, the MoE offers financial assistance through the Kreditanstalt f¸r Wiederaufbau (KfW) for training providers of all sorts including non-formal livelihood skills training providers.
Target the programmes towards special groups such as rural girls and women, landless youth, school drop-outs and other motivated poor, and select them carefully: Due to frequent droughts and other natural disasters in Ethiopia the idea prevails that targeting poverty means only helping the poorest of the poor, especially the landless, largely by means of food supply. On the other hand, it is generally known that the basic education of women yields higher returns than that of men. Furthermore, in rural areas in Ethiopia, girls and women are more disadvantaged than boys and men. From the training needs analysis undertaken, it is known for example that young people and school drop-outs who still depend on their parents are usually motivated to continue their education or training. Those groups are likely not only to participate fully in the training but also to start income-generating initiatives afterwards. Under certain circumstances, trainees may have to contribute partially to the costs of the course, etc. Educational or motivational requirements (educational background, age, sex, motivation, willingness to save money and to cooperate with others, etc.) must be carefully considered before potential participants are invited. The selection itself should follow a clear and transparent procedure that involves representatives of the community.
Apply research-based methods for analysing areas, markets, training and institutional needs, and for planning and evaluating programmes: In order to become professional training providers, CSTCs and their staff must apply systematically developed and tested methods of analysis, assessment, planning, implementation, management, monitoring and evaluation. Most of these methods or methodologies have been used in different sorts of action research, carried out as part of many development and adult education projects and have proved to be useful. Systematic training must be organized to enable ANFE planners, trainers of trainers in livelihood skills training or CSTC coordinators to apply them properly. Most of these have been trained as primary school teachers, whose training does not cover methods like those that were used to train ANFE planners, TOTs in livelihood skills training or CSTC coordinators.
Support capacity building through TOT approach and interregional experience sharing: Training in the context of EXPRO means training of practitioners. It therefore starts with identifying the needs (interests, experiences, knowledge and skills gaps) of the adult learners. The training of all sorts of staff itself follows an objective-oriented and activity-based approach and is based on printed material. The training of master trainers from all six regions, who in return are expected to train further trainers and CSTC coordinators at zonal and district level in their respective regions (following the cascade model), is meant to strengthen the training capacity of the region at various administrative levels. In addition, the systematic exchange of experiences between CSTCs and their coordinators in different regions should help strengthen the position and the role of the Centres within the community and the district, and of their coordinators, on whom much of the programme depends.
Produce relevant training materials in a range of languages: Unlike in some of the neighbouring countries, adult education training materials are hardly available in Ethiopia, and those that are available are neither based on the adult learners' needs nor oriented towards livelihood skills training. The only institution of higher education in the country that offers a training programme on adult and non-formal education (Jimma Teachers' College) has not yet been able to produce the desired materials. On the other hand, MoE and regional TVET commissions are concentrating on formal vocational training. No other government organization or institution, and no adult education NGO in the country, is producing materials for livelihood skills training or non-formal vocational training. Development, production and translation of training material into at least three languages (Amharic, Oromiffa, Tigringna) are urgently needed and thus a burning issue.
Train coordinators according to programme requirements: Given the fact that only one pre-service training institution in only one out of the six EXPRO regions (Oromia) offers systematic training and produces qualified CSTC coordinators, the programme has to train all the other coordinators outside an institutional setting. Since this is more costly than an institutionalized programme, the training is streamlined strictly according to programme requirements. This means that it is limited to the methods mentioned above and the skills needed to establish and successfully run a model CSTC. On the other hand, it offers new aspects such as linking livelihood with literacy, resource mobilization and fund-raising, and cooperation with other sectors. Until sufficient pre-service training capacities are available, EXPRO's aim in this regard is to produce para-professionals only.
Use the training opportunity to inform and teach trainees about HIV/Aids: Whenever young people and adults gather for learning or training purposes this opportunity should be used to inform and possibly teach the trainees (and through them their families) about the impact of HIV/Aids and how to deal with it. It is planned to provide both CSTC coordinators and ANFE experts in WEOs with a short specialized training course and some information material.
Follow a step-by-step approach in developing a model CSTC: Originally, CSTCs were established in Ethiopia in the 1970s and '80s to initiate and to multiply appropriate technology and promote income-generation skills for local communities. After the downfall of the Derg regime in 1991 most of them became ineffective and non-functional, and it needed a lot of effort to revitalize them. Due to lack of funds from federal and regional governments, revitalization of the potential model CSTCs must be done in a strictly cost-effective way. EXPRO has developed a guide on the "New Profile of a Model CSTC" that comprises "Ten Basic Activity Steps" which must be followed in order to identify and utilize potential resources for income generation (IIZ/DVV East Africa Regional Office 2003b). Some of these steps such as the selection of trainees or the selection/training of trainers/facilitators, the assessment/ development of the training content/curriculum and the evaluation of the training itself need to be further developed and thus require further effort. Following the guide will also ensure that funds are provided and utilized only if and when a training programme is seriously envisaged and the tools, materials, trainers, etc. are clearly identified.
Increase the coverage area of the model CSTC by providing boarding facilities and/or satellite centres: One of the weaknesses of most of the CSTCs is their limited coverage. Trainees are usually invited from the town or village where the centre is located and from surrounding villages that can be reached by the trainees within the same day (up to about 5 to 10 km). Providing (basic) boarding facilities, especially for girls and women, helps to increase the coverage area tremendously. Another way to expand the service especially in rural districts is the establishment of satellite centres in major villages even further away. So far a few CSTCs have already started initiatives in both directions.
Use and promote existing and new cooperation between communities, CBOs, NGOs, regional associations and government organizations: Experience in Ethiopia ñ as in other countries ñ has shown that active participation by rural and predominantly illiterate communities in development projects is more likely and sustainable where and if they are assisted by CBOs or regional or national NGOs which are familiar with the living conditions of the local people. Once the community is already organized and used to taking on some responsibilities, it is easier to attract them to new programmes such as skills training and income-generation. On the other hand, cooperation between government institutions such as the woreda offices in the different sectors and NGOs does not function well everywhere. IIZ/DVV has therefore organized and supported cooperative project planning by communities, NGOs, regional development associations and regional and district government offices.
Pitfalls and Shortcomings
As in any programme of this type and magnitude there are pitfalls and shortcomings. The PPM contains a number of assumptions that are statements about uncertain external factors affecting all objectives over which EXPRO chooses not to exert or does not have control. Most of them refer to the capability and willingness of partners, predominantly government institutions, to support the programme. In what follows, only a few problems and potential risks are mentioned:
In most regions, representatives of the relevant ministries at district level are not used to cooperating with each other in order to practise the multi-sectoral approach that is needed to fight poverty. It is highly recommended that a coordinating body, perhaps the regional capacity-building bureaus, take on a supervisory function.
Most of the partner regions have recently changed their system of educational administration. The new system separates purely literacy/numeracy work from purely skills/savings and credit training rather than supporting a combined livelihood oriented approach as recommended by the World Bank and IIZ/DVV (Oxenham et al 2002, IIZ/DVV 2002:3-9). CSTCs and their staffs, which used to be under the REBs, are now under semi-autonomous TVET commissions. Since the newly assigned staffs of the TVET commissions are trained neither in livelihood skills training nor in non-formal vocational training, and the TOTs in livelihood skills training in the ANFE units of the REBs are now limited to literacy/numeracy work, there is urgent need for cooperative actions and procedures.
Since EXPRO relies to a large extent on the individual CSTC coordinators and their capability and commitment, it is imperative that these persons are carefully selected and stay in their posts for the duration of the implementation. Given the fact that government administrations are characterized by frequent and relatively high staff turnover, this poses the biggest risk to the success of the project.
Due to the general lack of suitable training materials and capacities to produce these, ways and means for developing new training materials, manuals and teaching-learning materials in different languages must be explored.
Since only one pre-service training institution in the country offers systematic training and produces qualified ANFE staff, additional institutionalized training capacities need to be established both at national and at regional level.
The question of how to link livelihood training with literacy education has only recently been tackled by introducing the REFLECT approach. Whether literacy education should be included in the skills training or run separately is still an open agenda.
Linking livelihood skills training with credit from regional micro finance institutions is not working in all regions and thus needs further efforts.
Making the programme at government CSTCs gender sensitive in order to recognize women's needs and contribution is still a difficult challenge. Consequently, regional womenís associations and NGOs are now being directly included in the programme.
The paper shows how EXPRO developed historically according to practical demands. Strategies and methods have been developed over the years in close cooperation with MoE, REBs, and national experts/colleagues and thus are appropriate and commensurate to the national context.
It describes a programme that aims at establishing professional skills training providers for the poor and for educationally disadvantaged young people and adults in order to improve their livelihoods. It offers a model of
how to upgrade and effectively utilize badly underused CSTCs (or to establish new centres)
how to organize skills training for educationally disadvantaged people that is both demand-oriented and market-oriented
how to develop and organize non-formal vocational training as part of the national TVET programme
how to organize development-oriented ANFE as a means for improving the livelihood of poor people, who still constitute the majority of the Ethiopian population
how to use adult education as an effective means of fighting and reducing poverty.
The programme is flexible and offers great potential because it allows skill areas to be chosen according to three or four options depending on the geographical location and the target groups: emphasis on livelihood needs, on market needs or on training needs, or a combination of these.
A ìmodelî usually serves as a blueprint for designing and implementing programmes. EXPRO has thus been and will be further communicated to a wide audience by various means. Politicians and administrators committed to poverty reduction, especially in the regions of Ethiopia, are asked to consider it for large-scale implementation, and multi- and bilateral donors are requested to provide support.
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