September 10th, 2015

To further develop its programs on the African continent, Vredeseilanden requested NewForesight to assess the country programs in Tanzania, Uganda, DR Congo, Burkina Faso and Senegal as part of its mid-term strategy evaluation. With a value chain approach the organization focuses on including smallholder farmers worldwide in modern markets to increase their incomes and improve their livelihoods. Additionally, as Vredeseilanden is moving towards becoming a network organization, part of the assignment was to look into the change-readiness of regional offices to become independent members of this network.

Last Wednesday, consultant Sharon Hesp presented the results of the Strategic Learning Assessment at the headquarter office in Leuven, Belgium. Among the attendees from the headquarters team were Director of Southern Programs Roos Peirsegaele, Chris Claes, senior advisor Strategic Relations and Programme Advisors Caroline Huyghe and Steff Deprez. Mark Blackett, the recently appointed regional representative in East Africa, also attended through Skype. Insights and recommendations were shared concerning strategy and structure on an international as well as a regional level. Much was recognized and fruitful discussions towards increasingly impactful programs were initiated. Additionally, the opportunites for performing the assessment for the Latin-American and Indonesian offices were discussed.

Chris Claes mentioned that Vredeseilanden was especially pleased with the connection of the findings to NewForesight’s Sector Transformation Model. He explained  that ‘this approach effectively holds a mirror up to the work we do in practice. I am already looking forward to the outcome of the assessments in Latin-America and Indonesia!’.

Stef Steyaert, one of the founders of Levuur, the agency contracted by Vredeseilanden to facilitate the transition to a network organization, congratulated NewForesight on the delivered recommendations, noting that they were ‘clear, very much to the point and above all, they provide direction for the upcoming months.’

While the African regional offices are including recommendations in their strategies and work, their Latin-American and Indonesian counterparts are already preparing for a visit from the NewForesight team. In September and October consultants Sharon Hesp and Hilde van Duijn are assessing Vredeseilanden programs in Nicaragua, Ecuador and Indonesia. To come to meaningful conclusions NewForesight consultants work with local consultants on the field trips. We believe in the synergy that is created by connecting system thinking with local expertise. Recommendations for Vredeseilanden Country Offices (VECOs) Mesoamerica, Andino and Indonesia are expected in November.

For questions and advise about strategic learning and how this can benefit your organisation, contact Sharon Hesp.