October 8th, 2015

Just last week, consultant Hilde van Duijn travelled to Indonesia, whilst her colleague Sharon Hesp is currently still visiting Nicaragua and Ecuador. Both are working on an assignment for Belgian NGO Vredeseilanden. Earlier this year NewForsight completed a Strategic Learning Assessment (SLA) of the Vredeseilanden Country Offices (VECOs) in Africa, the end result of which was a report with insights and recommendations regarding strategy and structure of Vredeseilanden and its African regional offices and their programs.

The report stated how the organization could further develop the programs and projects on the African continent as to have more impact on the livelihood of the farmer. Vredeseilanden focuses on improving the farmer’s livelihood through strengthening their position in agricultural value chains. Sharon and Hilde are at present talking to the VECO teams in Latin America and Indonesia to assess what could be a next step towards more impact for these regional offices.

Karen Janssens, regional representative for VECO Latin America, noted that ‘Sharon Hesp (NewForesight) and Alfredo Umaña were able to capture thoughts from all levels in the organization. In their feedback-session to the team they created a shared understanding of where we stand as VECO Meso America. This was a highly participatory process with some clear feedback that was challenging yet not judging. We are looking forward to receive the complete report which we will use to keep improving our team dynamics and our growth as part of the network organization.’

A central topic in this Strategic Learning Assessment is the organization’s transition towards a network organization. Vredeseilanden is looking to become more decentralized, and in this new structure the VECOs will take on a different role to the ones they have currently. How this transition will be organized and what the new roles and responsibilities will be, is an important part of the conversation in the Nicaragua, Ecuador and Indonesia.

The final report of this SLA is expected in November.