byEric Siegel via web
A pillar of the Data to Decision program states, “It takes time and resources to establish new partnerships and leverage the opportunities we are presented with.”
Before beginning my assignment as an Akvo Project Officer in Bogotá, Colombia, I ventured on an inter-hub onboarding journey with the goals of:
a) Learning Akvo tools and services with our team of experts in the South East Asia and Pacific (SEAP) hub b) Linking Fiji partners with Akvo c) Spending time with the Americas Hub Manager
By design, the trip planned for 5 days in Bali, 4 days in Sydney, 9 days in Fiji, and 8 days in Washington D.C. In Bali, the seasoned Akvonauts led me through Akvo Flow, RSR, Lumen and Project Management fundamentals while demonstrating how tools and services are utilized throughout the region. I experienced the Akvo system with the intention of replicating it with Latino flavour - because I would soon be supporting the cultivation of our Colombia country program while growing with the Akvo Americas Team. After being inspired by the range of projects managed through the SEAP office, I dipped out of Indonesia to join the Akvo Australia squad. The Akvo inspiration continued while learning from the SEAP Regional Director, Project Officer, and Operations Officer. Team members offered a unique perspective on their personal Akvo experience while guiding my advancement in Akvo product practice. They were eager to learn about my experience working with the Fiji Ministry of Agriculture (FMOA), and how Akvo could improve monitoring and evaluation (M&E) processes with the Ministry. Ultimately, working with the crew in Sydney inspired me to learn more about Akvo while the Team equipped me with the knowledge and skills to match the FMOAs priorities with Akvo’s tools and services.
In Fiji, I continued the momentum created from the previous year when I was engaged with the FMOA as an FAO M&E consultant. During the prior consultancy, I designed and implemented an M&E training workshop for Senior Agriculture Officials. At the conclusion of the workshop, I presented a report stating the FMOA should use an information system to gather data, understand it, and therefore make informed decisions. Accordingly, during this trip, I presented to the Permanent Secretary of Agriculture, the Chief Economist, the FMOA M&E Unit and Food and Agriculture Organization representatives on how Akvo is an ideal system to be used for the proposed information system. Proposal development for a partnership is now underway! In the final leg of the journey before Bogotá, I had the pleasure of meeting the Americas Hub manager and working with her in person. We spoke about lessons learned in the Pacific and how they could be applied to developing and expanding our Americas program - all while exploring Washington DC. Ideas and cherry blossoms were in bloom. I arrived in Bogotá on April 9 and was greeted by our Program Manager. We immediately started working, and thus the adventure from data to decisions in the Americas is just beginning! Saludos to the future of Akvo!