Friday, 29 May 2009

Guerrilla interviews at the ICCO office; Day four of the induction program

The “guerrilla interview” day focused on the 3 main domains of ICCO (Fair Economic Development, Access to Basic Services, Democratization and Peace) as well as cross cutting issues like HIV /AIDS, Gender and the rights based approach.

I found this form of learning very innovative as it gives a unique opportunity to us Program Officers and Regional Managers coming from the regions to experience in live the day to day work of our colleagues at headquarter (Utrecht): their working condition and the culture among staff.

The assignment during the guerrilla interview exercise was to ask questions and gather keys issues of interest we have noticed throughout our guerrilla activities around Fair Economic Development; Access to Basic Services; Democratization and Peacebuilding.

HIV Aids, Emergency and Disaster, human rights and gender issues were separately discussed in the afternoon using the "fish bowl" tool. The fish bowl is another learning tool used by the course facilitators. I would like to congratulate for their work and most importantly the innovative ways they use.

Apart from the main topics of the day we have also discovered other interesting things like the "flex plek" system ; this was for example an interesting concept as none of the staff has a fixed desk. The system apparently allows 300 people to work in an office designed for 150. It is important to add that this involves also that staff can be working from home as well.
Administrative assistants are doing an impressive job filing in the user friendly way projects/ programme files; it is important such systems are kept and if possible harmonised in all regional offices. This will allow staff from a different region to easily find his way in any ICCO office.

A very important thing noticed as well is the seriousness in which all staff are preparing for the handover even though it means for many of them losing their job. The "guerrilleros" group I was part of was very appreciative of all the efforts and courage of the colleagues, expressed our sadness and sympathy then encourage them to look at the bright side of life. In west Africa we have this say "on est ensemble" meaning : we are together, we are in the same boat, we are no enemy: peace and love.

Jean Ives Bonzi

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