Exchange to Change May 2017 20170524 EtC mei 2017-web | Page 17

in the picture Paola Andrea Vallejo Patiño DEM 2013-2014 | Colombia-Belgium Where do you work? I’m about to start a new job as a new team member of the federation of Flemish development NGOs. This federation represents the members to the government, develops capacity building activities and provides advice for its members. I will be covering the subjects of integrated financial management and transparency. A very interesting new challenge! How did IOB experience affect your life/ career? Stepping on the ‘high speed IOB train’ was a tough, but very enriching experience. I met wonderful people from many parts of the world and made friendships for life. On a more professional note, I acquired knowledge and skills that allowed me to greatly improve my contribution to development work. I look into development problems with a more critical and (scientifically) informed eye, and am more aware of the assumptions with which development practice often happens. I’m also better able to assess/improve processes on a methodological and analytical level. If you were the director of a research fund, what is a research question that you would agreed to finance? I would like to see more research done (and largely disseminated) on coherence between development policy and other policies such as trade, foreign affairs, defense, etc. Development work is all too often countered by decisions made by governments on other levels. Different interests by several actors (individuals, states, institutions, big private players) often prevail and put development work in a very fragile position. Also, I would continue supporting the research work on how development actors use (or don’t use) lessons/knowledge from evaluations and scientific research. a l umni 17 Mateo Porciúncula DEM 2014-15 | Uruguay Where do you work? I have recently started working as a Senior Design Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at the International Center for Transitional Justice. How did IOB experience affect your life/ career? The most significant “impact” of IOB’s “treatment” in my life has been the great friendships that developed from it. I am privileged in that I met the most talented, kind, most interesting people from all over the world during my stay at IOB and I have been lucky enough to become friends and partners with some of them. I learned a lot from different cultures, and that has been incredibly helpful in making me a better professional and a more open minded person. I can say without a doubt that what I learned at IOB was key in giving me an edge to get gigs as evaluator and for my current job. -I had to take a technical test as part of the selection process and I have no doubt that I did well because of what I had learnt. If you were the director of a research fund, what is a research question that you would agreed to finance? Sure. Here it comes: “How can you measure impact in transitional justice processes?” This is the question I am chipping at right now at work. I certainly would love to have more people work at it to develop a common understanding of the most appropriate methods and instruments to assess impact in fields like transitional justice or democracy building, in which progress is never linear, but rather often takes unexpected turns, deeply influenced by broader political and social processes. E xchange to change M ay 2017