Regional conference Latin America in Puembo, Quito
On 24 October the Latin American partners of NIMD gathered for a 3 day conference in the small village of Puembo, under the shadows of Ecuador’s capital Quito. A 6 member delegation of NIMD from The Hague was also present. The main focus of the conference was on exchanging information on political and programmatic developments and getting to know each others experiences in a more profound manner. The matter of fundraising was also discussed in-depth during the conference, as well as the plans and the necessities of the forthcoming years.
A total of 20 persons started the conference Monday morning, with moderator Pablo Medina Pérez introducing the delegations from NIMD’s field office in Guatemala, a delegation from Bolivia’s Fundación Boliviana para la Democracia Multipartidaria (fBDM), Colombian representatives of the joint UNDP/NIMD/IDEA programme and of course the delegation from Ágora Democrática (a joint NIMD-IDEA programme) from Ecuador. After some words of welcome from Ágora director Ernesto Araníbar and director of programmes Pepijn Gerrits from NIMD, the conference kicked off with a presentation by Pepijn Gerrits about the current situation at NIMD. The afternoon was largely used to explore the democratic and programmatic developments of the attending partners, mainly through presentations given by the partner organisations followed by questions and discussions. After lunch, 3 working groups were formed to discuss and exchange experiences. The working groups identified political participation of youth, women and indigenous population as cross cutting issues in all Latin America programmes and a strategy was developed to ensure continuous coordination and exchange of information on these issues.
The second day of the conference was initiated by Professor Rolando Franco from the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) in Chili. His presentation showed the current Latin American situation in regard to the economic, social and political dimensions of the region. Amongst other things, the future economic position of Latin America on a global scale was outlined, but also the shifting importance of the Latin American middle classes was discussed. The presentation stirred up some interesting discussions amongst those present. The afternoon session of the conference focused mainly on the fundraising issue. Due to cutbacks in the international development sector, fundraising strategies become a more pressing issue on many agenda’s of non governmental organisations. It is therefore very useful to exchange experiences and to discuss future plans and possibilities. Every partner organisation therefore presented their experiences on fundraising, followed by discussions in working groups.
The third day of the conference consisted of a morning session. Presented by Jan Tuit, programme manager at NIMD, who put the morning session into gear with a presentation on the 2012 plans and the possibility of a combined PME (Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation) system. In extension to the presentation, working groups were formed to discuss the needs, possibilities and challenges on the matters laid out by Jan Tuit. The outcomes of working groups were presented to the group and were made subject to group discussion. Moderator Pablo Medina Pérez then wrapped up the conference by outlining some of the conclusions that could be drawn from the 3 day gathering.
A tour through the beautiful historic centre of Quito followed by an evening diner really concluded the conference and left all participants very pleased with the good spirited working environment and the progress that has been made during the 3 days in Puembo and Quito.