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Committed to impacting positively on the lives of people made poor

Collaboration: The Way Forward

Posted on 12 January 2018

Elser Llanos (pictured) is coordinator of the Development Office of the Latin American Region, an Executive Member of the Mission Capacity Support Team and a trained Psychologist. He shares a reflection on his new role and his recent professional development experience.

In 2014, I read an article in Forbes titled: ‘6 Ways to Build a Culture of Learning.’ The article started with a phrase that I now consider my motto: ‘To stay relevant … requires a fierce desire to learn, to improve, and to adapt.’

Last year the Latin American Region opened a Development Office to provide support to development projects in Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and Uruguay. When I accepted the position of coordinator of the Development Office, I spent several hours thinking how my masters in Organisational Psychology will help me in my new position. I started making connections with other development offices of the Congregation and agencies to assist in expanding my knowledge base and skills.

With my desire to improve in my new position and with support from ERD, I had the opportunity to take two online courses at the Kimmage Development Studies Centre (DSC). Based in Dublin, Kimmage DSC was established in 1974 by the Irish Province of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit. Initially set up to provide education and training to intending overseas missionaries, Kimmage DSC now provides courses aimed at the International Development sector, development practitioners and activists. I took Results-Based Planning and Proposal Writing, and Results-Based Monitoring & Evaluation. Both courses have been of great help to broaden my knowledge on development and the results-based approach, which is widely used by the UN in their development projects. Since the courses, I have spent some days training our project managers and personnel working in our development projects in Results-Based Planning.

As a former Christian Brother, I have experience working in different ministries across Latin America and I have witnessed the positive impact Edmund Rice Mission is having on people’s lives. I am thankful for the collaboration between the Latin American Region and Edmund Rice Development. I believe that collaboration is the way forward, and it only occurs when all sides are eager and dedicated to work towards the same goals.