This pile of cloths with all its colours are precious to me. They represent my working experience in different countries and with a diversity of contexts and cultures. They remind me of people I met and worked with, the smell of the soil, the rhythm of life, the sounds of the music. I recognise the patterns of Zambia, Niger, Pakistan, Indonesia, Uganda, Somalia, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and more. I enjoy exploring the different patterns, discovering how they are made and who is involved in the process.. And this is what I will bring as coach and consultant: enable you to explore materials and patterns, create your own design, , decide your colours and threads, experiment how you can use and care for them and discover who can support you in the process of manufacturing.
The mix of services I offer is built on 30 years of experience. Starting the first 10 years in international development (various organisations, gender equity and right to education) and moving on to the humanitarian sector (Oxfam, capacity development, partnerships, local leadership). Worked and lived in Zambia and Niger and travelled to many places in roles as advisor, coordinator, trainer, facilitator and manager. I had the privilege to work with many different people and with local, national and international humanitarian organisations in Africa, Asia and Europe. Building understanding of the humanitarian sector, the diversity of actors shaping it and in particular the role of local actors in preparedness and response. On the way focussing more and more on what I like most: support people and partnerships to unlock their potential.
My offer is to partner with you to co-design what support you need at this moment, building on current capacity and keeping humanitarian purpose, social impact and collaborative potential in sight.
Research and living village life in rural Zambia during my studies in Anthropology set the foundation for my career. I experienced the harshness and unpredictability of life at survival level and saw how modest the contribution of projects and programs that were supposed to empower or support local communities was. I had the chance to listen to women’s perspectives and see how they collaborated in order to increase their resilience, opportunities and autonomy.
My respect for local capacity further grew throughout my career. My work around preparedness, response, accountability, quality funding was predominantly in partnership with local actors, promoting their capacity and leadership. People have the answers so I will listen first and support people or partnerships to look for their own answers.
Pakistan Earthquake 2005. Pakistani NGOs from different provinces had formed a network of grassroot disaster management committees across the country. When the disaster struck they travelled North within days to support the network member who was basedin the affected area with staff, cars, kits – allowing really quick response at larger scale and becoming a louder voice – with Oxfam adding financial and technical capacity. The advantage derived from this horizontal peer network was obvious, life-saving and sustains to date. However, the projectized and donor-driven humanitarian system is not conducive to local participation, ownership and horizontal collaboration. In my work I aim to contribute to a transformation of the humanitarian system. By creating spaces for local actors to deliver, network and advocate - e.g. co-designing programs (Slhap, Elnha) or facilitating local networks to co-create their strategy. And by contributing to quality partnerships by giving attention to the process of collaboration. These experiences led to my association with the Partnership Brokers Association which is all about the art and science of partnering: the importance of quality partnership process management in multi-stakeholder collaboration and the role of partnership brokers to support partners in navigating their collaboration journey.
Work and life in humanitarian settings often means hardship, loneliness, stress, chaos and loads of responsibility. Space for self-reflection, personal development or a listening ear can make all the difference. Coaching using phone or skype is an accessible offer that can make a difference and can support you to cope and gain new energy, confidence and direction.
I gained my coaching experience as part of the Oxfam internal coaches pool, coaching staff from all over the world using the phone or computer. And I knew immediately that this is what I wanted to continue doing and developing. It is a rewarding experience to support someone’s personal and professional development through the powerful process of coaching. Because both the client and I get energy from my coaching sessions. Next to my own practice I volunteer coaching hours to The Humanitarian Coaching Network and I have been coaching students during their intensive as part of the Graduate Certificated Humanitarian Leadership Course.
Although this all sounds really serious you will get to know me as quite informal, quite direct (I am Dutch!) and with a bit of humour and lightness. I am a team player and am open to partner with you in many configurations: as individual coach or consultant, as part of a coaching pool or as a temporary member of a team or partnership.