The Recipe for a Successful AssignmentOctober 18, 2019
Volunteer Advisor Lisanne Lacroix speaks about her assignment with Grupo FARO (Fundación para el Avance de la Reformas y Oportunidades) with a great deal of enthusiasm. “This assignment was one of the best experiences I’ve had to date,” she says. Lisanne was recruited to help the Ecuadorian think tank develop a process to better monitor its progress and assess results on an ongoing basis.
“I was really excited about this assignment because of the work Grupo FARO does,” shares Lisanne. The NGO’s mission is to influence public policy in an effort to build a more democratic, innovative, sustainable and inclusive society.
Lisanne has spent her entire career working to influence public policy, both from within and outside government. But with close to a dozen assignments under her belt, Lisanne knows that other factors besides experience and interest are important to the success of an assignment. The head of the organization’s commitment, involvement and availability are key. Another critical factor is the degree to which the client, CESO’s Country Representative and the Volunteer Advisor work together as a team.
A few days after hearing that she had been selected to work with Grupo FARO, Lisanne met with Diego Rivadeneira, CESO’s Country Representative in Ecuador, as well as Grupo FARO’s Executive Director, Ana Patricia Muňoz and two directors who were appointed to be Lisanne’s points of contact.
The meeting provided an important opportunity to clarify goals and expectations before the start of the assignment as well as during and after the assignment.
Following the Executive Director’s lead, all Grupo FARO employees made themselves available for individual and group meetings with Lisanne. Employees expressed their views openly and proposed ideas for improving aspects of the organization. As a result, Lisanne was able to develop a solid understanding of the organization in just a few days. She not only designed a process to help Grupo FARO monitor progress and assess results, but also identified other needs that the organization could address with support from CESO.
“Achieving success is like baking a cake,” Lisanne says. “You have to make sure you have all the ingredients and that the right amount of each is added to the mix at the right time.”