At SERVIR-Amazonia we can say we did! Since our first months functioning as the latest Hub of the SERVIR Global Program, we have been spoiled by the most amazing support team who helped so much in accelerating our learning curve. Already renewed once, the current team is now saying goodbye and we want to thank Anthony, Katherine, Russell, Zoltan, and Steven for an outstanding collaboration.
“For SERVIR-Amazonia, the support from this group of dedicated and highly skilled professionals led by Anthony Panella has been a game changer. We have been able to apply lessons learnt from past SERVIR experiences since the early stages of our Program, mainly in the area of Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning, Communications and Knowledge Management. They have also been efficient and demand-driven organizers and facilitators of online and face-to-face meetings”, says Carlos Gasco, Program Director of SERVIR-Amazonia.
The first opportunity to benefit from the SERVIR Support team was during the inception workshop of the Program with a focus on Theory of Change and the subsequent formulation of the MEL plan. “I would not have been able to deliver this plan so fast without Zoltan Milic, who had the experience working with USAID and SERVIR. He guided me effectively through the process with sharp questions and ideas for solutions”, says Simone Staiger, Coordinator of MEL at SERVIR-Amazonia. “I am also very grateful for all the support and facilitation provided by Russell Raymond during the exchanges with the Communications Group. It was essential to learn from the communications professionals of the other Hubs in Asia and Africa.”
Perhaps the most important contribution is embodied in the SERVIR Service Planning Toolkit. It is a step-by-step guide on how to develop demand-driven geospatial products with partners. “The toolkit saved us an incredible amount of time, especially in the needs assessment phase. The hints on how to implement the assessments and how to map stakeholders are helping us in designing the best processes to get the services into use”, says José Fernandes, the User Engagement Lead of the Program.
“I am especially grateful to Katherine Casey who detected many opportunities for collaboration and for sharing our experiences within SERVIR but also with other organizations,” appreciates Marina Irigoyen, Gender Advisor. “Her genuine interest in gender issues and the proactive coworking attitude not only made me feel part of a bigger movement, but also contributed to position gender as a key factor to enhance the impact of the services and support female GIS professionals in the Amazon region”.
Finally, all those among us who had the privilege to travel to the last face-to-face SAGE meeting in Cambodia before COVID-19 hit the Globe, experienced the flawless event management skills of Steven Hutcheson and the SST team. It was a memorable event where nothing went wrong and all of us got inspired and motivated to contribute to the SERVIR mission.
We join the SERVIR community in thanking the Support Team. We will miss you and wish each of you a wonderful next chapter in your professional lives.