dinsdag 12 januari 2016

8 years reflection on IICD

Reflecting on 8 years of working at IICD is not easy, especially when you have only one hand, or
better 1 finger to type (like I have at the moment). So first I started to write them by hand in an old
fashioned, analogue way!

8 years of IICD starts and ends with a company: Smart Resultancy. 9 years ago when I came back
from Zambia, where I worked for 3 years as training centre manager of CHEP, a Zambian HIV/AIDS
NGO, I started my own company to combine Development and Organizational Development,
because I wanted to continue in development and finding a job in the sector was not easy. I talked
with many people about the concept of the company, Smart Resultancy. One day I was called for a
job interview. I was in a meeting so I asked “Could you send an email, I am in a meeting at the
moment”. It was a job interview at IICD, but I never applied for a job there. I had even never heard
Photo credits Gareth Bentley
of it. But to combine ICT and Development was exactly the work that I had in mind. So I went to the
interview and got the job “Officer Knowledge sharing Zambia and Ghana” and closed the company
without doing one assignment.

My first day on the job was also special. Not in the office, but in Lusaka, Zambia with Olaf. Directly
for a two week visit back in Zambia were I still had many friends and good memories. That first day
we visited 4 project partners with Olaf and Kevin, our long time taxi driver. At half past 2 I asked Olaf  “When do we have lunch?” Olaf’s answer everyone knows “I don’t eat lunch”. My answer “but I need lunch!” So we stopped for bananas and cookies. And since that day I always bring “Snelle Jelle” with me in case there is no opportunity to have lunch.

I have always enjoyed working for IICD and especially with all our project and technical partners in
the country. It was a great pleasure and
privilege to support you throughout the years. I am very
proud of those partners that have really transformed their own region or country.
After ten years working in the private ICT sector in The Netherlands as a business consultant, it was a
great opportunity to work in a sector where you really can have impact at organizational level, but
Photo credits IICD
especially at personal level. At IICD we were able to accelerate change for many people and

In the various roles I have had over the years, the key thing for me was being a broker. Facilitate
between people with ideas, support bringing ideas forward, and connect people with each other to
improve ideas and make them happen. As a catalyst I could bring some people to that next level
through capacity building, exposure to new ideas and funding opportunities. It is not a secret recipe
that works for all. It is like cooking: some people do much more with the same ingredients than

Change and technology as an enabler has been a thread throughout my career. As a bridge between
users and technologists. Technology not on its own as a driver, but the people that use it, to create
and shape their own future and the futures of the people around them. I do believe that technology
can amplify development in a lasting way if implemented in the right way.
IICD was searching for that right way. A way that combines participatory user centred design, local
context, local ownership, sustainability and a local eco system to support the appropriate solutions.
Not always the most sophisticated innovative solution, but one that fits the local needs and could
last also after project funding stops.

Now IICD will close (#endofanera), I would like to continue with the same philosophy and start my
own company again. So as of January 2016 Smart Resultancy will be operational again. This time
with a focus on social change in Education and the transition of young people from school to work
(youth employment). Technology will be important, but the people that use it even more. Smart
Resultancy will support organisations that want to transform the lives of young people using
technology as an enabler with principles like local ownership, human centred design, social business
models, and learning by doing in mind. I would like to continue to work with you in the future!
Martine Koopman