from the field: at REST in Ethiopia

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REST offices in Tigray

Our Water Programs Officer, Christy Scazzerro, flew out to Ethiopia for a week-long work session with our local partners A Glimmer of Hope and the Relief Society of Tigray. On a sunny Saturday, 20 people piled up into this conference room to brainstorm solutions to the many complexities and intricate details that go along with working in remote areas. The candy wrappers around Christy’s laptop let us know she was working hard.

Here’s a note from Christy:

Good afternoon from Mekelle!

You might be thinking — what can you possibly get done in a meeting with this many people?

In Ethiopia, decision making happens first through open dialogue, a lot of (healthy) arguing and then finally consensus. At REST, subordinates, supervisors and department heads have to be in agreement or we can’t move forward. This is why reps from Finance, Planning and Implementation are usually involved in every meeting. It’s also why we might stay on a single issue for a few hours – until we reach consensus up and down the line.

It’s been a productive week delving into new processes, reviewing operations and planning for 2012 and 2013.

Tomorrow we’ll drive to Rig #1 and sticker it up with campaigner names! Then a couple more days in the office before heading back to NYC.

See you all soon!

They raised money for clean water by putting off their engagement. Previous Campaign to watch: Get them engaged! — Part II Blog Home Kids fundraise for clean water. Next Campaign to watch: They’re not loafing around!