Created: Tuesday, 24 November 2020 09:39
Bente Consulting – 10 years anniversary 2010 – 2020
Time flies and today marks 10 years since I registered my company after vivid discussions in the family on company names and with no idea of what it would take to run a private company, including tax regulations and VAT payments, being employer and employee, CEO, accountant and senior consultant – all at the same time. I thought it was a temporary solution – but it is so far the longest employment period of my career. And thanks to excellent leadership in the company, I think I will stay for a couple of more years!
It has taken me far – geographically and topic-wise. The solid network in Mozambique helped to kick-start the business and over the years assignments in Mozambique have represented a considerable part of the portfolio. In total, I have undertaken 70+ assignments of which almost a third in Mozambique, but also West Africa, MENA and Asia are on the map. I have worked with civil society, democracy and governance, human rights and gender, and also with rural and market system development, social and financial inclusion, women, youth and disability, environment, health and sexual and reproductive health.
The jobs have included the full circle of project identification, formulation, appraisal, reviews and evaluations. I have facilitated strategy processes and learning studies, and designed baselines, monitoring and evaluation systems – and written thousands of pages of reports. I have worked in English, Portuguese, French, Swedish and Danish – or in languages, I don’t understand, depending on a local interpreter, often summarizing long sequences of talk into only short statements.
I have sat on a mat or low wooden chair under the mango trees, balanced on narrow paths on steep slopes in Myanmar, worked in dusty villages in Zambia, travelled the wide plains in Mongolia and enjoyed the beautiful seaside views in Mozambique. I have been freezing cold in high level government offices, where the aircon brings the temperature to 15 degrees, sat on uncomfortable low sofas in meeting rooms and enjoyed maize porridge and canapés during work hours, depending on the setting. I have travelled what corresponds to earth's circumference a couple of times – and paid my CO2 compensation! And I have stayed in innumerous hotel rooms – all different, but similar, and yet a few exceptions like the wooden house in Myanmar on poles and with no privacy from neighbors due to thin walls or the fancy resort in Zambia with zebras grazing on the lawn next to the restaurant.
And I have met many, many inspiring, hardworking and dedicated people that I cannot count – in farmers’ and civil society organizations, fighting for their rights and the future of their children. And there have been outstanding colleagues all along – some of which I have enjoyed working with on several occasions. I cannot thank everybody – and I cannot invite you all to a reception. Let’s blame it on the COVID-19 restrictions……though I would have love to see you all here at Agersø with a glass of champagne raised and good music playing. Thank you all of you who made this journey possible!
Created: Monday, 26 October 2020 15:59
New assignment through FCG’s framework agreement with Sida for the evaluation of the Swedish support to AGE in Kosovo in the period from June 2015 to end of 2020. The evaluation will assess project achievements against agreed objectives, while also providing input to AGE for the future, especially in terms of how to best secure that project results are sufficiently anchored to guarantee sustainability (lasting impact) of the project results. The evaluation will have a keen focus on learning by identifying key factors for success and constraints. The evaluation will include document review, stakeholder mapping and context analysis, interviews and e-questionnaires, and analysis through identification of most significant changes and triangulation of data. The evaluation is participatory and utilization focused and will engage stakeholders in reflections and co-creation of recommendations. The evaluation will run from November 2020 to January 2021. Bente consulting is contracted by FCG Sweden.
Created: Monday, 26 October 2020 15:40
The evaluation of application and effects of a Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA) in Swedish development cooperation from 2010-2019 has finally come to an end after 1½ year's hard work. The objective of the evaluation was to evaluate the HRBA applied by Sida and its cooperation partners and to what extent the approach has contributed to increased respect and improved protection of an fulfilment of human rights, including gender equality. The evaluation addressed the application of HRBA in practice, the alignment with national policy frameworks, the impact of a HRBA, cooperation partners' perception of HRBA and collection and application of lessons learnt. Recommendations addressing the following issues were presented: the need for investing in prioritization of HRBA and the underlying principles; the need for adapting approaches to partnerships and contribution management; the importance of documenting experiences and lessons learnt; and the need to develop capacity for application of HRBA. Case country studies were undertaken in Albania, Cambodia, Colombia and Kenya. Bente Consulting was responsible for the case study in Albania and member of the core evaluation team. The Sida Evaluation Brief is attached. The full report will soon be published at the Sida Evaluation website.
Created: Friday, 18 September 2020 08:26
Great news received yesterday: Bente Consulting won the tender for facilitating the Financial Sector Deepening's Gender Peer Review during. The review will include mapping of experience with gender mainstreaming in all FSDs in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Rwanda, Zambia, Uganda, Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access and FSD Africa), compilation of lessons learned and facilitation of a virtual peer reflection workshop. The gender peer review process will feed into the formulation of a new FSD Gender Strategy. The assignment will be virtual and take place from September to end of November 2020 with an overall input of 30 wds.
Created: Monday, 31 August 2020 09:25
Days before the COVID-19 pandemic was fully declared, Bente Consulting signed two contracts with Swedish Development Advisers to undertake organizational reviews of two Norad-funded environmental and rights-based CSO programs in Brazil and Ecuador:
1. Organizational Review of Ecociencia/Amazonia Network of Georeferenced Socio-Environmental Information (RAISG). The review will aim at establishing Ecociencia / RAISG’s financial management, cost efficiency and results management, and evaluate achievement of reported results. The review shall describe, analyse and assess the following aspects of the organisation under review: 1) Organisational structure; 2) Governance; 3) Cost efficiency; 4) Financial management; 5) Results management; 6) Civil society strengthening. The review will include field visit and interviews with Ecociencia's head office and Coordinadora de las Organizaciones Indígenas de la Cuenca Amazónica (COICA) in Quito Ecuador, and in Brazil with Instituto Socioambiental (ISA) in São Paulo and Coordenação das Organizações Indígenas da Amazônia Brasileira (COIAB) in Manaus.
2. Organizational review of Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazônia (IPAM) and Instituto do Homem e Meio Ambiente da Amazônia (Imazon). The review should focus on benefits and challenges related to efficiency and cost effectiveness at central level and the current organizational structure with field offices. The study shall give an in-depth view of how IPAM and Imazon is working on all levels. The field office to be visited for in depth study shall be decided in agreement with Norad. The review shall describe, analyse and assess the following aspects of the organisation under review: 1) Organisational structure; 2) Governance; 3) Cost efficiency; 4) Financial management; 5) Results management; 6) Civil society strengthening. The review will include field visits in Brasil, visiting the organizations based in Brasilia, Porto Alegre and Belem.
Bente Consulting will provide the team leader, but the reviews are by August 2020 still on standby untill field visits can be undertaken.