Reflections on GEI’s capacity development model

by Waleed Fatth (GEI Global Programs Manager)
The other day, I was talking to a friend who is working with Doctors without Borders (MSF) about the world and the current global events here and there. She was telling me about how she had high hopes for 2015 to finally see less conflicts and crises worldwide. I told her that we’re still at the beginning of the year and it’s hard to judge what the rest of it is holding for us, but she went on and on about how the world is getting more crazy day by day in some parts of the planet while the rest of the planet are busy in self-indulgence and not caring about what is happening as long as it’s not in their neighborhood. Later this conversation led to what the international community and most of the humanitarian organizations are actually doing in order to have real progress that would add to our collective human development for years to come through inventing and implementing long-term solutions. Unfortunately, our discussion concluded that most of these big international players are running out of steam trying to mitigate the damages and consequences of the global conflicts and crises with short-term solutions through humanitarian aid and disaster relief, leaving so few options for long-term solutions with decreasing resources and funds.

Despite our agreement on the necessity of these short-term solutions in disasters and crises, I could understand and relate to her frustration, because not long ago I was part of that world of humanitarian aid and I remember how I felt helpless and limited trying to just follow my missions’ scope and goals to show quick outcomes that weren’t often sustainable, and the majority of the beneficiaries would lose most of these outcomes anyway as soon as my team left their community to support another community. That was one of the reasons that encouraged me to pursue a career in international development because I was looking for more long-term answers that would make real changes for local communities in the developing world.

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The international development sector is massive and very complicated. Most of the big organizations are stuck in very rigid systems that are not flexible enough to catch up with all the rapid changes that are happening globally. I spent my time navigating and exploring different models and projects in various geographic locations. I read about a lot of successful stories and good examples, but at the same time I noticed how these projects and programs have the potential to significantly grow if we could share our knowledge with everybody anywhere. It’s not enough anymore to wait until experts solve our global issues while as individuals we have the tools to contribute with all the available means and technologies nowadays. It’s time to make a real mobilization to get involved as individuals in exchanging our knowledge to contribute to our collective human capacity development. A new model of sustainable international development is needed in order to make a real contribution to save more humans and improve their well-being on this planet.

Since day one, I was fascinated by the great model which GEI presents and offers to an international audience. In addition to asking experts and professionals in different fields to join our meaningful and impactful delegations, we also offer this to individuals who regard themselves as “normal people” with a passion for international work and are interested in contributing to help empower other global individuals to develop their communities. Your contribution is not limited to whether you have the time and ability to join one of our international delegations, but it goes beyond that. We encourage all of you to join us in our campaign to promote a new model of sustainable international development that is not limited only to the international experts of global issues, but involves regular individuals in human capacity development through meeting and supporting community-based projects. This long-term model of development can solve a lot of global health, educational and economic issues, and will contribute to the global peace process and encourage active citizenship for a better future with less conflicts and crises.