I found a great chance to work as an Intern for Near East Foundation (NEF) during this summer. This organization is an experienced, operational NGO that is actively looking for sustainable solutions for vulnerable people. For almost a century, NEF has developed close collaborative relationships with local organizations and communities across the Middle East and Africa to achieve sustained results. NEF’s approach is knowledge, voice, and enterprise.
I was part of the stabilization and conflict resolution team with a smart person as my partner. Our focus was on peace building through economic cooperation and development. I measured each project based on ongoing benefits at cross border collaboration beyond the life of the project to evaluate how much NEF was successful at building resilience between vulnerable people. All my activities were completed in a systematic way and according to theory of change.
Vulnerable people need knowledge, opportunities and tools to participate in civic and economic life and I tried to help this mission by increasing NEF’s efficiency. I found innovative initiatives and indicators that can impact communities throughout the Middle East and Africa. These solutions are responses to urgent needs for humanitarian assistance that supports life-saving interventions and reduces risks of morbidity and mortality for affected persons. By focusing on livelihood issues, I framed conflict mitigation and reconciliation into practical and immediate concerns for average citizens.
I appreciated NEF’s president, Dr. Charles Benjamin; and the Director of Program Support, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning, Laurent Denis. Both of them and other NEF staff were always nice and cooperative.
Ehsan is currently the Social Sector Intern at Asian Development Bank’s North American Representative Office.