After his master’s Development and Rural Innovation Sjors wanted a job in which he could help developing countries. He now works as a Monitoring & Evaluation Officer for the Sesame Business Network (SBN). Although the working conditions are difficult, he is happy with a job that fits him so well.
You’re working for the Support Programme in Ethiopia. What does this programme do?
“This SBN-programme supports the sesame business network in north-west Ethiopia. We facilitate a more active interaction among stakeholders. For example, farmer groups, enablers and supporters of the sesame value chain.
The overall goal of the programme is income improvement of farmers, small and medium entrepreneurs and labourers. To achieve this we try to reduce production costs and selling price. We also invest in product and market development.”
Could you describe what a Monitoring & Evaluation Officer does?
“One of my main tasks is conducting a study on labour in the sesame sector. This is important as the programme focuses on the whole sesame value chain including labourers. I am setting up a monitoring and evaluation system consisting of both quantitative and qualitative elements.
I also support the implementation of coaching and facilitation activities. I enjoy being in the field to gather data and try to understand what happens in developing countries such as Ethiopia. In addition, I am gaining experience about the aid-and-trade approach of the Dutch government.”
And how did your master’s prepare you for this career?
“The MSc programme Development and Rural Innovation enabled me to make a bridge between the social and natural sciences, It gave me the possibility to create my own unique study programme focusing on issues such as food security, public health and post-disaster development. Things that I wanted to learn more about.”