Postcards from the Edge

of Bangladesh

VSO Annual Review

I had my annual review with VSO yesterday. Or Moanoghar had their annual review with VSO yesterday. I couldn’t quite tell who was being judged and marked. I guess it was both of us.

It went pretty well actually. It appears I have actually made some progress here, and I have actually achieved some things. This came as quite the surprise to me. It often feels like I’m talking to the walls here. I’m never entirely sure what sinks in, what goes straight through or what makes people laugh inside. It’s very hard to tell. But judging from Moanoghar’s feedback session, quite a lot has sunk in. And a few things that I haven’t, in any way, been responsible for were also attributed to me. I’m fine with that.

Not that I think VSO really marks too harshly on these reviews. On one level it’s just an exercise in ticking boxes for them, and on another level it’s checking that the DFID funding (i.e. UK taxpayers’ money) is being well spent. Apparently it takes about £12, 000 (don’t quote me on that) to place a VSO volunteer abroad for 2 years, with pre-departure training, in-country training, flights, visas, insurance etc. That’s quite a lot of money, so best check those volunteers are actually doing something of some use.

I’m feeling very upbeat today. Not because VSO think I’m doing a good job, but because I can see the progress that I’ve made so far. Sure, the progress isn’t visible to the naked eye… but it’s progress nonetheless. I see my progress in the changes of behaviour here. If you have ever attempted to change the behaviour and habits of any organisation (or an individual) you’ll know how difficult it is. And yes, the changes of behaviour have been small, but I can actually now see how the collective mindset has shifted a bit. People are thinking more laterally, being more creative and showing more initiative. Nobody is going to be winning any prizes for innovation anytime soon, but it’s a start. AND they are turning up for work. A stellar performance period if you ask me.

2 Comments»

  Julie wrote @

An Estellar performance if you ask me. Well done! I think you can begin the countdown now, non?

  estellevisagie wrote @

Oh yes, the countdown has well and truly began. Have printed out a month by month calendar, and stuck it on my office wall. Crossing off the days as I go. Only 3 months left. Feck, it’s freaky to think I’ll be leaving Bangladesh so soon.


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