The year 2017 was one of major organisational change for PUM Netherlands senior experts.
With the pro bono help of the Boston Consulting Group and a three women strong temporary Project Management Office, we tilted the consulting portfolio towards more geographical focus and thematic consistency. A new Executive Committee consisting of both staff volunteers and executive directors came into operation. We started with the implementation of a new strategy, we composed new teams in both voluntary and paid staff and we updated our governing model towards a two-tier system, with a supervisory board overseeing the work of an executive board.
Demand for our services remained robust. Over the year, we executed 1.846 technical expert missions, business links, seminars and remote coaching sessions. Hundred staff volunteers coordinated our work in the field, as compared to 139 in 2016. We overhauled our experts’ database to fit our new business model. At the end of 2017 a total of 1.915 expert profiles were actively registered on our roster, compared to 2.760 the year before, reflecting our ambition to offer volunteers a fair chance to regularly engage with clients rather than to remain dormant in a database. In many sectors there are still more capable and voluntary experts available than we can match. PUM started a new service line aimed at young, starting entrepreneurs. This incubator service hit the ground running in South-East Asia, West and East Africa. A promising pilot is on its way in Colombia, where PUM voluntary experts jointly with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and in close consultation with the Netherlands Embassy will help former rebels to settle peacefully into civic life while starting new small businesses.
Jointly with the diaspora organisation, Africa in Motion, PUM pioneered a job creation programme in five African countries. We received a new grant from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to deepen our work in enhancing youth employment and the creation of both better and greener jobs the coming three years. As a prime example of a more programmatic approach, we embarked on a five-year programme together with Solidaridad to help the leather industry in Kanpur, India, reach new levels of professionalism, cleanliness, appropriate labour conditions and product quality. An independent impact evaluation study released in February 2018 by Wageningen Economic Research and Impact Centre Erasmus corroborated PUM’s intervention logic and theory of change, while reporting that over the period 2013-2016 results show positive impact on knowledge and business practices in 90% of all cases.
PUM’s contributions were most significant in three areas: (1) efficient ways of organising the business, (2) leading, planning and organising the business and (3) ideas about new products and services. By the middle of 2018, PUM will see a leadership change, as the current CEO who led the strategic reorientation process has accepted another tempting job offer. We thank all staff, staff volunteers, experts, local representatives, funders and stakeholders for their contribution to our important work in the past year. The world needs more, better and greener jobs, fast. Thriving small and medium sized enterprises are important means towards a better future for all.
Hans de Boer
Chairman Supervisory Board
Johan van de Gronden
CEO PUM Netherlands senior experts