Human Capital

Human Capital

As a volunteer-based organisation, human capital is the most important asset for PUM. The combination of volunteering with the long-standing experience, expertise and knowledge of entrepreneurs and sector professionals enables us to bridge the gap between technical assistance and contextualised, demand- driven change owned by those who seed our expertise.


People and diversity

At the end of 2017, PUM had 48 employees (41,6 FTE). Additionally, PUM comprises over 98 staff volunteers and 194 local representatives worldwide. 1,915 volunteer experts were part of PUM by the end of 2017. In 2018, a campaign will be held to boost the share of female experts, which has stabilised at 11% in 2017. Intention is to increase the percentage to 20% in 2020. PUM has abolished the minimum age of 50 years for experts, in order to attract younger Dutch volunteers. Up to date experience counts, not age. As part of the “Making Africa Work” programme and also as part of the additional funding request to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs end 2017, support is included to diaspora entrepreneurs with plans to invest in their countries of origin.

Staff and volunteer composition 2017

Health and Safety Policy

The travel advice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is an important guideline for PUM to decide whether experts can be sent off to a particular country or not, or to possibly let them return early. Besides having good contacts within the Dutch embassies network we also have our own network of local representatives who are well informed about the current situation in their regions. Experts are, irrespective of the country they go to, always extensively informed prior to departure and instructed where necessary about any health and safety risks by the country coordinator. PUM also distributes the booklet Safety and Health during your journey where guidelines are listed to limit the risks as much as possible. PUM and its experts follow international corporate standards and codes of conduct when working with clients. To increase coherence between the different codes of conduct available, PUM decided to develop a unified code of conduct for all its employees and volunteers, including specific provisions for complaint mechanisms and whistle-blowing procedures. The roll out of the new code of conduct took longer than expected and is scheduled for March 2018.


Optimising knowledge and skills

PUM’s transition in 2017 aimed at optimisation of knowledge and competencies of its experts, representatives, staff volunteers and paid staff. Intention was to ensure that active experts will do on average two missions per year, because monitoring data demonstrate that this leads to better results. This requires better training and facilitation of knowledge sharing among experts.


Providing training opportunities to our staff and volunteers is an important task for PUM to promote continuous professional development and motivation of our people. The HR Volunteer Development & Support unit was established within PUM in 2017. The unit consist of 2.4 FTE. The focus is on the Volunteer Lifecycle, which consist of five phases: recruitment, onboarding, feedback and development, recognition, and separation. The long-term objective of the unit is to let all volunteers, around 2300, experience a positive lifecycle at PUM.

Training for Experts

Intercultural Communication – All our volunteer experts receive training on intercultural communication and contexts before their missions. These trainings take place at PUM headquarters in small groups and serve to discuss the challenges of sharing knowledge in intercultural settings, and elaborate personal strategies for more effective communication. In 2017, 15 meetings have been organised providing training to 130 experts.

Introduction to PUM – All new experts are invited to a one-day introduction programme in PUM’s headquarters. During this day, new experts are introduced in PUM policy, administration and organisation. They also receive our guidelines ‘Leidraad voor Experts’ which amongst other valuable information also contains our code of conduct. In 2017 we organised 4 introduction meetings for a total of 125 new experts.

CSR seminars – PUM organises on a regular level training seminars on corporate social responsibility to enable all its experts to integrate CSR-specific advice into their knowledge-sharing missions. In 2017, two CSR seminars took place in which 150 experts attended.

Sector days – Such days are organised to facilitate and promote knowledge sharing among our experts, making sure that they get the opportunity to exchange experiences and learnings, and stay abreast of current trends in their respective sectors. In 2017, PUM organised 24 sector days. Please find an overview of the respective sectors and number of attendees (920 in total) in the table.

Sector meetings 2017

11-01- 17Hospitality/Tourism108
08-03- 17Meat Processing21
15-03- 17Food & Beverages47
17-03- 17Textile & Leather40
21-03- 17Voc. Education & Training56
29-03- 17Building & Construction62
06-04- 17Chemical64
06-04- 17Pig & Poultry farming36
19-04- 17Horticulture48
16-05- 17Bakery34
23-06- 17Dairy25
12-10- 17Dairy/Beef Cattle, Sheep/Goat Prod.55
18-10- 17Dairy/Beef Cattle, Sheep/Goat Prod.27
31-10- 17Bakery26
15-11- 17Pig & Poultry farming26
17-11- 17Healthcare65
24-11- 17Environment energy39
24-11- 17Aquaculture & Fisheries30
30-11- 17Chemical61
04-12- 17Retail & Wholesale50
Total number of experts that attended a sector meeting in 2017920

Training for local representatives

Sales trainings and ‘intake clinics’ – are organised for local representatives during Country Team Meetings (CTMs) to strengthen the position of local representatives, improve recruitment processes and enhance PUM’s networks on the ground. The sales training was developed based on the AIDA methodology (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action).

Moving Forward: the perspective of representatives – At the end of 2017 a group of 8 representatives was invited to the Netherlands for a week. During that week the representatives shared their expertise on improving the quality of PUM’s services and how to realise PUM’s new strategy on a programmatic based approach. They learned about PUM’s new strategy, how PUM is organised, and best practices from representatives.

Staff members and Staff volunteers

ProCus – New staff members and staff volunteers have had the opportunity to follow a training in the use of the ProCus system. This one-day training has been organised 5 times in 2017 and trained a total of 46 persons.

Office 365 training – Mid 2017 PUM switched from Lotus Notes as e-mail client to using Office 365. A training was offered on six occasions in 2017 to all staff members in the use of the software package Office 365.

Personal development – Eight members of our permanent staff followed courses or training to personally develop themselves and to improve their skills.

with Customers in the training and education sector

PUM has nearly 100 experts in the training and education sector. In 2017 over 50 missions have been realised in this sector.

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