As a way of welcoming new members and taking advantage of the PIA network, we are starting a blog series that will run periodically entitled “PIA Member Features” and introduce PIA members and their organizations. Our first feature is Salma Kadiri, a Program Management Specialist for USAID Morocco ‘s Economic Growth Office. Read on to learn what she is currently working on and how participation in PIA has influenced her work.
1) What are your responsibilities within the USAID Morocco mission? Can you tell me about a program you’re currently contributing to?
I work as Program Management Specialist with USAID Morocco under the General Development Office in particular the Economic Growth Office. The Economic Growth programs aim to enhance youth employability in Morocco and to help reduce the mismatch between the labor market supply and demand. I am currently running two projects in the form of Public and Private Partnerships (PPP) in the water and transport sectors. These projects draw on the expertise and know-how of the private sector partners to design demand driven training in order to improve youth technical and soft skills and offer them better job opportunities. In addition, I oversee a program in collaboration with the Small Enterprise Assistance Fund (SEAF) that has established a management investment company to provide capital investment and technical assistance to SMEs with high potential for growth in Morocco.
2) What PIA activities have you participated in so far this year: working groups, the annual meeting, online design course, or other PIA activities? And from these what have been your biggest takeaways or learning?
I joined PIA early this year. Since then, I have had the chance to attend the April Annual Meeting in Boston, to attend a few sessions of the entrepreneurship ecosystems working group, and most recently I attended the online participatory design course. I learned a lot since I discovered the PIA family. First-of all, I really appreciate the philosophy and values underlying this alliance that brings innovation and research to solve challenges of the bottom of the pyramid population and improve their livelihoods. I enjoyed learning about the variety of tools and techniques to engage an effective participatory design process e.g. approaches to develop the participatory mindset, techniques to analyze the problem from different perspectives, methodologies to generate ideas, and finally how to select the most relevant concept and to sketch a first prototype of it. Actually, I am very excited to participate to the 2018 Co-Design Summit that will allow me to practice and bring to life all the theoretical knowledge I have acquired.
3) How has being a PIA member impacted the work that you do? What are your goals for applying this learning to your work within USAID Morocco?
Being PIA member has allowed us as a team to enlarge our knowledge about project co- design and to enrich our existing USAID tools and procedures. Especially the online course has triggered a lot of interesting discussions among the multidisciplinary team that took this online course. It was an opportunity to question our existing approaches and learn how they could be improved with best practices from PIA. Furthermore, PIA offers the chance to meet and exchange with a large network of innovative and proactive organizations willing to share their knowledge and rich experience based on the fieldwork.
-- Bryan Cleveland, MIT D-Lab