For a “development guy” who started doing grassroots community development work in rural Swaziland with the Peace Corps and who has moved back and forth between the public sector and NGOs, leading an organization as accomplished as FHI 360 — and one filled with people whose experience, commitment and know-how offer so much — is the opportunity of a lifetime.
I step into my new role as Chief Executive Officer with a simple vision: to use the incredible resources in FHI 360 to improve lives in lasting ways by advancing integrated, locally driven solutions. To achieve this vision, we must be innovative, find new ways of tackling old problems, be rigorous in our approaches, and be responsive to a changing landscape where development challenges grow more sophisticated and demanding each year. We must be cost-effective and use our expertise and experience to add value to the work being done by communities, partner organizations, civil society and national governments.
It is exhilarating and humbling to take the reins of an organization that is already at the forefront of development thinking and practice. Our emphasis on integrated, multidisciplinary solutions is in line with the growing consensus that single-sector programs often are not getting the job done and that lasting solutions need to be more comprehensive. The evidence — and our instincts — lead us in this direction.
We are fortunate to bring many disciplines together under one roof to analyze complex problems and fashion approaches that are both sophisticated and simple. The diversity of experience, skills and expertise among our staff provides us with the drive and resources to address the challenges that communities confront today.
We are pursuing a country-centered approach so that program design and implementation is grounded in the realities faced by the communities and people we work with. We will continue to invest in a decentralized delivery platform made up of regional and country offices. Local offices tap into local knowledge, engage local systems and build capacity for more sustainable results.
This is an exhilarating time to be working on the challenges of human development around the world. There is so much to do in a changing world! Finding innovative ways to address those challenges — that’s where we’re headed.
In a recent interview with Devex, Patrick Fine talked in depth about FHI 360, his vision for the organization and on how to remain relevant in a changing world.
Check for more interviews on Devex next week.