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Bert Van Ommen

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Freelance Consultant (Rural Development)

I am a Rural Development Specialist / Civil Engineer in inclusive results-oriented Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development, with over 38 years overseas experience in sectors such as: institutional development and capacity building; multi-sector Community Development; WatSan/WASH (particularly in Gravity Flow Systems); rural infrastructure; procurement procedures for goods, works and services; Post-disaster Rehabilitation and Reconstruction; Trust Funds management; Funds Acquisition, and Knowledge Management.

My strength of being a “Jack of all traits” in the International Development Sector is my ability to strategize, bring the various concepts, skills and sectors together, develop into an implementable program/project, and deliver the expected outcomes to desired and meaningful results for the clients and beneficiaries. I successfully started new projects and resurrected troubled projects under challenging geographical, socio-cultural and administrative circumstances; easy and comfortably adjusting to and operate at all levels of society and in multi-cultural environments and nations. It is to build bridges between people on the one hand and, technology and skills at the other. Guided by the motto: “Think out of the box – Be out of the box” and “Pass on the baton to the next generation” with the ability to “cross-fertilize” valuable experiences and practical skills between Asia and East Africa.

As team leader, project manager, coordinator, technical advisor, and senior consultant, I…:

  • have developed and carried out programs and multi-sector projects in poverty reduction/poverty alleviation, in compliance with prevailing safeguard policies and guidelines, following the project cycle, from conceptualizing, appraising and designing, to implementation, overall management and monitoring, (including program, project, office operations, procurement of works, goods and services, and financial management);
  • have written technical proposals for funds acquisition, among others, in WatSan/WASH, vocational education and training, rural infrastructure, livelihoods development, rural social development and urban development sectors;
  • provided technical assistance in Knowledge Management for the Poverty Reduction and Water sectors;
  • coordinated and administered trust funds and projects portfolio;
  • developed and implemented institution building and capacity development activities in policy development, strategizing, planning, monitoring and evaluation following PCM, LogFrame, Results Management principles, and in compliance with prevailing Safeguard Policies (i.e. Gender, Social & Environment, and Resettlement);
  • managed several rural community development, rural infrastructures, and Water Supply & Sanitation (WatSan) projects in Nepal, Philippines, South Sudan and Bangladesh;
  • was involved in Post-Disaster Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction programs and activities in Nepal, Philippines and South Sudan.
  • completed basic Safety & Security training under UNDSS, IFRC and Mott MacDonalds.
  • possesses a wealth of valuable hands-on experience not found in text books;
  • promote and incorporate all-inclusive pro-poor, gender fair and ecologically balanced principles, guided by the concept like community driven development (CDD) processes and sustainability.

I was employed with

  • Asian Development Bank (8 years);
  • EU: Delegation of the European Commission in the Philippines (4 years);
  • KfW – German Development Bank (7 months);
  • International and national NGOs, such as SNV-Netherlands Development Organization (seconded to Nepal Government and Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM) (11 years); Lutheran World Federation/World Service (5 years); Alternative Farming Technologies, Inc. (AFT (1 year), and FreeKenya Foundation (1 year);
  • And with Euroconsult/BMB Mott MacDonald (EBM), and Gauff Ingenieure GmbH (private consultancy firms; 9 years);

My experience covers development projects funded by KfW, ADB, DfID, EU, WB/IDA, LWF/Nepal Red Cross, UNICEF and with Governments of the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany, Nepal, Philippines, Bangladesh and South Sudan.

I consider my strengths to be:

My strength is being a “Jack of all traits” in the International Development Sector.

My ability is to strategize, bring the various concepts, skills and sectors together, develop into an implementable program/project, and deliver the expected outcomes to desired and meaningful results for the clients and beneficiaries.

I successfully started new projects and resurrected troubled projects under challenging geographical, socio-cultural and administrative circumstances; easy and comfortably adjusting to and operate at all levels of society and in multi-cultural environments and nations.

It is to build bridges between people on the one hand and, technology and skills at the other.

Guided by the motto: “Think out of the box – Be out of the box” and “Pass on the baton to the next generation” with the ability to “cross-fertilize” valuable experiences and practical skills between Asia and East Africa.

I enjoy working on:

August 2015 – ongoing: Team Leader (TL) / Senior International Reconstruction Expert (SIRE), Yolanda Reconstruction Program (YRP), in the Philippines.

Employer: Gauff Ingenieure GmbH, Frankfurt, Germany, until March 2018, and KfW-German Development Bank from April to Nov. 2018.

A KfW-financed (€13million) program for the rehabilitation of rural infrastructures damaged by super-typhoon Yolanda (int’l Haiyan) in 2013. The TL/SIRE Ensures implementation progress and quality of the YRP and for achieving the project goals, together with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) as counterpart.



Sept. 2016 - March 2017: Knowledge Management Development Specialist (KMDS), 2-month intermittent input, Coastal Climate Resilient Infrastructure Project (CCRIP), in Bangladesh.

Employer: Gauff Ingenieure.

ADB, KfW and IFAD supported CCRIP (US$150m) and is implemented by LGED. The Project started in January 2013.



Nov. 2012 – July 2015: Team Leader, Second Chittagong Hill Tracts Rural Development Project (CHTRDP-II), in Bangladesh.

Employer: Euroconsult Mott MacDonald, Arnhem, the Netherlands.

An ADB financed loan ($71.2million) project. Overall coordination of the TA-team, technical supervision, monitoring, reporting, and provide technical expertise as Rural Development Specialist.



Oct. 2011 – Oct 2012: Break (“sabbatical”) in Kenya.

Meanwhile carried out short-term assignments such as writing technical proposal for funds acquisition for a consultancy firm, and capacity development in proposal writing for fund raising, networking and institution building of FreeKenya Foundation, a small Kenyan NGO, on a voluntary (unpaid) basis.



Sept. 2008 – Sept.2011: Senior Consultant, Institutional Development (in the Netherlands / Team Leader, WatSan (in South Sudan) / Team Leader, Vocational Education (in Bangladesh).

Employer: Euroconsult/BMB Mott MacDonald (EBM), the Netherlands.

January 2009-September 2011 – South Sudan: Team Leader, Rural WatSan Project (total $60m) providing TA to the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation.

March 2009-January 2010 (Intermittent) - Bangladesh: Designed a 20-year Strategy Plan and an 8-year detailed project proposal ($240million) for UCEP’s future programs and activities in vocational education for children in child labor.

September-December 2008 – EMM-HQ: Acquisition, and formulation of proposals.



Sep. 2000-May 2008: Consultant/Poverty Reduction Specialist/Team Leader in various Trust Funds management and poverty reduction projects in ADB, Philippines, with short-term assignments in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Nepal and Vietnam.

Employer: Asian Development Bank (ADB), Manila, Philippines.

- February-May 2008: Consultant – Inception of JFPR project 9114-CAM: Building Community Capacity for Poverty Reduction Initiatives in the Tonle Sap Basin, Cambodia.

- March 2006 to Dec. 2007: Consultant – Poverty Reduction Knowledge Coordinator of RETA-6270: Facilitating Knowledge Management for Pro-Poor Policies and Projects.

- April 2004 to March 2006: Consultant – Team Leader of the Water Team of RETA-6123: Promoting Effective Water Management Policies and Practices.

- Sept. 2000 to April 2004: Consultant – Poverty Reduction Specialist/Trust fund Manager of the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR).



Feb.2000 – May 2001: Freelance Consultant / Founder (Volunteer) of Alternatjve Farming Technologies, Inc. (AFT, InC.), in Philippines. AFT is a small NGO in Manila that developed and introduced Low-cost Hydroponics interventions for the urban poor in the Payatas dumpsite for solid waste of Quezon City, Metro Manila.



Jan.1996-Jan.2000: Project Officer / Technical Advisor, Rural Development, in Philippines

Employer: European Union – Delegation of the European Commission in the Philippines.

Portfolio management and technical advisor of bilateral grant-based rural development projects in the Philippines. (Total portfolio was €54million).



Jan.1992-Dec.1995: Consultant/Rural Development and Planning, Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist, in Philippines.

Employer: Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV), the Netherlands. Establishing and strengthening P,M&E systems, based on PCM/LF concept, of the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM) in the Philippines.



Sep.1990-Dec.1991: Study break: MA study at University of Reading, United Kingdom.



Aug.1983-June1988: Project Manager and Consultant Engineer in Nepal.

Employer: Lutheran World Federation/World Service, Geneva, Switzerland.

Project manager of two community-based development projects in Baglung district, western region of Nepal, in partnership with the Nepal Red Cross Society.



Aug.1988-Jul.1990 and Aug. 1978-Jul.1983: Water Engineer & Maintenance Coordinator. SNV. Assigned to the UNICEF supported Community Water Supply & Sanitation (CWSS) program in Nepal.

Bert's skills

Generally I work and show by example to be professional in integrate various skills and sectors. Key are: Integrity, diligence, transparency, love/dedication for the work, be creative/innovative, dare to think and act "out of the box".
  • Institutional Capacity Building
  • Training Needs Assessment
  • Training Support
  • Construction Management
  • Engineer
  • Budget Management
  • Grants Mangement
  • Change Management
  • Strategic Planning
  • Team Management
  • Knowledge Management
  • KPI development & tracking
  • Organisational M&E
  • Participatory Methods
  • Project M&E
  • Community Development
  • Project Design & Development
  • Project Implementation
  • Project Reporting
  • Project Start-up

Sectors

In all sectors I've worked in the main 'red threat' is to work as the 'glue' between various sectors, skills, converting theory into practice.
  • Rural Livelihoods
  • Rural Roads
  • Value Chain
  • Community Action Program
  • Community Driven Development
  • Social Funds
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • Civil Society Engagement
  • Institutional Development
  • Public Sector Capacity Building
  • Rural Water & Sanitation
  • Water Supply & Sanitation Reform

Cross cutting expertise

  • Ethnic Minorities
  • Indigenous Groups
  • Social Innovation
  • Technology

Languages

Dutch: speak - excellent; read - excellent; write - excellent;
English: speak - excellent; read - excellent; write - excellent;
Nepali: speak - excellent; read - moderate; write - basic;
Tagalog: speak - excellent; read - moderate; write - basic;
German: speak - excellent; read - moderate; write - basic;
Bangla: speak, read, write - basic.
  • Dutch, Native
  • Nepali
  • Tagalog
  • German, intermediate
  • Bangla
  • English, fluent

Geographical Expertise

In alphabetic order:
Bangladesh: 03+09/2002; 05/2003; 12/2008 to 03/2009 (intermittent); 10/2012 to 07/2015; 10/2016. Total: 3.5 years.
Cambodia: 02 to 05/2008; 02/2001; 05/2002; 07-08/2003. Total: 7 months.
Kenya: 01 to 10/2012 + intermittent 1-2 month each in 2014 to 2017. Total: 18 months
Laos: 03/2001; 02/2002; 06/2003. Total: 3 months.
Nepal: 08/1978 to 08/1990, 09 to 08/1993; 03 to 05/1995; 06/2004; 09/2007. Total: 12.5 years
Philippines: 01/1992 to 05/2008; 08/2015 to 11/2018. Total: 19 years.
South Sudan: 01/2009 to 05/2010(intermittent); 07/2010 to 10/2011. Total: 3 years.
Sri Lanka: 08/2005. Total: 1 month
The Netherlands: 09/2008 to 09/2010 (intermittent, with short-term missions abroad). Total: 2 years.
Including work-related visits to Tunisia (AfDB), 1 week (05/2005); USA (WB) 2 weeks (11/2005): and Vietnam, 2 weeks (02/2006).
  • Kenya
  • South Sudan
  • Cambodia
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Philippines
  • Bangladesh
  • Nepal

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