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NEWS

June 15, 2021

AVSI Ecuador Featured Presenter in PRM Workshop

The event was held jointly by the Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration and researchers from Pennsylvania State University

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On Thursday, June 10, AVSI’s “Integrados” Project Manager Estefania Gomez was a featured presenter in a workshop held jointly by the Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) and researchers from Pennsylvania State University. 

The workshop’s topic was relief and development coherence – a relatively new idea in International Development discourse. Penn State researchers Carleen Maitland and Nasim Motalebi are developing a tool that measures coherence – the degree to which short-term humanitarian responses and longer-term development programming are connected both within and among development organizations. The researchers relied heavily on input from Estefania and other AVSI Ecuador staff members as they considered AVSI’s work in Ecuador as a “test case” for coherence in action. 

In the webinar, Estefania explained the logic behind AVSI’s two main projects in Ecuador, “Integrados,” funded by PRM, and “Activados,” funded by UNHCR. Both projects work to integrate Venezuelan and Ecuadorian communities through shelter, protection, and livelihood activities. Estefania explained where AVSI sees these projects fitting on the relief and development coherence scale, the challenges AVSI has experienced in developing coherence in Ecuador, and the opportunities we see for using this new tool in the future. 

Colin Murphy, AVSI USA’s project officer for the “Integrados” project, happened to be in Ecuador visiting the project sites and also took part in the workshop. Colin said, “It was a great opportunity for AVSI to be a featured presenter in this workshop. Through her presentation, Estefania showed that AVSI is a leader in the humanitarian-development connection, and I think we made a strong impression on the other organizations. AVSI looks forward to continuing to contribute to the coherence discourse and trying out the coherence measurement tool when it is ready.” 

Workshop attendees included representatives from PRM, representatives from Activity Info (which manages the R4V Venezuelan response database), and representatives from HIAS, Caritas, and UNHCR.