03 February 2014
Category : Interview
"I hope that the FIIAPP will continue in its role as an expert organisation that specialises in execution of international cooperation projects with government bodies"
Pedro Flores has been the director of FIIAPP since October 2013. In this interview he explains the Foundation’s goals for the coming months and his personal experience in the role.
– How would you define the FIIAPP?
It is a public organisation with two closely linked areas of activity. On the one hand, we collaborate to the development of the countries where we work. We do this through international cooperation projects that improve the functioning of public institutions in these countries; encouraging integration and information sharing with their neighbouring countries; so that their legal frameworks, systems and public procedures become more efficient and comply with the main international conventions: and to foster the development of public policies. Examples of our activities include adapting administrative proceedings to improve citizen services, amending the law to comply with international requirements and improving the efficiency in public health systems, social protection, security, justice, transport and infrastructures, among others.
On the other hand, we enhance the international image of the Spanish Government and by extension, that of Europe. Many of our projects include exporting knowledge, best practices and models of excellence from Spain’s public sector. Our work in this area, falls within the auspices of Spanish foreign policy and allows us to strengthen Spain’s international image. At the same time, the FIIAAPP is currently one of Europe’s main international cooperation operators, which is why we work along the lines marked by European foreign policy and in accordance with the main international pacts to which the European Union is a signatory.
– What are the main challenges facing the FIIAPP in the months to come?
The organisation has grown over the years and is now working in numerous sectors. We operate in 90 countries, which presents a real challenge to the FIIAPP workforce. The first challenge is to improve planning to adapt this growing level of activity to Spanish government interests and to include this in the main international agreements signed by Spain and by the European Union.
On the other hand, the growth of our activities portfolio requires investment in new technologies, which are being made to cut the time the institution needs to do routine tasks.
The growing number of countries in which we work also requires a larger network of collaborators with different government bodies to better coordinate all these activities. We are also going to step up collaboration with international bodies such as the World Bank, the IDB and United Nations Agencies.
– Where will you be working in 2014?
In terms of geographical areas, we give priority to activities in Latin America, a region where we have an extensive portfolio of activities. This priority is defined in our by-laws and is also governed, as I have already mentioned, by Spanish foreign policy guidelines. Other priority areas will be West Africa and the Sahel, the Middle East and North Africa and Europe and Central Asia.
By sectors of activity, we will continue with those in areas in which we are already working, such as governance and strengthening public administration, security, justice and the fight against corruption, social policies, transport and infrastructure management, the environment and energy.
We must increase our activities in areas such as tourism, climate change and natural disaster prevention, and e-administration, matters that are being looked at by different Spanish government agencies and international bodies to set priorities.
Project assessment will also be a constant. One of FIIAPP’s hallmarks should be that it devotes its resources to programmes that work, which is why we need proven evidence of their performance. An Assessment Unit has recently been created in FIIAPP and measuring the impact of our activities will be one of the aspects included in this, starting with the most significant. In addition to this, we will give firm support to the Cooperación Española (Spanish Cooperation) assessment policy in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.
– Professional and personal challenges of your new position.
I think it is very important that we should continue to boost the image of Spain and its institutions abroad. I am also determined to raise the profile of the work done by the FIIAPP both in Spain and beyond our borders.
Personally, I believe that the work we do at the FIIAPP is very gratifying, because we build Marca España and because at the end of the day our work improves the lives of many people in our partner countries. I aspire to this sentiment being shared by everyone who works at our institution.
Although it is obvious, one of our priorities is to beaccountable for the funds received by the organisation and to provide clear information about our activities at all times.
I hope that FIIAPP will continue in its role as an expert organisation that specialises in execution of international cooperation projects with government bodies. We will continue to give much importance to staff training and collaborative relationships with all Spanish government bodies.
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