19 August 2021
Category : Interview
#PublicExpertise: protecting people who have been tricked from perishing in the desert
Daniel Torres is a National Police officer who has worked as an expert on the ECI-Niger project. Here he tells us what his job entailed and how proud he is of having achieved success in an extremely difficult context like Niger. This is part of FIIAPP’s #PublicTalent programme, which is active in more than 100 countries
What has been the greatest achievement of your experience as a expert in cooperation projects?
As an expert intelligence analyst, in charge of analysing and processing information related to the operations carried out by the team. My biggest challenge has been to generate, within the local team, a vision of the importance of the role of the analyst. Also transferring a level of technicality adequate for operational needs, so that, in the short term, local analysts are fully autonomous. For this role, it is not only necessary to have computer skills at a medium-high level, but also to be familiar with the different technological and digital tools that an intelligence analyst usually uses.
I consider my greatest achievement as having been able to provide my Nigerien counterparts, through teamwork and specific training, with adequate technical content during these four years, so that they are now about to carry out quality analysis and produce reports.
I would say that this is an achievement given that the technical level of the local staff at the beginning of the project, in terms of information technology and intelligence, was almost nil. The improvements in the technical skills of my Nigerien colleagues has been meteoric which is very satisfying.
What are you most proud of?
Without a doubt, I am most proud of belonging to a pioneering operational multilateral project like ECI-Niger , and of achieving success in an extremely difficult context. Representing the Spanish National Police and FIIAPP in a country where there are numerous projects and missions with different types of agents, and that they constantly congratulate the team for its work and results, makes one feel very proud.
How has your assignment helped to improve the lives of people?
One of the keys to our project is to prosecute organised crime involving human trafficking and migrant smuggling. This has meant that ECI-Niger has released numerous women, including minors, who were in forced prostitution in inhumane conditions, handing the criminals working in these networks over to the courts. Regarding illegal immigration, it must be clarified that the migrant is a victim, therefore, assistance is provided at all times. The objective is to arrest traffickers and to dismantle their networks, thus preventing hundreds of human beings from perishing in African deserts, having been tricked and mistreated by the criminals.
What is the main value of the public sector for you?
In my view, the most important thing is the space that is created for coexistence and fulfilment, where citizens and civil entities can interact and freely exercise their rights. This results in a higher quality of life for the population, provided that the “public sector” is managed in a coherent and responsible manner, to make this aim a reality. In short, it makes it possible for citizens to improve their quality of life and therefore that of the population.
What have you learned?
That is a very broad question to answer in a few lines, but I can tell you that one of the lessons learned in this project is that for a project of this type to be successful in such a difficult context, it is vital to take care of the different balances, encouraging experts to be cohesive and always to work as a team, since there are numerous daily challenges. You must always have an overview and seek to meet common objectives. Otherwise, these balances could be broken, leading to instability and a failure to achieve the objectives. I think that, although it may seem obvious, it is one of the most important lessons that could serve as a lesson for many other projects and assignments.
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