Nacanieli Bolo (Batch-12) talks about his Fijian journey after MESPOM.
After completing MESPOM in 2018, I returned to Fiji and worked as a consultant for UNDP in the field of risk (climate and disaster) and development nexus and then later joined the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office as a policy analyst supporting UK’s climate and ocean governance work in the Pacific.
What are you currently doing?
I now work as a Disaster Displacement Project Manager for the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC), a Geneva based organization,globally recognized as an authoritative sourceof data and analysis to strengthen the evidence base for displacement. I am out-posted in Suva, Fiji to lead the implementation of a Pacific response to disaster displacement project. The Project provides support (research, policy and capacity building) to countries (Fiji, Marshall Islands, Solomon, Tonga and Vanuatu) and the region to reduce the risk of displacement and protect those who are compelled to move due to disasters (sudden and slow-onset) and impacts of climate change. The role is quite extensive and spans from technical to strategic support at all levels from community to cabinet. Currently, I am working towardsmapping out project entry points at country and regional level for strategic project intervention, formalizing engagement with relevant government and regional agencies, and establishingthe governance arrangement within the consortium of implementing partners.
How did you get to know of this opportunity?
I learned of this opportunity from the Permanent Mission of Fiji to the UN and Other International Organization in Geneva where I did my summer internship whilst pursuing MESPOM in 2017.
Any future plans?
Apart from carrying this Project until the end of its lifetime, I would eventually like to do a PhD in an area that would best support the Blue Pacific region to pursue its sustainable development aspirations.
What role did MESPOM play in helping you arrive where you are today professionally/personally?
MESPOM is a divine blessing and without a doubt a connector tomy journey to date. The training and knowledge imparted at the CEU, University of Aegean, University of Manchester and Middlebury Institute of International Studies has equipped me to comprehend science for policy work. The international exposure is unparallel and has helped broaden my perspective on addressing complex environmental issues. The ‘integration’ theme that threads the entire programme has further develop my competencies in sectoral coordination and integration of environmental, social and economic goals.In particular, courses that introduced me to the nexus framework, SDG and transitional pathways, political economy analysis, conservation and development, environmental management have changed the way I approach environmental solutions to achieve sustainable and resilient development from a hazard centric to a more development first approach.