Aidex Voices

Maurits Spoelder from MDF Training and Consultancy, shines a light on the importance of helping people to self-develop in order to make a sustainable difference, and how the private sector can scale up the change NGOs are trying to achieve.

Tell us about your role and organisation?

I am the Regional Director for MDF Eastern & Southern Africa region. MDF is a management advisory company with over 30 years of experience in providing management training, advisory and evaluation services worldwide. We believe in building on existing knowledge and experiences to create long lasting effects. Our services are diverse but have three things in common – they are inspired by new concepts and theories, are practical, and lead to new insights. The tools and approaches we utilise are directly implementable. This way we empower individuals, organisations and networks to increase their positive social impact.

What does MDF offer that makes your services stand out amongst competitors in the field?

The strength of MDF Training & Consultancy lies in its mix of international and regional consultants. This mix provides a range of expertise and powerful approaches, creating the highest quality services, tailored to each client’s context.

Our pool of experts around the world combine international quality standards with national knowledge and respond to our clients’ working realities. We are continuously challenging ourselves to provide our clients with the best service possible. We consistently reflect on the quality of our work, and explore new approaches to keep abreast with our changing world.

What are your organisation’s objectives within the context of international aid and development?

We believe in an ever-changing world where there is a growing urgency to create more equitable societies. People who continue to develop themselves are best equipped to contribute towards making a sustainable difference. We therefore develop the management capacities and tools of organisations, networks and individuals in order to create social impact in an efficient way in Africa.

What makes the aid and development sector interesting to work in?

The humanitarian aid and development sector is far more diverse than many of us realise. It is not just the charity / NGO sector where social change occurs. There are amazing opportunities across the public, private and community-led sectors. Excitingly, with new models of business, we are increasingly seeing people make the decision to help by opening a social enterprise or SME focusing on solving society’s most difficult issues, from energy poverty, water security and youth education and skill development.

How important do you think is the private sector’s role in aid and development?

The private sector brings in relevant and useful management experiences and tools that are relevant to developmental and humanitarian contexts. Next to this, the private sector can make economic development and job creation sustainable on a potentially big scale. They are imperative to scale up change that the NGO world is not able to do.

What are the challenges of working across sectors (with NGOs and governments)?

There are a variety of challenges to working across sectors, including the lack of a common language; lack of understanding of each other's processes, and the constraints (political, funding, and legislative) on the way each does business, as well as differing priorities. But we usually find ways to bridge these differences and to work together towards a common goal.

What are the benefits?

Benefits across sectors differ. Learning goes both ways. From a humanitarian perspective we learn how to work in unstable contexts, whilst in the private sector the focus on results is higher up the agenda. This combination benefits our organisation to better understand development challenges and how to provide effective and long-lasting solutions.

What will MDF be exhibiting at AidEx Nairobi 2018?

Our range of services - who we are, what we do, and how we can work together in order to develop and create social impact and change.

MDF exhibited at AidEx Nairobi 2018 in Kenya between September 12-13.