Countries participating in the GEF ECW in Astana

GEF ECW in Astana, Kazakhstan

Did you know that Kazakhstan is the largest landlocked country in the world?

Republic of Kazakhstan, a Central Asian country and former Soviet republic, covers the area of about 66 (sixty-six!) Switzerlands (yet another landlocked country, by the way). Also, it is the ninth largest country in the world, about one sixth the size of Russia.

So last week I traveled to Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. I was there to deliver a short 1-day project management course to participants of the GEF ECW (Global Environment Facility — Extended Constituency Workshop), a 4-day workshop where people from 9 countries who work with the GEF discussed and reviewed policies and procedures, shared lessons and experiences from development and implementation of GEF projects, and their integration within national policy frameworks.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is a global organization, with 183 countries participating, and its central office is in Washington, D.C. It helps countries co-finance the projects with global environment benefits, in areas like biodiversity, climate change, chemical waste, land degradation, forest management, and similar. Very cool organization, having a huge positive impact on our planet and all our lives, definitely worth checking out.

The ECW participants mostly manage programs and portfolios, and people who manage their projects report to them, so my colleague and friend Acilio Marinello and I delivered a project management course with intention to help them ask the right questions and get better understanding of each project’s status.

The course itself has been designed and organized by the UNOPS and the Practical Thinking Group, and an integral part of the course was a very interactive and engaging bridge-building simulation game. You can see some photos from the course here, and there are some more at my Facebook page. There were even more photos and videos from behind the scenes that I posted in my Snapchat story, but those are already gone by now, of course.

Next week I will be traveling to New York for the mid-year meeting of the PMI Chapter Member Advisory Group, so add me on Snapchat or connect through social media of your choice to feel some of the atmosphere from that trip too. And more. :-)

Dino Butorac, PMP