Name: Irene Alunni
Country of Assignment: Lao PDR
Area of work: Monitoring and evaluation
Where in the world have you travelled?
Europe, Asia, Africa.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a nice city in the centre of Italy, surrounded by green hills.
What did you study in university?
What are the best and worst jobs you have had?
I liked working for an NGO in consultancy for other smaller NGOs in the area of project planning and accountability of cooperation mechanisms.
Why did you apply for the UNV programme?
I would like to work in Development cooperation, I like to see things from the beneficiaries’ point of view, I like doing field work and I believe in the added value of volunteering.
Describe a day in your life as a UNV.
No day is the same; if I am in Vientiane I am based in two very different places: I move between the Lao Ministry for Transport & Public works (where I am the only international person) and the UN building (for meetings, discussions and consultations). However, very often (usually every week) I go on mission to the various Provinces (we have 19 projects in different parts of the country, from north to south!) to monitor the progress and develop tools to improve the system.
What is the best part of your UNV assignment?
I like the contact with local people, very kind and gentle, and seeing places that make me think quite a lot (like when I am in a village where people have no water and have never seen a toilet, or don’t understand why you should wash your hands…)
What is the least favourite part of your UNV assignment?
Sometimes travelling is a bit tiring (roads are bad and we travel entire days). Working hours are often all day long!
Has your UNV assignment reached/not reached your expectations?
Yes so far.
Would you recommend the UNV programme to other people and why?
Of course. It is a unique life experience to challenge yourself and grow professionally and personally.