Name: Agnese Spiazzi.

Nationality: Italian.

Country of Assignment: Namibia.

Area of work: Coordination.

Where in the world have you travelled?

UK, France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, India, Qatar.

Where did you grow up?

Verona, Italy.

What did you study in university?

International relations and development management.

What are the best and worst jobs you have had?

I think that in terms of challenges, the present job is the best one. The worst one was as a shopping assistant in a clothes shop.

Why did you apply for the UNV programme?

 I applied to be a UNV Volunteer because I wanted to continue my professional path in the development field and to gain experience within the UN.

Describe a day in your life as a UNV.

In the morning I start at 8am. Most of the time, I am busy with meetings, either at the National Planning Commission/Ministries or at the UN with the UNCT/technical staff involved in Joint programmes/external consultants. In the afternoon, I usually go back to the office, where I can work on the follow up of all the meetings, and on proposals or solutions to submit to stakeholders and partners on how to take processes forward, how to facilitate people working together, how to find a shared position among all the people involved in projects.

In the evening, I often go out with the small community of internationals here in Windhoek. We are people from all over the world and we meet almost every evening…our way to keep us alive!

What is the best part of your UNV assignment?

Working in coordination implies meeting a huge number of people from different agencies, institutions and government counterparts and dealing with people working in very different fields. In my view, this is the best part of my job! Coordinating their meetings and assignments, preparing the needed documentation, working on proposals to submit to them and then taking them forward together, discussing with them how to improve things, how to make processes more efficient…this is what I like the most!

What is the least favourite part of your UNV assignment?

The bureaucratic and administrative part of the work. Coordination sometimes means also administration.

Has your UNV assignment reached/not reached your expectations?

Not yet, I think. So far, I have been identifying areas where I can really be an added value for my office and where I can really make a difference. However, this takes time, especially because I need to establish wide and very good networks and relationships with a lot of people and this, obviously, takes time.

Would you recommend the UNV programme to other people and why?

Yes. Working in the UN system makes you understand how things work at high levels, how governmental processes work and how decisions are taken. Sometimes it`s a bit frustrating to realize how slow processes are, how difficult it is to come up with a joint programme or solution, both between UN agencies and between the UN and the national government, but it is finally satisfactory to know that this will have a real impact on people on the ground and that in our daily work we can make a difference for a lot of people.


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