This May Tamar Meibergen joined Partners for Water as a Programme Advisor. She will work on various projects, such as the Vietnam programme, the subsidy scheme, the monitoring and evaluation framework and an event about Nature-Based Solutions. In her spare time, she is also all about water sailing competitively on an all-female team. Nice to meet you, Tamar!
‘While I was studying, water was always the focal point. First with my bachelors in Social Geography and Planning in Utrecht and then later with my masters in Environmental Geography in Amsterdam.’ As a part of her studies, Tamar did an internship at the NGO Wetlands International in Mali. ‘I worked on many interesting projects there, like a flood warning system for illiterate farmers and figuring out how to make gold extraction sustainable.’ After her studies, Tamar worked for 2,5 years as a Water and Climate Consultant at TwynstraGudde. ‘Although I learned a lot, I also realised that I want to invest more time in implementing projects internationally, while working together with all kinds of different people. So, when the opportunity arose to work with Partners for Water I decided to go for it.’
Tamar believes her consultancy experience will prove to come in handy at Partners for Water. ‘Although I have only just started, I can already tell that there is a lot innovation and experimenting here. If you see an opportunity there is room to go for it. Applying a proactive approach is something I learned both at TwynstraGudde and while doing a ‘Inclusieve Groene Groei’ (Inclusive Green Growth) internship at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. These work experiences also taught me how to develop strong networks. It will be interesting to be on ‘the other side’ as now I’ll be working with consultants instead of being one myself. I think knowing both perspectives will help me too.’
‘I’ll be working on several topics over the next few months. For example, I will spend time on our Vietnam programme while the designated Programme Advisor is away. Luckily, I already have some prior knowledge of Vietnam. I was there for my master thesis, which was about the export of Dutch water expertise and how trade missions contribute to them. I will also work on our subsidy scheme as well as our monitoring and evaluation framework, which will helps us see the results of our work more tangibly. Lastly, we will organise a Nature-Based Solutions event when the World Bank and Asion Development Bank delegates visit in June.
Tamar appreciates the changes made in the way the Dutch water sector works with international partners. ‘We used to present a solution without really consulting with our counterparts. Nowadays, there is meaningful cooperation in the whole process making use of local knowledge.’ Water is not only important to Tamar in her professional life, but also in her private life. That is why she devotes a lot of time to competitive sailing. ‘I’ve been on the water since I was young. The team I’m involved in is all-female, which is pretty unique in the competitions we enter. When I’m sailing, I not only see trash in the water, but also the daily problems that are connected to water management. This make it all the more motivating to make the most of my time at PfW.’