On August 7, 2017, Roger Ervin, President & CEO of Blumont/IRD, and Assistant Vice President & Director of Blumont Global Development (BGD), Dr. Iqbal Al-Juboori, visited Blumont offices in Iraq and held a two-hour meeting with Ali Dhahir Ali, Country Director, and local staff from Duhok, Erbil and Kirkuk at the Divan Hotel in Erbil.
Mr. Dhahir opened the meeting by welcoming the attendees and inviting Program Managers to give an overview about their activities in Iraq and Syria. The presentations covered the full portfolio of Blumont programs operating out of Iraq, including management of four camps in Kirkuk; Camp Coordination & Camp Management (CCCM); Community Cohesion in Duhok (CCD); Syria-Iraq Regional Assistance I & II (SIRA I & II); Syria Emergency Food Security Program (SEFSP); and camp management of Al Hol, Roj and Newroz, expected to begin September 1, 2017. The Chief of Party of Syria Essential Services II (SES II), which is based in Amman, Jordan, also gave a presentation as the program is currently expanding to cover areas in northern Syria and will have a team operating in Iraq. Collectively these programs employ about 400 staff and serve over 3,000,000 beneficiaries.
After thanking everyone for their participation, Mr. Dhahir explained the importance of such meetings, which allow staff to engage with different program teams and learn from each other, and recognized the teams’ efforts to effectively implement programmatic activities. He also expressed his desire to include Syrian staff in future meetings by bringing them to Iraq or holding meetings in Syria as security permits.
Mr. Ervin then addressed the participants, thanking them for their continued hard work serving refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). He discussed the transition from IRD to Blumont and the identity of the restructured organization, emphasizing the importance of upholding our core values – integrity and stewardship. Combined with these core values, Blumont’s goal to Collaborate with donors, partners and communities; Innovate by introducing new ideas and improving service delivery to ensure donor funding is spent appropriately; and Transform lives, communities and ultimately the world, forms our identity. All of this is achieved by turning locally driven ideas into proven solutions. Mr. Ervin discussed Blumont’s approach to project management and emphasized strengthening compliance, transparency and continuous improvement through training, technology, applied learning and communications. These practices are consistent across each subsidiary, Blumont International, Blumont Global Development and Blumont Engineering Solutions, which are all designed to deliver targeted, high-impact programming to different client bases.
After an overview of the organization, the discussion turned toward an update from headquarters. Mr. Ervin asserted headquarters’ role in supporting program teams to ensure they achieve their objectives on time, on budget and within scope. At the end, he responded to questions and comments from the staff and thanked them for their hospitality.
Following the meeting, Mr. Ervin and Dr. Al-Juboori visited Blumont’s office in Duhok and IDP camps in Kirkuk, where they met with Blumont staff, camp managers and residents.