IEE Newsletter No. 31

MADM Alumni Stories

Eduardo Galindo reports on his Career Path

After my graduation of the MADM in Development Management almost 20 years ago in 2002, and looking back to what I did in this field of work (which I love,) I can simply say that I had the wonderful opportunity to work in different national and international organizations. In 2002, when I went back to Bolivia, my country of birth, I started working in the Tropics of Cochabamba in the agricultural sector, supporting farmers in their efforts to improve their crop yields and marketability. I always thought that I needed to start with my “boots on the ground” and consequently feel the needs of the rural people and understand their aims.

Eduardo 01

Site visit on an urban eutrofized lagoon in Cochabamba.
Photo: Eudardo Galindo

Two years later, I was working with USAID in La Paz, Bolivia’s capital. During the years that I worked with USAID, I managed a variety of development initiatives, ranging from economic growth, mostly agricultural, to social development projects such as potable water and sanitation systems, school infrastructure, roads and bridges and electrification.

Twenty years ago, “environment” was an empty word for me, lacking relevance. But, in the course of my life and development career, I saw, first-hand, the human impact on our planet resources, earth, land and air, and become very concerned with the environmental dimension of the development field. Fortuitously, during the last two years at USAID, I’ve managed a sustainable development project focusing its efforts on forestry – the development of forestry management plans: Organic cacao production and other forest fruits and sustainable tourism. A political crisis between the Bolivian and the American governments led me to Colombia, where I worked for almost two years with USAID, as the deputy mission environmental officer and later with an American contractor.

Eduardo 02Opening of an improved peasant producer market. Photo: Eduardo Galindo

Ending my time with international organizations, I accepted the position as the Secretary of Sustainable Development of the Municipality of Cochabamba, an important technical office with more than one hundred employees and environmental problems with years of neglection or in some cases even in denial. As the Secretary of Sustainable Development, I had to chair the board of directors of the Water and Sanitation Co. and the Solid Waste Management Co. of the City; thus again, I was able to see first-hand the strengths and weaknesses of strategic public companies of any mid-sized city in the developing world. Great experience! From there, my interest and passion for the sustainable development just grew and today I am teaching this course, Sustainable Development, at the University in Bolivia and, proudly, just taught a seminar at IEE.

As some of you might know, Bolivia recently went through a political crisis but it was well handled, I believe, by democratic means. There is now a new transitional government in office, and I am working as Chief of Cabinet of the Minister of Development Planning. Consequently, I just know from experience that crisis can be also synonym of opportunity. Therefore, the climate crisis we are living in can be also seen as an opportunity to rethink development and to change the business as usual trajectory we pretend to continue on.

ma 2000 galindoavilaEduardo Galindo Avila

former MADM Student
in Bochum (2000 - 2002)

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