December marks the end of GESA’s first full year of operations, and what a year it has been! Among the accomplishments we’re most proud of is the establishment and growth of the GESA Global South Advisory Council (AC) – a body of practitioner experts from around the world that help the GESA community understand the needs, processes and best ways to serve underserved markets from Africa to Asia to Latin America and beyond.
Information is the most important missing piece Global North suppliers face every day. Working with the AC gives GESA members the chance to listen to the voices of the developing world and to problem-solve together around issues such as data capture, procurement, building public support for Emergency Services and creating a more dynamic, sustainable sector. So, as we looked back on a hugely productive year, we asked each AC member to share the conversations they found most valuable, the projects they were looking forward to, and discussion topics they wished to explore in the coming year. Here are some highlights…
‘There’s no other group I know of like GESA’s Advisory Council … and there is a big need for it. I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to share knowledge and ideas – and to build the connection with suppliers that need to know us better.’ – Eulando, Fire Chief & Lead Instructor, Puerto Rico.
‘Donations are important to our ability to get the equipment we need. But they are a portion of an ecosystem and I’m excited to be a part of building a better, smarter way to get donations and recycled equipment into the hands of emergency personnel in a country like ours.’ – Wellington, Fire Chief, Zambia.
‘A better organized donations and equipment pipeline could also be a space for departments to help one another with equipment procurement, no matter where we are in the world, and can create a system that helps suppliers grow markets to serve us.’ – Goldy, Volunteer Firefighter & Former Department Communications Director, Ecuador.
‘We have a great opportunity around language and translation as they relate to equipment training and instruction manuals. In Latin America, manuals often come in languages we do not understand. I love how GESA members are reaching out to us, working with us to understand our needs. Sometimes the answer is as simple as speaking our language too.’ – Jesse, Fire Investigator & Volunteer Firefighter, Ecuador.
‘It’s been a revelation for me to hear what other practitioners from all over the globe are experiencing and saying. I’ve shared a lot of key learnings from our AC meetings with my colleagues.’ – Francis, Chief Fire Services Officer of All Airports, Kenya.
‘The Global South is a whole different world of scenarios – and the opportunities are enourmous. We’re all extremely pleased with what we’ve learned and contributed this year as part of the AC … and we can’t wait for next year’s programs.’ – Goldy, Volunteer Firefighter & Former Department Communications Director, Ecuador.
If you are interested in joining GESA’s groundbreaking work, or sharing your stories or recommendations, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org