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Kathleen Jovellanos Joins CDIA as Its Capacity Development Specialist

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Kathleen Jovellanos has recently joined CDIA as its Capacity Development Specialist, bringing with her 13 years of experience in capacity building, local governance and project management.

She will oversee the implementation of CDIA’s capacity development strategy, and support our development experts to build the capacities of our partner cities in infrastructure project preparation and implementation.

“Capacity development and [working with] local governments have been my bread and butter so to speak,” says Kathleen. “I was grounded on the project cycle of foreign-assisted development projects early in my career, so I hope that with CDIA, I can expand my horizons by working with cities in developing countries in Asia and the Pacific.”

“I wish to contribute in designing appropriate and comprehensive capacity development roadmaps for them,” she adds.

Kathleen has worked with local, regional and national governments in the Philippines and now brings a deep understanding of urban development issues to CDIA.

Before joining CDIA, she served as Training Specialist for the Public-Private Partnership Center of the Philippines and the Department of Finance’s World Bank-assisted Local Government Finance and Development Project, which in the process, got her feet wet in managing a diverse mix of development projects in the areas of capacity development, public-private partnership, knowledge management and policy evaluation.

These experiences further enabled her to gain expertise in different areas of the project cycle and gave her a better understanding of working with project stakeholders, including project beneficiaries, implementers and funders, to ensure successful project implementation.

She draws inspiration from local chief executives who are focused on identifying solutions and innovative strategies to address their development problems.

“If I can help leverage their passion into creating sustainable projects in the most effective and efficient way possible, that would be my gauge of success,” says Kathleen. “I believe that with CDIA, I am at the right place to do so.”

Kathleen also intends to draw on her experience with city officials to help CDIA build trust and confidence with their development partners. In her past experiences with city officials, she has learned to allocate time for face-to-face meetings so she can build rapport with them and discern their aspirations for their cities.

Kathleen says she’s excited to help CDIA continue integrating capacity development into its project preparation work. She also wants to help more cities create unique institutional roadmaps based on their specific needs.

“I want to veer away from typical classroom training where discussions are focused on what has been done here and there,” she explains. “Like CDIA, I want to work closely with cities, understand them and help them develop the activities that will address their specific gaps using innovative approaches in learning.”

Kathleen’s posting follows a short-term engagement with CDIA in August 2020, when she led the development of its Institutional Capacity Development Roadmap Preparation Guidelines.

Her new role as Capacity Development Specialist will ensure the application of those guidelines as she now holds an expanded role in implementing CDIA’s integrated capacity development strategy and creating institutional development roadmaps for cities in Asia and the Pacific.

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