Staff Stories: Managing Operations in a Hostile Environment Conference

On August 21, Hope for Haiti’s Operations Manager, Herns, and Driver, Rony, attended an event on “Managing Operations in a Hostile Environment” hosted by USAID and Papyrus. Below, Herns and Rony discuss what they learned during the conference and how it relates to Hope for Haiti’s operating procedures in Haiti.

We live in a country with economic and political instability that can cause security issues and other complications for organizations, companies and businesses looking to operate effectively and efficiently. Even at Hope for Haiti we have faced situations where we have had to halt operations, which can negatively affect our programming and the people we serve. When these situations arise, we’ve learned that we need to be flexible and do our best to adapt. We also need to keep in mind our core values: resiliency, empowerment, accountability, collaboration, and hope. We need to be resilient, and be able to quickly move forward with contingency plans and the hope that things will be better tomorrow. Accountability is important to remain transparent and we need to collaborate with the local authorities and our partner communities. In other words, we need to shift our thinking on difficult situations to see them as opportunities to make things happen rather than as setbacks we need to work through.

Here are the top five things we learned from this conference:

  1. When you are operating a business or organization in Haiti, you need to have foresight and vision in order to be prepared when critical situations hit.
  2. Always ready to make changes when necessary and collaborate with stakeholders and the local community.
  3. We need to empower our staff because we cannot do everything ourselves.
  4. We need to see difficult situations as opportunities when we are operating in a hostile environment and always be in contact with our partners and other companies and businesses.
  5. You don’t need a lot of money to start a business. However, you need to be disciplined and control your spending while being financially transparent.

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