Josef Riha, Biomedical and Hospital Engineer, Team Leader in Cameroon and Short Term Expert in Nepal

Josef Riha, Biomedical and Hospital Engineer, Team Leader in Cameroon and Short Term Expert in Nepal

 An important experience working at EPOS is the considerable flexibility and liberty granted to me as field staff to develop and modulate a project within the frame defined by the client. 

What is the scope of your responsibilities and how did you join EPOS?

Currently I am Team Leader with a 50% assignment for a KfW project in Nepal – a challenge as other team members are also on a part-time contract.  However, we have a motivated team and are making good progress.  I joined EPOS in 2003 to fill a vacancy in a GIZ project in Cameroon managed by EPOS.  At the time I had been working for GIZ in the Ivory Coast but had to leave suddenly because of the civil war there.

What has been your most important experience while working at EPOS?

The considerable flexibility and liberty granted to me as field staff to develop and modulate a project within the frame defined by the client.

How would you describe working as part of the EPOS team?

As field staff my interactions with EPOS have been non-bureaucratic, I found all interlocutors at head office responsive and pleasant, while I had demanding on-site supervisors.  It helps if one is a bit flexible oneself and willing to respond to a variety of parallel HQ queries.

What information would you like to share with people interested in working with EPOS?

It is important to understand the thinking of the client (financier of the project) to comprehend their expectations, modalities and procedures.  In my case I came from GIZ to work for EPOS initially within a GIZ program, which made this easy.  But I have seen some colleagues without this background client understanding struggle to find their feet. EPOS also is working to be more active in that sense with new colleagues.

What positive effects have you seen in relation to the work you do?

In my view many development projects seem to struggle in balancing ambitious objectives with the progress of indicators to be achieved within a limited time. My personal approach has been to identify opportunities and capable individuals and drive the project rather along these lines to achieve progress, while constantly learning myself.  I have seen with satisfaction the long-term impact on the behavior of a few key partners and institutional development as a result.

What keeps you motivated to remain with EPOS?

Flexibility and challenges of field work; appreciation expressed by team members and HQ personnel.

Please describe your EPOS working experience in four words:

Create your own destiny (within limits).