Endro has been a research and evaluation professional in development sector in Indonesia for nearly 10 years. He also worked as Monitoring and Evaluation Manager in Women’s World Banking and Australia Indonesia Partnership for Strengthening Agricultural Finance. He joined the Dual Campus International Peace Studies in 2008 after completing his service in Oxfam for the post-tsunami recovery program in Aceh province, Indonesia. Now he is working as a research associate of Migunani, a leading research institution in his hometown, Yogyakarta. He is also starting a micro business at home, namely a micro coffee roastery.
“No pude imaginar” is the sentence that I always use when I am asked about how it felt like to study in Upeace. The expression does not merely reflect that studying in Costa Rica is a rare opportunity for me; it also reflects a feeling of grateful that I was given an opportunity to study in Upeace and experienced a lot of love and patient from those in Upeace who have contributed in shaping my academic skills which later had a lot of positive impact on my professional life. The feeling was a big motivation for me to always try as much as possible to help the promotion of Asian Peacebuilders Program in Indonesia whenever those involved in its promotion – Laurel Gaylor, Maya Mizuno, and Balazs Kovacs – asked if I could support the promotional events.
Writing has always been my passion. In my early career, some friends and former colleagues told me that I had some potential to be a good writer. However, the opportunity to develop my writing skills did not arrive until I studied in Upeace, which in the end brought these skills to a different level. The initial improvement of my writing skills came during the English Course in Ateneo de Manila. The writing exercises and substantial feedback from our instructors truly improved the quality of my writing pieces. Later in Costa Rica, continuous improvement on my writing skills occurred since word limit requirement in all academic paper allowed me to write focused academic papers. I also benefitted from the consultation with course instructors during the drafting of the papers as well as their feedback on the completed papers.
The impact of the writing training in Upeace transformed my career in research and evaluation. Shortly after Upeace graduation, I received an assignment as an evaluator of a post-disaster early recovery project and since then several research and evaluation projects followed. All research or project evaluation for international NGOs and UN agencies required me to write rigorous reports for English speaking audiences. I felt completely equipped in fulfilling the demand and tried to use all of the writing skills I acquired from Upeace. Of course, in addition to the writing skills, I also applied the perspective on development that I learned from Upeace on the concept, reasoning, and analysis I put on my writing.
Studying in Upeace has broadened my professional network too and recently it brought me an opportunity to work in a project overseas. During the Upeace years, it was always my aspiration to collaborate with fellow Upeacers one day. In the past few years, I explored the possibility to work with several Upeacers and today I am working with Kyi Kyi Seinn, a classmate from Myanmar. It started with lightweight discussions on the potential to collaborate when we visited each other back in 2009 and 2015. The next two visits I made to Myanmar, I helped the NGO she established, Moving Forward Together (MFT), by delivering a training in monitoring and evaluation. Now, I am hired by MFT to provide an M&E consultation on a youth empowerment in agriculture project, a field of work which coincidently has been a major focus in career in the past three years.
At personal level, the opportunity to study in Costa Rica brought a serendipity. The coffee culture in Costa Rica implanted ‘the seed of enthusiasm on coffee’ within me as I consumed coffee more than I usually did in the country. The enthusiasm grew faster a year after Upeace years, when I was visiting the Costa Rican pavilion in the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, China. I listened to a Ticos who told the story of Costa Rican coffee and was impressed by the flavor of the coffee I brought home from the Expo. Since then I became more enthusiastic toward coffee and thought about starting a coffee business. It is only recently that I started a micro roastery at home. Interestingly, one of my major green bean suppliers is Diyus Hanafi, another Upeacer! (this also shows that Upeace network can be amazing for our life).
Now I look forward to creating many more collaborations with other Upeacers. I will not be surprised by what may come ahead.