Lessons from an advocacy champ

By Jenny Lei Ravelo 31 August 2015

Marius Wanders, outgoing executive director of World Vision Brussels. Photo by: European Union

The head of World Vision International in Brussels may have stepped down from his post Aug. 31, but he’s not quitting development work just yet.

Over the past few months, Marius Wanders has been busy preparing himself for consultancy work when he “retires” from his full-time position at World Vision. That should have been a couple of years ago — when he reached the age of 65 — but the Brussels arm of the international nongovernmental organization was in the middle of transitioning from being a foundation to a nonprofit whose main job is to enable the whole World Vision ecosystem to access the vast funding opportunities at the European Union, as well as deepen its engagement with its various institutions.

Now that everything is in order, and the Brussels office is nearing the completion of its “ambitious” five-year strategy, Wanders can finally hand over the reins of the organization to his successor and focus his energies on his consultancy firm, Promoting People Consult, through which he aims to continue supporting nonprofit and for-profit sectors undergoing institutional changes, venturing in strategic planning processes, as well as those needing extra help in their advocacy and lobbying campaigns, to name a few.

In his years working for World Vision, and a decade at Caritas as secretary-general, Wanders realized that his strengths lie in helping get policies passed and implemented, which includes finding the right people to lobby ideas to — and the right strategy to get them passed.

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About the author

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Jenny Lei Ravelo@JennyLeiRavelo

Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex senior reporter based in Manila. Since 2011, she has covered a wide range of development and humanitarian aid issues, from leadership and policy changes at DfID to the logistical and security impediments faced by international and local aid responders in disaster-prone and conflict-affected countries in Africa and Asia. Her interests include global health and the analysis of aid challenges and trends in sub-Saharan Africa.

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