3 Questions with Mohammed Almuathny on The Power of Local Roots when Building Resilience

| 3 Minute Read
Economic Growth and Trade | Business Enabling Environment | Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development
Inclusive Economic Growth | Capacity Building

Mohammed Almuathny explains why his work implementing grants on the Iraq Durable Communities and Economic Opportunities (DCEO) project is made more impactful and personally fulfilling through his connection to the local community.

The DCEO activity mitigates instability by promoting inclusive community development, generating employment opportunities, and promoting business entrepreneurship.

1. Please tell us a little bit about the work you do as a grant officer for the Chemonics-implemented DCEO project in Iraq.

 In my role as a grant officer, I am strongly involved in all phases of the grant management cycle, and I have a wide range of responsibilities that contribute to the successful execution of grants. During the solicitation stage, I actively communicate with potential grantees, providing guidance and support as they develop their applications. At the pre-award stage, I conduct comprehensive site visits, collect necessary data, and vet information to ensure its accuracy. I am also responsible for preparing required certifications and reviewing manuals to guarantee compliance with USAID regulations, as well as assisting grantees in developing their applications and budgets through regular meetings and consultations. Additionally, I closely coordinate with other departments, such as Communications and Compliance/Environment, to finalize marketing and branding plans as well as Environmental Mitigation and Monitoring Plans

As the focal point for awarded grants, I maintain regular communication with grantees, technical teams, and other departments to ensure the smooth implementation of activities aligned with the grantee’s work plan, application, grant agreement, and USAID regulations. Daily, I aid and support grantees and other departments to facilitate successful implementation through field visits, co-creation workshops, and regular and ad-hoc meetings. Ultimately, my role as a grant officer on this project allows me to work closely with a local community to create sustainable development outcomes.

2. Why is it important to you to work in your own country? 

Firstly, being able to work in my own country allows me to directly contribute to the development and progress of my community and nation. I understand the local context and culture, as well as the challenges the community faces, which gives me a unique perspective and a sense of ownership in driving positive change where it matters most. Secondly, working in my own country allows me to leverage my local networks and relationships to affect meaningful change. I have established connections with local organizations, government entities, and community leaders, which facilitates collaboration and fosters trust. These relationships enable me to mobilize resources, engage stakeholders, and build partnerships that are crucial for the success of development projects

Moreover, working in my own country provides me with a sense of fulfillment and purpose as I am able to contribute my skills, knowledge, and expertise to the place I call home. Seeing the tangible impact of my work on the lives of individuals and communities in Iraq is incredibly rewarding and motivates me to continue striving for positive change. Lastly, working in my own country offers myriad personal and professional growth opportunities. I can continuously learn and expand my understanding of the local context, the challenges faced, and the innovative solutions being implemented while also being given the opportunity to contribute to the development of my own professional community by sharing best practices and experiences with fellow colleagues and local professionals.


3. How is Chemonics supporting you to make a difference in your country?

Chemonics provides me with access to a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and best practices in the field of development through offering training opportunities, workshops, and resources that keep me updated on the latest industry trends and approaches. This support ensures that I am equipped with the necessary skills and tools to tackle complex challenges and deliver high-quality results. Chemonics also fosters a collaborative work environment that encourages knowledge-sharing and learning. I can engage with a diverse network of professionals, both within Chemonics and externally, which provides a platform for sharing experiences, exchanging ideas, and seeking advice.  

Furthermore, Chemonics prioritizes the well-being and professional development of its staff through fostering a supportive work culture and providing guidance and mentorship to help me navigate my career path. Chemonics also ensures compliance with USAID regulations and policies, which is crucial for the success of projects in Iraq. By adhering to these standards, we maintain transparency, accountability, and the effective utilization of resources which supports me in my goal of creating a meaningful and sustainable difference in my country and region.

Posts on the blog represent the views of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Chemonics.