Marie Christine Siemerink is a Senior Policy Officer at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs within the Health and AIDS division and member of the Share-Net Netherlands Global Financing Facility (GFF) Community of Practice who values the network’s facilitation of knowledge exchange to improve Dutch policy for SRHR.
Since 2018, the Dutch government has played a prominent role in the Global Financing Facility (GFF) – a multi-donor trust fund dedicated to health and nutrition of women, children and adolescents. The GFF CoP is comprised of members from Dutch civil society organisations (CSOs) alongside members from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs dedicated to generating evidence and sharing insights and experiences on the policy, practice and performance of the GFF. One Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) representative who regularly engages with the GFF is Marie Christine Siemerink. In our interview, Marie Christine recognises this fundamental space for exchange that allows the Ministry to receive quick feedback from Dutch CSOs on the work and proposals of the GFF, to learn about the opportunities and challenges within the GFF at different country levels and to share information with Dutch CSOs. As Marie Christine puts it, “As the government, we sometimes have a slightly different perspective for certain things. But for sure the input of the CoP is very relevant and has influenced us and our strategy.”
With Share-Net Netherlands being the SRHR knowledge partner of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the upcoming 5 years, Marie Christine looks enthusiastically ahead towards Share-Net’s facilitation of these learning processes: “I see the role of Share-Net as a facilitator, and without them we wouldn’t be able to tap into information from partners and allow them to exchange in such a productive way.” She goes on to add, “Share-Net has helped tremendously in collecting the lessons learned and facilitating knowledge exchange for the SRHR partnerships 2016-2020. The learning event resulted in materials and briefing notes which we shared with colleagues both in the Hague as at various embassies. For the new SRHR partnerships I have very high hopes that with Share-Net we can make it a nice trajectory. Share-Net knows how to make people learn from each other”.
In summary, Marie Christine appreciates the networking and matchmaking opportunities that Share-Net event offers to the Ministry and our members. It is this bridging of actors and their efforts for knowledge exchange to improve Dutch policy for SRHR that Marie Christine sees as the unique, essential and valued work at Share-Net Netherlands.