Survey results “Digital SEC annual event 2020”

The SEC has made a virtue out of necessity and conducted the annual event digitally. A summary of the survey results shows how this was perceived by the participants.

In total, 48 questionnaires were returned. Out of this, we have collected some strong, (critically) constructive and interesting statements and listed them below. As a result, there is one thing all participants agree on: a virtual annual event can also be very informative, but it is no substitute for a personal meeting in Zurich. So we hope that this will be possible again next year.

Thank you very much for participating in the survey!


How do you rate this year’s SEC digital event? Were your expectations fulfilled?

Which information and topics were new to you?

  • That aspects of gender and environment play an important role
  • The continuation of SEC work in Corona times and the digital encounter with SEC employees
  • New approach of SEC in Guatemala: valuable approach, but it should be well planned

What information were you missing?

  • Information on the resilience of SEC-supported enterprises during Corona crisis and any lessons already learned from remote assignments
  • The discussions have shown that remote assignments are not always useful. A more differentiated approach from the SEC, for example, a definition of when remote assignments make sense, would have been helpful
  • A strategy on how the work of the SEC will continue during and after Corona times
  • The informal conversation at the apéro was missing as this always falls short during video conferences

What is your opinion about the SEC environmental strategy?

  • It is important to go for a practical approach towards environmental issues in development cooperation and to set a good example
  • I doubt whether it is possible to have a decisive influence on environmental issues in countries of operation within the framework of SEC assignments. At best, the expert can provide impulses regarding the environment
  • That’s a good idea, but one should not assume Swiss standards
  • Good to conduct two assignments in the same country one after the other, so that only one flight is necessary.

Do you have any ideas how to integrate gender issues in your next SEC assignment?

  • Depending on the country of assignment and the constellation of the company, how to promote women will always be a central issue
  • It needs reflection, know-how (also methodical) and intercultural implementation
  • Depends on the country in which the assignment takes place. It requires a “diplomatic” approach

In general, would you be willing to do a SEC remote assignment?

What do you think could be positive about a remote assignment?

  • Efficient use of resources, saving CO-2 emissions
  • Regular counselling and support over a certain period of time is less “invasive” than a visit on-site during a limited time when everything has to “happen”
  • Consultation over a longer period of time allows testing and adaptation of new methods/processes and better control of success
  • Maintaining client contact and assuring support even in difficult times
  • That this is feasible in Corona times

Where do you see the challenge of such a remote assignment? What could prove to be negative?

  • Needs good language and cultural skills of the experts and is probably only possible for simple assignment requests
  • Communication (languages)
  • Location of the client cannot be examined on-site
  • Lack of trust and not enough understanding of the company on-site
  • Expert must be willing to be available regularly over a longer period of time – also client must be willing to take over tasks week by week and not only to consume information