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Claire Coughlan - DCD

2016 was a particularly busy and interesting year for me. The highlight was the opportunity to take part in two short term assignments in Turkey and Vietnam to provide support to visits by President Higgins.

My main role within the Development Cooperation Division is working in the Director General’s office where I provide support to the Director General and ensure that the Office operates efficiently and effectively. It is an extremely interesting role and one where I also have the opportunity to interact with colleagues within the Division and across the Department. In 2016, in addition to the day-to-day office duties, I organised ten overseas trips for the Director General, including trips with the Secretary General and the Minister of State, as well as coordinating the briefing documents. I also organised 22 Senior Management Group meetings across both Limerick and Dublin.

In 2016 I took part in the consultation process for DCD for the roll out of the new E submission site and I am now the focal point for the Division. I find the system extremely efficient particularly with offices in Dublin and Limerick.

On the Election Observation Desk, in 2016, I oversaw 68 deployments (14 long term observers and 24 short term observers) across 16 different countries (10 OSCE and 6 EU missions).

Also another highlight in 2016, was completing my first Election Observation Mission to Ghana with the EU in December which was a great learning experience.

Ten Embassies / Consulates in total received funding from the In Country Micro Projects Scheme in 2016, with a total spend of just under €300,000. This scheme supports local non-governmental organisations in small scale development projects. My role was to liaise with the Embassies / Consulates abroad to ensure their budget allocations were fully spent and their projects were within the guidelines of the scheme.