Yes, though we weren't able to work on initiatives to actively advocate for this. Looking back, perhaps this is partly due to my beliefs on the matter (I don't believe that those with minimal work experience can be really useful assistants) and my focus (I work mostly with students). While I encouraged EA Philippines students to take on operations-oriented roles in general during career advising in my past role as CB, I did not focus on PA.
While there is a demand for PAs/ExAs - to be a good one, you need to have excellent client management abilities ("Are you the right assistant for client X?") and enough experience with past organizational logistics work to navigate well to be three steps ahead of your client. You also need to be able to "train" your client on how to leverage your skills better to maximize their productivity (some people don't know how to use assistants). Otherwise, you won't be as helpful in your impact and may end up just being additional overhead to the EA leader you have as a client.
Those new to the workforce don't generally have these skills as they mostly get developed and honed over time. I have met some assistants (some from Athena) from our Professionals fellowship who support EAs and, while I'm not privy to their actual work performance, my initial impression is that they all have some decent past work experience.
As EA Philippines invests its energy in Professionals outreach, this could be something to put more time in exploring strategic initiatives that encourage this as a viable career path to pursue more intentionally. CC @Elmerei Cuevas @Alethea Faye Cendaña
I am grateful that this community exists - where one can take seriously trying to contribute in bringing about a better world while staying grounded. Appreciating the truth-seeking folks around me who I can call friends and trust will be honest about their critiques - always with the intent to encourage improvement instead of pulling me down (you know who you are!).
I am happy that this exists.
I think a good way to approach how to build out a good M&E culture in the community will be a guide with a checklist augmented by case studies of how other orgs/project teams implemented M&E at different stages. I have some confidence most will be happy to pick this up and reach out for specific advice. I also particularly encourage that all our EA project leads / orgs "self-require" some baseline level of an M&E system before asking donors for funds so we can be more accountable for our own requests for grants, etc.
Happy to collaborate on the resource building part of this.