Leadership Development Program Launched in Cote d’Ivoire
On February 8, MEASURE Evaluation launched its first Leadership Development Program (LDP) in Cote d’ Ivoire with M&E teams from the Ministries of Health, AIDS, Women and Social Services, and Education.
This activity was initiated collaboratively by MEASURE Evaluation partners John Snow, Inc. and Management Sciences for Health to enhance the leadership skills of the managers in the M&E units of the four ministries and to improve collaboration and team work between and among the ministries. The expected result is an increased coordination and collaboration among the teams that will allow them to produce high quality and accessible national HIV/AIDS data in a timely manner.
MEASURE Evaluation has been providing technical monitoring and evaluation support to the four ministries, and the MEASURE Evaluation Chief of Party, Dr. Leontine Gnassou, and her team identified non-technical issues that were impeding the ministries from making effective use of their support. They identified a lack of leadership as the key challenge pointing to the difficulties of bringing the teams together due to lack of trust and the desire of the different teams to “protect” their data and perceived national M&E positions and roles. A Strategic Information Working Group has been established, but it is functioning poorly, in part due to the lack of response and commitment from the participating ministries.
On February 8 in Adzope, Cote d’Ivoire, the LDP was launched with a Senior Alignment Meeting attended by members of the four ministry cabinets and directors of the M&E units within the ministries. In the course of this meeting, the group developed a common vision for two years in the future: “The fight against HIV/AIDS in Cote d’Ivoire is coordinated by a Strategic Information Group that meets regularly and produces quality data for better monitoring and evaluation.” This statement alone was significant considering the history of the organizations.
On February 10 in Adzope, the first workshop of the LDP was held with teams of M&E specialists from the four ministries. Initially it was thought that the four teams would develop their own visions, challenges and plans, as is typical in an LDP. However, it quickly became clear that the vision the participants had for the future of M&E as it relates to HIV/AIDS was one in which collaboration was a central element. As a result, the teams developed a shared vision that was very close to that of the senior level participants in the Senior Alignment Meeting and the teams will continue working together as a single team to achieve their desired result which they articulated as, “All of the national M&E tools for collection of HIV/AIDS data will be revised and validated by all of the organizations in the fight against HIV/AIDS in six months (by July 21).”
With enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and collaborative participants and teams as well as expert facilitators, the LDP is off to a great start in Cote d’Ivoire. The program will continue with additional workshops in March and May, networking meetings, and the development and implementation of action plans. A final workshop and results presentation to all of the stakeholders, including donors and partners, will take place on July 21.
“We have already achieved one important result,” Dr. Edwige Bosso, MEASURE Evaluation M&E Advisor, exclaimed. “Before this program, we couldn’t even get the participants into the same room, much less seeking to collaborate with each other!”