Organizational Development with RCT Empathy

Sarah Jonassen Bittman

Senior Technical Officer

RCT Empathy Staff, Tbilisi, Georgia Photo: MSH Staff

RCT Empathy Staff, Tbilisi, Georgia Photo: MSH Staff

In March of 2014, LMG provided technical assistance to RCT Empathy, the International Psycho-Rehabilitation Centre for Victims of Torture, Violence and Pronounced Stress Impact based in Tbilisi, Georgia. RCT is one of ten torture rehabilitation centers that work with LMG’s partner The Center for Victims of Torture (CVT), which is supported by USAID.  

Joseph Dwyer and I worked with the RCT team to tackle two areas of their capacity building plan related to organizational development: 1) Assisting with efforts on personnel and performance management toward documenting and disseminating management procedures and improving effectiveness of RCT’s work; and 2) increasing effective use of the board of directors.

With our support, RCT Empathy’s leadership team adapted both a template Guide to Supervision and Management and an Employee Handbook created by CVT to its own context, and created an organization chart. Joseph presented on best practices in supervision and management to RCT’s supervisory team, sharing the principles of effective and supportive supervision systems and performance appraisal processes. Since our visit, the leadership team has shared these documents with all staff, and is also translating them into Georgian.  

Joseph also assisted RCT in preparing the organization’s board and executive team to increase board engagement in new areas as Empathy expands their work. Mariam Yishkariani, the director of RCT Empathy, reports that board involvement has increased following LMG’s visit, with greater communication and support for RCT’s activities. RCT is the first CVT partner to adapt these templates to its own context, and found it helpful to not have to start from scratch in documenting supervision and management processes. We hope there may be a multiplier effect across the other centers if other partners find this useful as well.