Providing Better Physical Rehabilitation Services and Promoting Disability Rights

  • Published Date: September 2017

Yvan Sidler

Yvan Sidler

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Yvan Sidler is Head of the Regional Office for Africa for The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) MoveAbility Foundation, based in Lome, Togo. Yvan’s journey to this leadership role began in 2014, when he was a Project Manager in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for ICRC. Since then, Yvan participated in the Leadership, Management, and Governance (LMG) Project’s Senior Leadership Program (SLP), Essential Management Package (EMP) Training of Trainers Program, and Communication and Coaching Skills Program.

Yvan credits these programs to helping him become a more efficient leader and manager, saying, “I learned so much about how to lead, how to manage, how to provide good governance… It is really helping a lot, it provides us with technical tools and also personal tools to change our behaviors, to change our attitude.”

Yvan first completed the EMP with a team that included local ICRC staff and a manager from the University Clinic of Kinshasa in DRC. The EMP is a toolkit adapted from tested leadership and management capacity development approaches and is tailored specifically for physical rehabilitation centers.

It includes participatory tools for an organization to assess and identify weaknesses in their management systems and client services, and then step-by-step process to address those weaknesses as a team. Together, Yvan’s team focused on increasing the number of beneficiaries attending their center and receiving services. Yvan was very excited about his personal growth and the change he saw in his entire team. “What I enjoyed in the EMP is not only to see the result of the project, but also to see the change in the people.”

Specifically with his assistant Astride, “I could see her blooming, she became a completely different person, she took a lot of confidence and that was maybe the main result that we achieved with this program.To see her change and be able take a different approach on project, less technical and more managerial, she has a wider vision of what the work is and now I really like it.”

Yvan saw similar results with the SLP, a team-based leadership development program that convenes government representatives, service providers, civil society, and disabled people’s organizations to prioritize physical rehabilitation services and advance the rights of persons with disabilities. Reflecting on the SLP, Yvan described connecting service providers from different levels of DRC’s new rehabilitation platform, stating, “That was really interesting. It was difficult to find a way that all these different people could talk together and talk the same language, but I think we achieved that… We have seen some real changes in people and hopefully after few years we will see a lot of change in the lives [of the people we serve].”

The trainings are organized for teams to build staff and sector capacity, and they have enabled many people like Yvan to become more effective leaders. Looking back, he says, “I really feel like something changed inside me. I would never have dreamed before the position like the one I have, and I would surely have thought that I would not be able to do it.” The LMG Project’s tools promote personal growth, empower teams, and unite different groups of people—inside and outside of ICRC—to provide better physical rehabilitation services and to promote disability rights.