Strategy, efficiency, confidence, structure, discovery, and fun are just several of the words that Jo Nagels and Solenne Chupin from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Special Fund for the Disabled (SFD) used to describe the impact of the training from the USAID-funded Leadership, Management, and Governance (LMG) Project.
Since 2014, the LMG Project partnered with ICRC and SFD to deliver a package of tools to support ICRC at the facility level and sector level, including the:
Senior Leadership Program (SLP): a team-based leadership development program that brings together government representatives, service providers, civil society, and disabled people’s organizations to strengthen the enabling environment for physical rehabilitation services and advance the rights of persons with disabilities. To date, LMG has trained 107 high level decision makers from 15 countries in Africa and East Asia.
Essential Management Package (EMP): a toolkit adapted from tested leadership and management capacity development approaches and tailored specifically for physical rehabilitation centers. ICRC and SFD now have EMP trainers in 15 countries.
Communication and Coaching Skills Program: a workshop that provides hands-on practice in developing conversational and coaching skills to improve interpersonal communication, coordination of actions, and performance as a team. So far, the LMG Project has trained 21 ICRC senior staff in coaching and communications skills.
Working closely with the LMG Project, Jo and Solenne have participated in many of ICRC’s trainings and witnessed the positive impacts on themselves, ICRC, and the physical rehabilitation sector. As Solenne described the impact of the EMP, “For people, it’s a discovery, for me it was a big discovery… It’s a tool that makes people realize how deep the weakness are, not only about the result or the scoring, but about the whole process of going through and analyzing a system.” Solenne and Jo have seen many teams coming together and taking ownership of the process by recognizing their weaknesses and moving from focusing on obstacles to defining a direction. “Now, it’s about doing things better, doing things more efficiently.”
The Communication and Coaching Skills Program has also had a big impact on ICRC, as Jo explains, “It stresses to unlock this immunity to change and I think it will be the result of many people, that if you want change, you start with yourself and not with our partners.” Jo and Solenne are not only motivated by the approach of coaching, but so are their colleagues. As Solenne puts it, “It was visible when you came back as well, that something had happened, and then you were starting to discover a way to approach things differently and that helped.”
Overall, Jo and Solenne are proud of the commitment from ICRC, “As an institution, I am proud of the commitment from my colleagues. I did not expect such a deep commitment from everybody.” ICRC is witnessing the benefits of more efficient managers and leaders: teams are taking ownership, are communicating with each other more effectively and efficiently, and staff at all levels are empowered as leaders in the physical rehabilitation sector.