Sustaining Essential Management Skills for Rehabilitation Centers

Since 2014, the USAID-funded Leadership, Management, and Governance (LMG) Project has partnered with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Special Fund for the Disabled (SFD) to deliver the Essential Management Package-Leadership Development Program (EMP-LDP) – a unique package of tools including the Essential Management Systems Assessment Tool (EMSAT), the Leadership Development Program Plus (LDP+), and the Work-related Stress Intervention (WRS) – that the LMG Project has adapted for rehabilitation centers and service providers working with people with disabilities.

The Francophone training of trainers held in Lomé, Togo from August 29-September 2, 2016. (Photo: Meredith Schlussel/MSH)

From August 29th to September 2nd, 2016, the first Francophone training of trainers (ToT) was organized in Lomé, Togo, in conjunction with the 8th International Congress of the Federation of African Technicians. In total, 28 center managers, heads of department, administrative staff, and ICRC resident and mobile staff participated in the training representing 7 countries: Benin, Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Mali, and Togo.

These new trainers will now be prepared to use the EMSAT and the newly introduced WRS to identify needs within their centers, before applying EMP-LDP modules to address these needs and implement effective change in their centers.

Sharing Past Experiences

Not only was this ToT the first French-speaking training, but it was also facilitated by two past EMP-LDP participants from ICRC-SFD: Yvan Sidler, Africa Regional Manager, and Astrid Kalanga, Field Officer.

Both Yvan and Astrid participated in the first EMP-LDP in 2014, and since then have worked to master the material and incorporate positive leading and managing practices into their own work. After working with ICRC’s partner center in Kinshasa to implement the EMP-LDP, Astrid facilitated her own ToT with three additional partner centers to implement the program.

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Having facilitators who already participated in the program proved to be extremely valuable to the overall training, and they added to the overall interest and enthusiasm of ICRC staff and rehabilitation center staff. Yvan and Astrid provided a unique perspective that many facilitators who have not participated in the program could not provide.

Not only were they able to share firsthand challenges and successes from implementing the EMP-LDP in a rehabilitation center, but also their personal growth as better manager and leaders in their organization. Additionally, they provided relatable examples of real challenges they had faced, while also showing the positive outcomes the program could bring to the participants’ centers. This left country teams returning to their respective centers with a “can-do” attitude and more confidence in implementing the program.

As we strive for partners to take ownership of their work, we should likewise encourage participants of past trainings to become facilitators themselves. They are often the best ambassadors of a program, possessing the power to contaminate others with the positive transformation better leadership and management practices can bring.

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