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Training Trainers to Deliver Leadership Development Programs: Lessons Learned from Capacity Building in IPPFARO Learning Centers

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Training Trainers to Deliver Leadership Development Programs:Lessons Learned from Capacity Building in IPPFARO Learning Centers

The USAID-funded Leadership, Management, and Governance (LMG) Project partnered with four International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Regional Office (IPPFARO) Member Associations, designated as Learning Centers for their unique capacity and leadership capabilities in focus areas related to family planning, SRH services, and HIV/AIDS. 

The LMG Project trained Learning Center staff to facilitate the Leadership Development Program Plus (LDP+) with teams from their branches in Uganda,  Ghana, Mozambique , and Cameroon, with a goal of improving FP/RH service uptake indicators.

The LDP+ is an experiential learning program that teaches teams of health workers leadership, management, and governance (L+M+G) skills to improve their capacity to respond creatively to workplace challenges. Teams learn practical skills to overcome challenges by developing shared visions, analyzing inhibiting factors, and planning innovative solutions to achieve desired clinical outcomes. They apply these skills by implementing service delivery quality improvement projects. The LDP+ provides guidance on engaging relevant stakeholders and governing bodies to achieve scale-up.

From 2013-2014, the LMG Project trained 59 Learning Center staff to facilitate the LDP+ in a training of trainers (TOT) approach. These facilitators delivered 5-day step-down trainings and provided follow-up coaching to participants in the branches, who utilized their new L+M+G skills to develop 5-8 month action plans to improve a selected clinical outcome.

Across the four countries, between 2014-2016, these local trainers have facilitated 29 step-down trainings to their branches to increase FP/RH service delivery uptake. Reproductive Health Uganda also trained IPPF partners in Malawi and Tanzania in the LDP+.

After completing the LDP+, facility teams reported increases in the number of FP/RH services accessed by local communities. Teams targeted underserved populations  including sex workers, rural populations, and school-age youth. They focused on increasing uptake of sexual and reproductive health services such as cervical cancer screening and treatment, SRH counseling, and Hepatitis B treatment. 

With training and coaching by facilitators from the four Learning Centers, teams of health workers who implemented the LDP+  improved performance and achieved or surpassed their health indicator targets. Working in teams, participants gained key leadership, management, and governance experience, and integrated these skills to improve access to essential FP/RH services for youth and underserved populations in their communities.

Many of the teams, having completed their action plans and met their targets, have identified and taken on other challenges affecting provision of quality SRHR services in communities.

The evidence suggests that the LDP+ improves performance and service delivery outcomes. The independent scale-up of the LDP+ by Learning Center facilitators (both within and beyond their countries) is a prime example of how this low-cost and effective quality improvement process can be adopted and locally owned. 

LDP+ TOT participants strengthened their capacity to overcome challenges and deliver better health services, and have transferred that capacity building approach to other teams of providers. IPPFARO is institutionalizing the LDP+ as a tool the Learning Centers will continue offering to regional Member Associations and to other stakeholders. In some cases the Learning Centers will charge for their LDP+ facilitation services, as a financial mobilization strategy. The team-based approach is a demonstrated way to build sustainable results and empower facility staff to tackle challenges and increase their ability to provide quality services in their communities.

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