Project Government Capacity Building, DRC (2015-2016)
We were invited in 2015 by the Government of the DRC to train and certify coaches who had been supporting Government leaders in shaping and implementing Rapid Results Initiatives in the country for several years.
Our counterpart was SENAREC, the capacity building unit in Government sponsored by the World Bank and other funders to support the Government with training and other capacity building initiatives.
Over a twelve-month period, RRI coaches accompanied the Congolese coaches as they launched and supported teams in all regions of the country. Along the way, they provided progressively more nuanced training about the 100-Day Challenge choreography, and then observed the coaches as they implemented the concepts and tools with their teams.
At the end of the twelve months, the coaches participated in a 3-day examination, where they had to perform specific tasks, conduct role plays, and design sessions for 100-Day teams. 13 out of the 17 coaches who participated in the program were certified.
This was a seminal experience for the RRI and the catalysts that led this work. It was a chance to revisit the legacy of the work RRI did ten years ago when we introduced the Rapid Results Approach in several African countries, with support and sponsorship from the World Bank.
The DRC coaches had been trained and were being supported by two experienced coaches whom we had trained in in Madagascar in 2004 and 2005. Naturally, our practice and choreography had evolved over the years, and we were able to significantly ‘up the game’ of the DRC coaches. In particular, we helped them shift their demeanor and behavior from project management to change catalysts.
Once they made this shift, they were able to help the teams they worked with achieve much stronger results. It also gave the coaches a sense of common purpose: to liberate the capabilities of teams in their communities and to give everyone a voice in shaping their goals and their solutions.
For the RRI catalysts, it was a revelation to see how much value they could bring to a system that was already using 100-Day Challenges, but not exploiting their full potential. The catalysts were hugely impressed by the capability and the dedication of the Congolese coaches. It made us all realize how important it is for the RRI to reconnect with its roots and build on its own legacy in Africa.
The work was done against a backdrop of political instability and security concerns, especially as the RRI team travelled to some of the trouble spots such as Northern Kivu province. The Congolese hosts were remarkable in helping the team feel safe and welcome, regardless of the surroundings.
The main project objective was to certify at least 10 Conglose coaches so they can apply the approach at the highest level of proficiency inside the DRC and outside. This objective was met. Importantly, this project paved the path for a much broader effort on training and certification that has become one of the pillars of the RRI strategy to make a broader impact on tough societal challenges.
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