In September 2021, the IHR Project’s Workforce Development Team, in partnership with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and led by Dr Claire Bayntun, launched a “Leadership Strengthening Programme”.
A cohort of 12 participants, identified as the “next generation leaders” were selected from across all departments in NCDC, with the aim to enrich their leadership insights and impact. The bespoke, co-owned programme, was designed in collaboration with colleagues at NCDC, overseen by a Steering Committee Chaired by NCDC’s Director-General.
The aims were to:
A mixed-methods design was employed. This incorporated:
Phase 1 of the training launched with a schedule of weekly interactive sessions, evolving over three months to cover 3 core themes:
1) Leadership skills and managing people
2) Mentorship and coaching tools to support rich and purposeful conversations
3) Excellence in leadership through Emotional Intelligence.
At the end of phase 1 participants were invited to complete a psychometric Emotional Intelligence assessment (EQi 2.0) with follow up 1:1 executive coaching sessions with Claire.
The Kirkpatrick model was used to measure impact, with Level 1 Kirkpatrick evaluations collated throughout themes 1, 2 and 3; a Level 2 qualitative survey was completed at the programme midpoint; a Level 3 evaluation will be collated at the end of the programme followed by a Level 4 evaluation post March 2022 to establish the long term value and impact of the programme for NCDC.
The Level 1 evaluations were measured on a quantitative Likert scale, with qualitative free text to collate further personal insights from participants. The feedback across the themes were positive about the design, culture and valuable impact of the programme:
For those individuals who utilised the opportunity to meet with Claire for 1:1 sessions, feedback was received that these were “Insightful and valuable”; that the sessions were “very useful… The sessions have helped me talk about things that helped me develop deeper insights into important aspects of my work and family life.”; and that they “learnt about how to adapt my leadership style, modify it to motivate my team”.
The bespoke Emotional Intelligence in Leadership sessions have been rich and intense. The participants value the specific focus on their own strengths and areas for development, with the personal-professional support and insights this approach offers.
The Director General of Nigeria CDC changed in Oct 2021 and the leadership activity spanned this transition period. The programme continues to aim to support this leadership cadre of participants to navigate this change by:
The intelligence gained by Claire will inform the opportunity to develop a second bespoke leadership strengthening programme for Nigeria CDC to launch in the next UKHSA financial year. This will be progressed in agreement with the Steering Committee at NCDC, including the new DG.
It is hoped that with continuous partnership between NCDC and the UKHSA, and with the full support of the new DG at NCDC, that this will be a continuous, sustainable leadership strengthening activity at NCDC, benefitting the strengths of the organisation, while acting as a role model for other National Public Health Institutes across the continent of Africa.
Written by Dr Claire Bayntun and Ellie Fairfoot