Clear Direction and Empowerment Drive Success - UNDP Rwanda tells its storyJul 11, 2016
The UNDP Rwanda Country Office strives to promote an environment of continuous learning and growth where staff have all they need to succeed, be it training, mentorship, clear guidance or mechanisms to achieve a healthy work-life balance. Staff in the office see themselves as a family of colleagues with the best interests of one another at heart.
“We have consistently placed emphasis on providing clear direction to staff, empowering them, enhancing their skills, but also paying attention to their personal needs both in times of sadness and happiness.” - Lamin M. Manneh (RC/RR Rwanda CO)
Empowerment of staff is a key ingredient of UNDP Rwanda’s success and its many tangible results, especially in the areas of democratic governance, environment and climate change, and building resilience. In 2015, the office supported the Government and other key stakeholders to successfully complete the 2nd Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The UPR is a mechanism used to review and improve the human rights situation in the country.
Additionally, in preparations for the next electoral cycle beginning in 2016, the CO worked with the National Electoral Commission to ensure the implementation of a sound Information Communications Infrastructure for elections management, online voting, and for the development and review of civic and voter education policy. UNDP also contributed to the capacity development of Community Mediators (Abunzi) which reduced backlogs in courts, scaled up access to justice, and supported the Rwanda National Police to reduce crime. With UNDP support, the Government of Rwanda launched the Fund for the Environment and Climate Change (FONERWA), which mobilized US $75 million in the last two years of its existence. The Fund have financed 23 national and local environment programmes to date.
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In addition, a comprehensive disaster risk assessment was conducted, helping Rwanda make a critical shift to more evidence-based disaster risk management. This work culminated in the launch of the National Risk Atlas in 2015, the first-ever comprehensive risk profile developed in Africa.
Applying best practices
In order to maintain and accelerate progress and continue expanding a strong portfolio of effective development initiatives and projects, the Rwanda CO invests in identifying and implementing good management practices around the office. Investment into communication and support and opportunities for growth are just two of many examples.
“As soon as I joined UNDP, I got a lot of support from my direct supervisor, but also from the top management of the institution. First of all trying to explain what UNDP is, what is expected from you, and from their own experiences sharing some of the challenges you can encounter.” - Nadine Umutoni Rugwe (Head of Governance and Peace Consolidation Unit)>
Clear, open and consistent communication between colleagues is facilitated by regular meetings where staff are encouraged to express their ideas and share views. In addition to office and team meetings, all supervisors have weekly check-ins with staff to determine in which way they may best support the team and achieve its goals.
As a matter of regular practice, staff are encouraged to engage in opportunities for professional development. One way this is done is by purposefully including staff from different units in cross-unit task teams and working groups, so that individuals could participate in projects that may be different from their regular tasks, but are exciting opportunities for expanding skill sets and gaining new knowledge. In addition to obvious business benefit whereby more views and ideas are put on the table, such an initiative allows staff to continuously learn, identify new areas for growth, and develop more diverse transferableskills and competencies.