From 4 – 8 February 2019, the African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) organized a five – day meeting for reviewing performance for Year 1 (2017/2018) of the current 5-year Strategic Plan and also plan for Year 2 (2018/2019). The meeting also served as a team building opportunity for 66 members of staff and senior management drawn from the secretariat and the network countries across the continent.
The retreat was held at the Igongo Country Resort, Mbarara in south western Uganda from 4 – 8 February 2019 with the aim of rallying all staff and management team to focus on the important task of reviewing past performance, drawing lessons learnt and planning for the future.
The specific objectives of the retreat were:
- To review the performance for Year 1 (October 2017 – September 2018) against the strategic plan objectives and targets at department and corporate levels.
- To develop and share the Year 2 (October 2018 – September 2019) annual departmental work plans
- To enhance staff relationships through team building exercises.
AFENET Executive Director - Dr Chima Ohuabunwo made remarks to mark the opening of the meeting and thanked staff for making time to review the work plan.
To represent AFENET’s 7 regional hubs, the Regional Technical Coordinators (RTCs) together with regional administrators participated in the review and planning exercises. These were: Dr Patrick Nguku, for Nigeria and Anglophone West Africa; Dr Bernard Sawadogo for Francophone West Africa; Dr Ditu Kazambu for Central Africa & Indian Ocean; Dr Olivia Namusisi East Africa (represented); Dr Tatek Bogale for Horn of Africa and Dr Notion Gombe, Southern & Lusophone Africa.
The objectives of the retreat were pursued through a combination of approaches including group discussions, presentations, interactive approach (Q&A from plenary) to engage all participants, and flip charts to capture key take home messages from the presentations. To rally staff to embrace team work and cohesion as a strategy towards successful implementation of the strategic plan, several team building activities were done; including out-door games, cultural and talent showcasing, and wellness exercises.
In addition, a risk management training session was facilitated by staff from the Internal Audit and Risk Management Department in order to identify the main strategic and operational risks that face the organization’s operations and ways of controlling them.
The main outputs of the retreat were: Year 1 (2017/2018) performance reviewed; Year 2 (2018/2019) departmental work plans drafted, strategic and operational risks identified and team building exercises done. These outputs will be communicated to the upcoming Board of Directors Meeting to be held in February 2019.