June 18, 2014

Expanding and Improving Leadership and Management in Rwanda

Kidest Nadew and Sarah Trent, HRH Rwanda Health Managers

This year, we are working as health managers at King Faisal Hospital (KFH) in a partnership with local leadership to implement quality improvement projects. As part of the Human Resources for Health Rwanda program (HRH) funded by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Yale Global Health Leadership Institute we helped design and implement a nurse leadership and management education series that trained sixteen KFH nurse managers about topics such as time management, decision-making, communication skills, and team building.  The ten-week training was structured around an inclusive partnership model co-developed by US faculty and KFH leaders.  The program provided a better understanding of how to offer culturally and professionally relevant leadership training content.

We have already seen the results of the training, as demonstrated by more effective working relationships between King Faisal nursing leadership. The leadership and time management sessions provided insight into how different cultures perceive leadership, preferences around leadership styles, and time management practices. Sessions were tailored to facilitate improved participation and experiential learning through group exercises and dialogue. Students were highly engaged throughout the interactive training sessions. We also learned more about our own communication skills and styles as the sessions helped us to reflect on the cultural constructions surrounding time management habits in the Rwandese and Western cultures. We were especially attentive to language differences, cultural viewpoints, and unique working styles as we moved through the training content.

Participants’ feedback has been extremely positive and given this response, we launched subsequent leadership and management trainings at two other Rwandan hospitals in partnership with their leadership teams. It is extremely motivating to partner with such talented and eager colleagues and we are grateful for the time our colleagues committed to this important training.