Leadership Development Programme: Entry point to address HIV in Papua New Guinea.

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The Leadership Development Program is conducted through a series of 3 workshops, with breakthrough initiatives in between the workshops.  These workshops are aimed at enabling participants to discuss the major factors influencing the spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and learn new strategies to tackle them.  Each participant is encouraged to go through a process of self-assessment, self-reliance and personal initiative. The purpose of each workshop is as follows:

 

First workshop - foundation is laid for a new level of team effectiveness and quality of communication and using examples that can be applied to HIV/AIDS

 

Second workshop (2-3 months later)  - builds on the distinctions and methods already addressed using examples that can be applied to HIV/AIDS.  Provides special focus on systematic approaches to problem solving communication and cooperation and empowering others through feedback

 

Third workshop (3-4 months later) - emphasis on coaching skills, accomplishments of projects and teams, appreciation, and sustainability and growth of action.

 

The overall aims of the Leadership Development Programme in PNG are to:  promote National Capacity Development at the local level through participation in this programme; strengthen capacity for national and local level planning and implementation; and strengthen civil society leadership to support the response to HIV/AIDS at the local level. Four international coaches were brought in to lead the programme and facilitated a series of workshops as part of the leadership development package.

 

Along with the selection of facilitators, these LDP sessions resulted into creation of Breakthrough Initiative Groups, which consisted of participants from the same geographical region or participants who are associated with like-organisations (e.g. NGOs). As a result of a series of workshops, participants identified and selected organizational issues or opportunities that are not being effectively addressed as the focus of special projects they conducted throughout the programmes. Participants used their initiatives both as laboratories for trying out new ideas and methods they learnt in the workshops and as vehicles for producing quantifiable results in their organization’s efforts. In monthly interviews between workshops and until the end of the Programme, consultations took place within each Breakthrough Initiative Group, with half-day meetings during which members hone their skills in project design and management, conflict resolution, and in conducting effective meetings.

 

Breakthrough Initiatives that resulted out of these programs included:

Milne Bay: Adolescent females, life skills and commercial sex  programmes were initiated

Arts and Media: Promoted initiatives to reach the underserved in partnership with performing arts and media

Igat Hope:  Initiated empowerment programmes for  PLWHAs to address stigma and discrimination

NGO/CSO: Strengthened partnerships to build HIV/AIDS competent organizations

FBOs:  Using the “word” to reverse HIV/AIDS

New Guinea Islands: Extended HIV/AIDS programmes to families and communities

Madang: Committee of committed people was established to educate, care and support PLWHA

Morobe: Provincial multi sectoral HIV/AIDS Management Institute to took leadership of HIV response.

Western Province: Engaged women networks and groups to disseminate HIV information

Gulf Province: Mobilized churches, women leaders and youth to disseminate HIV basic information

Manus Province: Network for promoting leadership was esrtablished

Western Highlands: Developed initiatives to empower western highlands PAC on HIV/AIDS

Enga: HIV/AIDS prevention and support for PLWHAs programmes were established

 

A Breakthrough Initiative also emanated from within the UN as a result of the first two LDP workshops, with the formation of a fund designed to provide leveraging for other resources while sustaining action. The fund was initially known as the LDP Breakthrough Initiative Fund and is based on the “small grants’ idea. This initiative however was transferred to National AIDS Council which institutionalized the Fund and currently earmarking an annual allocation of over 300,000 USD to support local level initiatives aimed at addressing HIV.