Working with the Southern African AIDS Trust

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Last week I facilitated an interesting workshop on Results Based Management for the Southern African AIDS Trust (SAT).  SAT supports community organisations in a number of southern African countries (Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe) – seeking to build community-level competence to address HIV and AIDS through training and capacity building.   

‘Results Based Management’ (or RBM) is a way of thinking about planning, implementing and evaluating development projects that aims to improve and demonstrate impact.  Most of the workshop participants had previously been trained in how to implement RBM systems – from a theoretical perspective – but they were keen to understand how they could apply RBM approaches in the real context of their work.

This was an exciting challenge, and together with Hester Musandu (the Programmes Director) we decided to start by using an appreciative approach and identifying core questions related to implementing RBM within the work of the Trust.

Identifying the core questions was challenging, but a real break-through came about when the group was challenged to consider RBM from a leadership perspective, rather than from a management perspective.  As soon as we allowed this freedom, the group was able to think more creatively and innovatively about the potential for change!

The common core question that emerged was that the Management Team were keen to see how applying RBM systems and approaches could improve the effectiveness and enhance the impact of SAT’s programmes.  A regional task team was established to lead this process, and we will support the implementation plans as they move forward.