The Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy (PALAMA) takes upon itself the up-skilling of government officials in South Africa, its overall aim being to significantly improve service delivery. In 2011, through a rigorous selection process, Regenesys Business School was sub-contracted to deliver this training.
The Khaedu project was then initiated by PALAMA, as a contribution to South Africa’s foreign policy imperatives to improve management and leadership capacity of the public service in Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan, PALAMA initiated a very special project in which Regenesys was also included.
The aptly named Khaedu (TshiVenda for “Challenge”) project challenges and empowers managers to be the agents of change for service delivery in their own work environments. The venture, funded by the Canadian government, sought to assist these three countries as they pass through their respective phases of post-conflict reconstruction and development.
Little over a month ago, the Khaedu Project reached its successful conclusion as approximately 25 senior managers (as well as four to five trainers who would later pass the knowledge on to non-attendees) from each of the countries completed their training. In these three vital pockets of Africa, significant change was afoot.
Training was facilitated by William Vivian, Regenesys Director and co-founder, in Kigali (Rwanda); by Sibongiseni Kumalo, Regenesys Director and Academic Manager, in Juba (South Sudan); and by Ronel Burger, Regenesys Deputy CEO, in Bujumubra (Burundi).
The first week of training focused on theory and the practical application of this theory to a case study. The course outcomes included:
- Alignment – understanding service delivery in a workplace context.
- Understanding the problem – problem-solving techniques.
- Generating ideas – process analysis and optimisations, allocation of resources, analysing organisational culture and values.
- Planning for action – implementation, change management, project management.
Participants were then given three weeks in which to complete a workplace-based assignment requiring them to implement what they had learnt during training to their own work environment.
In Week 2, students embarked on a field assignment. As a group, participants selected a government department, applied what they had learnt during the training and presented a report to the department (South Sudan: Passport and Immigration Department; Rwanda: Main Hospital; Burundi: Traffic Department).
“This process solidifies the knowledge for the participants and each of the government departments undertook to implement the suggestions,” said Ronel Burger of Regenesys.
Sibongiseni Kumalo added that “this project meant a great deal to each of the participating countries. It was seen a groundbreaking work that could be a catalyst for improved service delivery and stability in the participating government departments [...] I was interviewed on National Television to inform the citizens of the project and of the progress made and my colleague was honoured at a formal function in Burundi – we felt privileged to be involved with a project that is transforming service delivery of these government departments, which will have a direct impact on the lives of their citizens.”