Alum Kaiko Mukololo answered a few questions regarding her experience with Making Decentralization Work:Tools for Health Policy Makers and Managers. Currently she works as a Health Systems Specialist for the Zambia Health Services Improvement Project which is World Bank funded but implemented in the Ministry of Health.
What aspect(s) of the course was most applicable to setting your goal and why?
Conflict Resolution, for me, has been a key topic as I work with different units who happen to have different needs, sometimes there interests are not funded or have to be delayed for various reasons that they may not necessarily understand. Being able to use the approaches learnt in the course such as a literal walk in the woods, where you discuss and find common understanding has helped ease some misunderstandings (The Walk in the Woods) and;
Meta leadership is also another concept I found very interesting as again we are in different units, attached to some statutory bodies and also implementing at provincial health office, district and health centre level. Being able to understand by level the different needs of the different institutions, and to focus on asking “what do I need to assist you with to help you achieve your goal” is important. Using a holistic tool such as the Analytical framework taught during the introduction session has been extremely helpful.
Politics of decentralization – the policy maker exercise is another tool that I utilize to an extent, I have realized that not all decisions making may be suitable to be decentralized and that stakeholder involvement at all levels remains very important.
What course lecture / lecturer influenced you the most?
Professor Bossert stood out for me. He taught the course without showing inclination to a position of for or against decentralization itself, adding that context is important, and I quote in some cases centralization may be required instead or decentralization or regionalization. He gave us the tools with the view that we ourselves should be able to create a position of what may work depending on the situation on the ground
What part of the program did you enjoy the most?
I enjoyed coming up with the presentation, it pushed me to apply the concepts in a practical way and come up with a possible road-map which I since submitted to the Ministry of Health and World Bank upon return
How has the course on Decentralization benefited you in your current position/job?
My level of analysis has improved as am able to better negotiate through the techniques I learnt
I work with the unit looking at quality Assurance and currently we are trying to come up with a Quality Improvement Conference. I have found that my notes on Quality improvement have been most helpful in understanding what the unit may be working towards.