An innovative leadership development initiative to support building everyday resilience in health systems

by Jacinta Nzinga, Mwanamvua Boga, Nancy Kagwanja, Dennis Waithaka, Edwine Barasa, Benjamin Tsofa, Lucy Gilson and Sassy Molyneux

Effective management and leadership are essential for everyday health system resilience, but actors charged with these roles are often underprepared and undersupported to perform them. Particular challenges have been observed in interpersonal and relational aspects of health managers’ work, including communication skills, emotional competence and supportive oversight. Within the Resilient and Responsive Health Systems (RESYST) consortium in Kenya, the authors worked with two county health and hospital management teams to adapt a package of leadership development interventions aimed at building these skills. This article provides insights into: (1) the content and co-development of a participatory intervention combining two core elements: a complex health system taught course, and an adapted communications and emotional competence process training; and (2) the findings from a formative evaluation of this intervention which included observations of the training, individual interviews with participating managers and discussions in regular meetings with managers.

25th June 2021 • comment