World Health Organization (WHO) South Sudan conducted a three-day staff retreat from 24 to 26 January 2023 in Juba.
The objective of the retreat was to do a self-reflection on the progress the office has made so far and how it can work better as a team to achieve the Triple Billion goals in South Sudan to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.”
The event brought together 187 WHO personnel from Juba and the States.
Participants reviewed progress made so far in implementing the 2022-23 biennium and agreed on tangible recommendations to make South Sudan the most progressive country office. Staff were oriented on the mission and functions of WHO and discussed issues related to teamwork, transformation, collaboration and coordination.
Dr Fabian Ndenzako, WHO Representative a.i. for South Sudan said that the retreat provided an opportunity for staff to reflect on their performance, identify gaps, challenges and chart ways for improvement.
“This retreat should change the way we go about our business,” said Dr Ndenzako. “We should now strive to achieve more together as a team, so that we can have impact in the lives of people we serve through ensuring timely provision of services”.
The retreat was facilitated by the Regional Director’s transformation team and offered an invaluable opportunity for the whole WHO team in South Sudan to meet and know each other. The teams consisted of staff from the main office in Juba as well as staff from the 10 State offices comprising of all levels of staff – from cleaners to technical officers to senior management.
The participants were able to discuss, drivers, the retreat shared on some information that all staff needed to know. The main focus was on team building activities with relevant content to enhance teamwork in the office using participatory approaches and practical examples to address the realities at the workplace. These activities were in form of small discussion groups, live demonstrations on applying techniques learnt, and videos were used for visual learning.
A session on Prevention and Response to Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment (PRSEAH) was also held during the retreat. The session enhanced staff understating on PRSEAH, including confidential reporting channels. It also contributed to understanding WHO’s commitment to zero tolerance for SEAH. During the retreat PRSEAH visibility materials were distributed to all staff (including T-shirts, cotton-bags, wrist bands and pens).
The retreat was a great success and received positive feedback from the staff and they indicated that the retreat met and even exceeded their expectations. Several recommendations were made including issues such as conducting leadership capacity building, improving collaboration among teams, improving facilities in the office environment and staff members supporting and participating in change management issues. The retreat not only sharpened the organization’s focus but also it clarified WHO South Sudan’s priorities and boosted team building among staff.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Health Organization (WHO) – South Sudan.