In support of the United State Agency for International Development (USAID)/Malawi Mission’s performance management and monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) the Learn to Perform Activity conducted six retreats for the Mission’s technical offices of Health Population and Nutrition (HPN), Sustainable Economic Growth (SEG), and Program Development and Analysis (PDA) in order to refresh and review the offices’ operations post-COVID-19.
The retreats prepared staff for the country operational planning exercise, enhanced team cohesion, and offered a platform for participatory and collaborative review of HPN’s office vision. Using a myriad of participatory approaches across group work and plenaries, participants were actively engaged in delivery of the sessions. Staff across offices had the opportunity to share their experiences and knowledge and strategize ways of leveraging each other’s capabilities to tackle common challenges. Each technical office then developed an action plan for earmarked tasks that were formulated to address specific needs uncovered during the retreats.
Learn to Perform worked closely with Mission leadership to plan and facilitate these retreats, which were informed by needs assessment survey findings completed by participants prior to the sessions. Learn to Perform prioritized the retreats to create a working environment that emphasized collaboration, learning, communication, and growth. The retreats were effective, engaging, and successful, and participating USAID teams reported feeling more connected and better equipped to work collaboratively.