IDM facilitates Systems Thinking workshop for DHMTs

Monday, May 23, 2022 - 11:45

Institute of Development Management (IDM) on the 19th and 20th of May 2022 hosted a Systems Thinking for Strengthening District Health Systems Dissemination workshop in Palapye, aimed at sharing a comprehensive overview of the  project.
The Systems Thinking for District Health Strengthening (ST-DHS) project is a multi-country collaboration Initiative involving three countries- Botswana, Pakistan and Timor-Leste. 
The initiative is funded by the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research (HPSR) at the World Health Organization (WHO). The local teams involved in Botswana include; the Ministry of Health (MoH) and its two participating DHMTs (Greater Gaborone and North East DHMT) and the Institute of Development Management (IDM).
The collaboration started on April 3rd 2020 when IDM was awarded the contract following the institute’s successful bid to the Alliance’s call for proposals from research institutions.
IDM Country Director Dr Theophilus Mooko, when giving the opening remarks at the workshop, said that the Systems Thinking tools that individuals have been exposed to, will enable them to deal with complex issues and be able to arrive at the most viable solutions at their respective District Health Management Teams (DHMT).                                  
Dr Mooko said the remaining DHMTs that have not been part of the current phase are going to look up to those who participated to provide the necessary guidance and wisdom for the benefit of Botswana.
“I have no doubt that you have the technical knowhow and commitment to drive this initiative. Whenever you feel like giving up, remember Palapye, the symbol of your convergence,” Dr Mooko said.
“It is very important that as we move to the next stage, we need to find ways of developing knowledge communities. The impact of this project shall be influenced by the extent to which we build the necessary partnerships and networks through which you shall share ideas and solutions that are focussed on improving the lives of the people we serve.”
Dr Mooko encouraged participants to build the necessary resilience and determination in order to succeed in driving the change management process that the partners are now embarking upon.
“You are likely to meet all forms of resistance and criticism. Don’t be discouraged when you face the road block called: We have been doing it this way, so why should we change?” said Dr Mooko.
According to the Project Leader (Principal Consultant- IDM), Ellen Mokalake, the primary aim of the project is to support district health management teams to apply systems thinking tools and methods to understand and intervene in their local health systems.
“In this project, IDM serves as a local research institution (RI) working directly with the Ministry of Health and implementing the project in the two selected districts (Greater Gaborone DHMT and North East DHMT). IDM is supported by a Technical Support Centre (TSC) based at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health (Swiss TPH) Institute, in Basel, Switzerland,” said Mokalake.
The specific objectives of this project are three-fold; to strengthen district health systems by strengthening the capacities of district health managers to apply systems thinking tools and approaches to their routine practice; to adapt systems thinking tools, methods and approaches to district health managers’ needs, and to document the experiences of district managers to co-create and share knowledge and lessons learnt.
The workshop attracted all key stakeholders for the ST-DHS Initiative, thus Ministry of Health, World Health Organisation -Local office, Greater Gaborone DHMT, North East DHMT and the host DHMTs (Serowe/Palapye and Mahalapye).