Tuesday, December 4, 2007

How to improve Human Resource policies?

picture: Jouwert with Blantyre Synof project staff
Jouwert van Geene shared his experiences with strengthening Human Resource Management for partner organisations in Malawi in a case study. This is a shorter version of the case.

A tool for participatory assessment and planning of human resource policies and practices was developed in collaboration with a local consulting company, Sabi Consulting.

The process consisted of the following activities:

  • Interactive assessment of the human resource capacity by group discussions, individual questionnaires and interviews
  • Interactive analysis and prioritisation of human resource issues
  • Development of organisation specific assessment reports with concrete recommendations
  • Implementation planning by partner management
  • After this, organisations would receive specific training on human resource management issues and started to develop their own human resource systems and procedures.

    The assessments raised a lot of issues and put human resource management much higher on their agenda. All partners have changed the way human resource matters are covered by members of the management team. Some changes are easy like the distribution of the organisational chart, others take more time like the development of an HIV/AIDS workplace policy.

    The strategic importance of human resources made them choose a relatively high level of external input. At the same time, they tried to bring down the technical issues to understandable proportions which allowed staff of different levels to participate in the assessment.

    A key learning is the trust that organisations have to place in the facilitators of this process. Human resource issues are sensitive. In this case, organisations had already gone through other interventions with the advisor and the local consultancy firm, for about a year.

      1 comment:

      1. Hi, I am trying to contact Jouwert van Geene because we would like to use the Participatory Capacity Building Toolbox on a new website I am working on for NCDO, I do not have a correct email address. Please contact me peter@vankempenconsultancy.com

        Thanks a million, all the best, Peter Paul van Kempen