DGI Consult has facilitated a four-day Organisational Capacity Strengthening (OCS) workshop in Nasarawa State to build the individual, organisational, and system capacity of the Nasarawa State Health Insurance Agency (NASHIA) and the Nasarawa State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NAPHDA).
It was earlier reported that DGI Consult had been engaged by USAID Local Health System Strengthening (LHSS) Project to strengthen the organisational capacity of State Health Insurance Agencies (SSHIAs) and State Primary Health Care Development Agencies (SPHCDAs) in Nasarawa, Plateau, and Zamfara States.
The first OCS workshop took place in Nasarawa following the completion of the state’s health system organisational capacity assessment and the development of the capacity strengthening and implementation plan.
The objectives of the workshop included deepening participants’ understanding of key leadership and management concepts, building capacity on effective partnership and collaboration to harness external support for operations, and deepening participants’ understanding of Gender Equality and Social Inclusion practices and its implications for the operations of the agencies.
The workshop also sought to strengthen the capacity of participants on key aspects of health insurance operations including marketing and resource mobilisation, as well as primary healthcare operations including supportive supervision, human resource for health, and minimum service package.
Speaking on the reason for the workshop, LHSS Nigeria’s Chief of Party, Dr Bolanle Olusola-Faleye, said the goal of the organisation is to improve population coverage and equitable access to high quality primary healthcare services.
“We have a mandate to support primary health care development agency to improve the revitalisation of primary healthcare facilities such that we’ll have more fully functional healthcare facilities. In line with those objectives, we have a responsibility to strengthen the capacity of the institutions that are supposed to do this for the people. From the LHSS perspective, what we intend to achieve is to ensure that these individual organisations are able to fulfil their mandate in a more strategic way,” she said, adding that strengthening the institutions for the poor and vulnerable is important because the stakes are high.
NASHIA’s Head of Planning, Research, Statistics and ICT, Dr Simon Istifanus, described the workshop as a needed intervention to close the gaps in the agency.
He said, “LHSS commissioned DGI Consult to do an organisational capacity assessment for NASHIA to find out the gaps that were there and prior to that time, we had interacted and mentioned a lot of challenges that we were facing. It was very obvious that there were gaps and serious issues that we needed to work on and that led to overall organisational assessment. Based on the assessment, DGI came up with a plan to close the gaps.”
Dr Istifanus said most of the gaps were associated with Human Resource for Health, and the agency’s processes and operations. He said the marketing department was grappling with understaffing and staff members who lacked understanding of the health insurance operations due to diverse backgrounds.
The Program Director, DGI Consult, Dr Gafar Alawode, said the training modules were tailored to fill the capacity gaps in NASHIA and NAPHDA.
“The training modules of the workshop were based on the findings of the capacity assessment and areas of gaps that were jointly identified by DGI Consult, NASHIA, and NAPHDA,” he said.
Commenting on DGI Consult’s expertise as the leading implementer of the workshop, Dr Olusola-Faleye said that when LHSS advertised for indigenous organisations to apply for grants, they wanted an organisation that is Nigerian with vast experience in building the capacity of organisations. According to her, DGI Consult’s proposal stood out, making the consulting agency LHSS Project’s official grantee.
She said, “They’ve been part of the design from the start and with their experience working in other states, establishing supporting similar health insurance agencies and even primary healthcare development agencies in other states, we knew we could achieve a lot together.We had the idea for the grant but by the time we engaged DGI, we developed an implementation plan together and then, they were the leading implementer in terms of the organisational capacity assessment. So, DGI has been very instrumental in the whole development process and even as we implement it.”
Watch a summary of the workshop below: