FOSDA 2021 RETREAT: CREATING THE NEW FOSDA TOGETHER: A JOURNEY OF POSSIBILITY.
The Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA) has held its annual retreat for 2021 in Accra at Ampomaah Tourist Hotel from 1st-3rd February 2021. FOSDA’s annual staff retreat is an important part of the organization’s development strategy to promote staff bonding and generate new ideas for the year. This is pivotal to the staff’s harmony and productivity because as the saying goes ‘All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy (& Jill a dull girl).
The retreat was held under the theme Creating the New FOSDA Together: a Journey of Possibility. The 3-day retreat brought together Board members, Staff and Partners. Overall, twelve (12) participants represented at the event.
Importantly, the retreat seeks to first, develop an action plan for 2021; second, increase staff knowledge about FOSDA and its work; third, promote appreciation of staff roles towards achieving FOSDA vision and mission and finally to develop a fundraising plan. It was also was an opportunity to brainstorm on the new 5-year strategic plan for the 2021-2025 period; and plan for the 20th anniversary celebration of the organization. These two major events are critical towards forging sustainable paths for the new FOSDA.
Day1- The Transformative Journey. FOSDA (the old and new)
Two Board members who participate virtually; Dr Moses Mensah and Mad. Afi Azaratu shared with participants where, how, why FOSDA started and where it aspires to be with the changing phase and complexities of the human security issues around the globe. The historic and future perspectives where discussed. They encouraged the staff to always be ahead of issues by responding proactively in the media space; building capacity; broadening fundraising strategy; and branding and selling FOSDA as a unique Center of Excellence to promote peace and human security.
The 2020 performance review highlighted on the key programmes implemented and their achievements and lessons to transfer to the new times ahead. Mention was made of the Domestic Revenue Mobilization (DRM) through Citizen Engagement project in Jirapa and Shai Osudoku Districts; COVID-19 Response programme in Ashanti Region, Ghana Youth Development Enhancement Project (GYDEP) in 7 regions; Citizens Action for Peaceful Election (CAPE), the Citizens Peace Ambassador (CPAs) and Administration of all these projects. Every lead staff on the projects shared a success story and lessons learnt to drive subsequent programmes.
Dr. Esther Offei Aboagye one of Ghana’s finest in the local governance and gender circles who developed FOSDA’s costed strategic plan in a virtual submission said the plan serves as a reference document for accountability and collaboration and demonstrates how FOSDA intends to respond to the changing social, political and economic environment at the sub-national, national, regional and international levels with objectives, strategies, guiding principles and activities thereby providing an agenda for co-operation with potential partners. She added that a Theory of Change (ToC) as well as the direction of change under each of the three objectives (Peace and Security, Governance and Institutional Development); the outcome framework to provides a logic for the directional change; inputs for the key performance indicators that can be associated with the different activities that were identified and women issues had been captured in the plan.
The vision of becoming a Center of Excellence for pursuing secure livelihoods for vulnerable groups and a mission of promoting human security through the values of commitment, transparency, respect and integrity was appreciated by the staff. This was followed by the development of key activities under the 3 strategic areas of local governance strengthening, human security and organization development.
Day2- The Team: Stronger together
the second day’s activities focused on role plays and exercises. These activities led to the development of the FOSDA pitch statement as an organization that focuses on peace and threats to human security through research, capacity building, advocacy and policy influencing for women and youth in Ghana and Africa.
The was followed by series of activities on appreciate enquiry, staff strengths and achievements, personal leadership and development of key activities to be implemented in 2021 under the 3 thematic objectives in the strategic plan.
Day3- The Transformative Journey. FOSDA (the new agenda)
Again, the third day’s activities were dominated by role plays and exercises to fine tune the identified activities under the strategic objectives.
Mrs Magdalene Kannae, a board member trained staff on Teambuilding. This training and coupled with the demands of the new strategy document led to modification of the existing FOSDA teams and their roles. The New teams are Research, Knowledge and Media (previously as Knowledge and Research) responsible for generating new knowledge through research and proceed to engage the media; The second team retained is Admin and Finance responsible providing the necessary environment for all teams to operate; another retained team is the communication and ICT who are responsible communicating FOSDA to the world and dealing with ICT challenges in the organization. A new team responsible for Fundraising was formed to help raise the needed resources to implement the activities to achieve the 3 objectives.
An action planning process and fund-raising plan were put together from the various teams to complete the retreat.
Throughout the program the balance of fun (Ask Me Anything-AMA and What you know about Me) and learning contributed greatly to getting to know each other, our strengths, weaknesses and how to grow together. This cannot be overemphasized as key to productivity.