Appreciative Inquiry Retreat in Uganda

A workshop was conducted for the EAC Secretariat and GIZ, with the support of two consultants from Perspectivity Enterprise using the ‘Appreciative Inquiry’ approach which is highly participatory and creative, tailored for diverse groups in complex settings.

The EAC Secretariat, based in Arusha,Tanzania, has the mandate to facilitate the regional integration process. The Secretariat has currently 6 Directorates, which work on specific areas, such as Trade, Customs, Finance, Planning and Infrastructure, Productive and Social Sectors, HR & Administration. GIZ is a federally owned German organisation that works with the EAC Secretariat through a GIZ-EAC programme, developed for the period of 2013-2016.

The main objective of the workshop was to orientate the steering committee members and relevant Partner States’ institutions to enhance ownership and effectively drive the implementation of the EAC-RPMPOA.The retreat enabled the steering committee members to clarify the common purpose, develop partnership thinking as well refine set-up roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders. The workshop was attended by participants from all partner states of EAC and took place in Uganda.

Having taken on the responsibility to bring the implementation of EAC-RPMPoA to a new level, the members of the steering committee developed the concepts of National Implementation Plans and steering structures. Based upon a common vision for the future of regional pharmaceutical manufacturing the national strategies lay out practical actions to be taken for each Partner State as well as the necessary structures for RPMPoA implementation. Whilst the plans cater for the specific circumstances in each Partner State a set of concepts and recommendations were uniformly adopted as listed below:

  1. Each country to set up a National Steering Committee that will facilitate its respective EAC-RPMPoA implementation process. Members of these committees should come from all relevant stakeholder groups. The private sector has to play a key role for the committees to become closely linked to business realities.
  2. The responsibility for the implementation process including the set-up of the National Steering Committees should fall under the responsibility of the respective Ministry responsible for Industrialization.
  3. A Focal Point for RPMPoA implementation needs to be established within the Ministries responsible for Industrialization. This person or office will be the main national contact for the EAC Secretariat as well as other relevant national and regional stakeholders.
  4. There is a need for the EAC Secretariat to develop a Monitoring & Evaluation Framework (M&E) to capture the implementation of the RPMPOA at national levels.
  5. Each Partner State should nominate a National Champion for RPMPoA implementation. For the process to be successful RPMPoA needs sufficient public attention and access to top political decision makers. Thus, the Champion should be a widely known public figure with a link to the pharmaceutical sector as well as to high political circles.
  6. EAC through support from GIZ and in partnership with the national steering committee should carry out national consultative workshops to enhance awareness of the EACRPMPOA and the M&E framework.