Leaders from more than 20 NSOs gathered in Rwanda for a leadership training course aimed at strengthening a broad range of skills needed to thrive in a rapidly-changing statistical landscape. During the week, participants also had opportunities to share their own experiences and learn from peers during the workshop, co-hosted by PARIS21, the African Union Commission, Statafric and the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda and supported by FAO.
The workshop is part of a series that PARIS21 and our partners have been running since 2015 to help NSO heads better understand their strengths and weaknesses and impart the skills and knowledge that they need to meet the challenges that they face both internally within their respective organisation and externally within the larger environment in which they work. NSO heads rarely have the opportunity to receive extensive feedback from staff and stakeholders outside, and the workshops provide a unique opportunity to develop the leadership skills necessary to drive within the NSO and the NSS.
Each individual has his/her own leadership style. PARIS21 believes that nurturing and developing these styles and skills with a keen understanding and awareness of the challenges surrounding them will significantly improve the positive self-engagement, collaboration, and contribution to the field that leaders are engaged in.
The modules are therefore designed around: (1) assessment tools to help leaders look within and examine their identity, leadership skills and challenges and set developmental goals; (2) challenge-oriented, experiential, team-based activities that leverage their own experiences in co-creating solutions to enhance leadership skills; and (3) support through a peer learning and mentoring model that enable leaders to share their challenges, utilize innovation techniques and chart a course for greater effectiveness. Self-knowledge is an important key to effective leadership.
The need for continuous growth and self-development of leaders was echoed by African NSO leaders throughout the workshop, who emphasized the continuously transformative nature of the African statistical context. As Yusuf Murangwa, Director General of the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda put it, “Good policies require good data, which requires ambitious NSOs”. The leadership training course is one vital component of this.