Catalyzing Capacity Across Tanzania

Dr. Ben Lozare leads one of many workshops in Tanzania.

The breadth and depth of CCP’s focus on capacity strengthening was on display during a visit to Tanzania by Dr. Ben Lozare, JHU∙CCP’s Director of Training and Capacity Building in August. Over the course of a two-and-a-half week trip, Lozare and the JHU∙CCP Tanzania team contributed to strengthening individual and organizational capacity, created new networks and planted the seeds for system-wide change.

In Tanzania, JHU∙CCP implements several USAID-funded projects, spearheaded by the Tanzania Capacity and Communication Project (TCCP). TCCP envisions an environment that enables people to take control of their own health, where individual changes in health lead to healthier families and communities. Recognizing that system-wide change must begin at the source, Lozare facilitated a two-day retreat for all JHU∙CCP staff in Tanzania, resulting in a stronger and more competent team of communication professionals.

The JHU∙CCP staff in Tanzania constitute only one piece of the complex puzzle that is working to improve the Tanzanian health system. In an effort to target the rest of the puzzle, Lozare and the TCCP team implemented a series of daylong trainings focusing on leadership building and communication skills for senior managers at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the Tanzania Commission on AIDS (TACAIDS) who play key roles in decision making and implement programming affecting the health and lives of millions of Tanzanians.

The one-day seminars inspired deep thought and intense discussion about the important role of every individual in both government organizations. The Organizational Development Advisor at TACAIDS summed up the overall sentiment, stating, “I have been to a lot of seminars and meetings like this before, but this one has really gotten me thinking about the way I work and the way I communicate with other people.” The Chairperson of TACAIDS requested that this sort of training be made available to all her staff at regional level as well. TCCP plans to offer the training during the project’s second year.

Among TCCP’s many activities is a mentoring program designed to build individual-level skills. This program which focuses on learning by doing is called the ACE (Advancing Communication Experientially) Mentoring Program. During his trip, Dr. Lozare conducted a one-day seminar for the ACE program fellows and interns. This seminar afforded the 11 ACE fellows and interns the opportunity to have in-depth discussions with Dr. Lozare about communication theory and practice which they will apply in their respective workplaces.

Lozare is no stranger to workshops. The Director of Training and Capacity Building at JHUCCP runs the highly acclaimed Leadership in Strategic Health Communication (LSHC) workshop. Alumni from our courses in Baltimore and elsewhere number over 10,000 ad span over 70 countries. A veteran trainer, long-term sustainability of his efforts is of primary concern. Lozare’s trip to Tanzania in August included a three-day refresher course for the almost 70 enthusiastic graduates of his LSHC workshop. On the final day of the course, the alumni formed the Tanzania Association of Strategic Health Communicators (TASHCOM), a professional organization which aims to promote the effective use of strategic health communication and nurture the growth and welfare of strategic health communication professionals in Tanzania.

Finally, in order to further address the issue of the sustainability of Lozare’s LSHC training, Lozare capped off his short trip to Tanzania with a weeklong training of trainers for facilitators of his flagship course from the Primary Health Care Institute and CARE Tanzania. The goal of this training was to assist a local center of excellence to develop the capacity to deliver the LSHC workshop in Tanzania. Using video and computer technologies, simulated facilitation sessions enabled the trainers to differentiate between teaching and facilitating, hone their skills and improve their techniques in facilitation.

Motivated staff. Trained government officials. Strengthened facilitation skills. And a new network of professionals who will ensure that these efforts continue. Not bad for a two-and-a-half week trip to Tanzania.

View more photos of Dr. Lozare’s capacity strengthening activities in Tanzania.

Learn more about JHU∙CCP’s Capacity Building work and the Tanzania Capacity and Communication Project.

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