The East Africa Leadership Journey
"The East Africa Leadership Journey is exactly what women in global health in East Africa need and have been yearning for. It’s time that our voices and contributions in global health are showcased by us and through us. It is time for us to rise and lead in balanced confidence and competence."
— NORAH OBUDHO, East Africa Program Director at WomenLift Health
The East Africa Leadership Journey
In this fully-funded 12-month Leadership Journey for mid-career women, participants engage in intensive virtual learning residencies, virtual monthly learning touchpoints, virtual mentoring and coaching sessions, and importantly, a self-directed leadership project – all the while being supported by their coaches, mentors, facilitators, peers, and eminent national, regional, and global leaders in Health.
Alumnae will be part of a lifelong network of allies at local, regional, and global levels who continue to support each other and new cohort members (for example, as mentors) and to advocate for women’s leadership.
Our aim is to create a network of talented women leaders around the world beginning with East Africa, India and the US and provide them with a safe space for independent and collaborative learning to deepen and elevate their leadership impact.
Welcome the 2022 Leadership Journey East Africa Cohort
30 women have been selected for the inaugural East Africa Leadership Journey.
Meet the East Africa Cohort
Meet the East Africa Mentors & Coaches
Leadership Journey Elements
Learning Touchpoints are facilitated, virtual group sessions. Cohort members explore leadership frameworks, research & tools in highly interactive learning touchpoints and workshop-style sessions focused on dynamic practice. The touchpoints focus on personal & professional growth, relevant topics and priorities for health leadership, as well as their Leadership Projects. These sessions allow the cohort to share with and learn from each other.
Through dynamic discussions and hands-on exercises, cohort members enhance their skills, apply them to real-world examples, and reflect on lessons learned. A series of powerful conversations will complement the instruction, featuring eminent figures in the health sector in Africa who have led transformational change.
Effective women leaders are championed by a network of strong supporters, including mentors.
We identify senior-level African women leaders in health from different backgrounds, sectors, and disciplines who are committed to gender equity and to developing other women leaders. Mentoring groups, comprising several cohort members and one mentor, are grouped based on complementary backgrounds and professional trajectory. Cohort members will be able to rely on their mentor for professional and technical guidance during the Journey.
Having a personal leadership coach is critical in helping to navigate change and adapting to new challenges on the path towards leadership roles.
Cohort members are paired with an executive coach who works one-on-one with them to build on their strengths and address areas for growth. Leadership style assessments, including a “360-degree evaluation,” will inform these conversations and enhance each participant’s understanding of their own leadership skills. With this gift of feedback and support from their coach, participants can decide which leadership competencies to focus on, paving the road for them to be more powerful and effective leaders.
The combination of mentors and coaches is powerful as women prepare for the next level of their careers, providing both professional connections and transformational leadership guidance.
Virtual Lift Off
The virtual 2-day ‘Leadership Lift-Off’ event at the end of the Journey celebrates the cohort’s growth as they ‘lift off’ to a new phase of their leadership. Cohort members will reflect on their leadership evolution through the course of the year and present their leadership projects to their peers as well as other global health audiences.
The Leadership Project is an opportunity for each member to design and lead an effort that taps into their expertise, network, passion, and creativity.
Participants enter the Journey with a project idea and develop a Theory of Change, stakeholder analysis, and implementation plan with the guidance of their mentor, coach, and Africanhealth experts. The implementation phase of the project begins in the latter half of the Journey. Finally, at the Leadership Lift-Off event, each cohort member presents a summary of their project’s development and early outcomes.
Implementation of the project does not have to be fully complete by the end of the Journey and will likely continue beyond it.
There are only 4 rules for the Leadership Project:
- It should focus on improving outcomes at the intersection of health and gender equality, or take a gendered lens on a global health issue
- It should leverage your leadership skills
- It should be within your scope of control or influence, but also stretch you beyond your day-to-day work requirements
- You should be passionate about it
Leadership Projects fit into one of four themes:
- Centering women and girls in health
- Catalyzing institutional change
- Optimizing pathways to leadership
- Building integrated & resilient health systems
Your Leadership Project could accomplish one or more of the following, but is not limited to:
- Answering a research question
- Promoting health or gender education in a particular group
- Developing a new or better technology
- Innovating a better way to collect/analyze/use health/gender data
- Improving a gender or health-related process/system in your organization
- Empowering or enabling women in your community or organization to be successful
- Incorporating a gendered lens into a policy, practice or research project where it was absent