RH Network in India
From Reproductive Health Leaders Network
RH LEADERSHIP NETWORK, India
The Leadership Development for Mobilizing Reproductive Health (LDM) program, implemented by the Institute of International Education and funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, has been offering leadership development opportunities to selected individuals and organizations in India for the past six years. The LDM program is one of many programs funded by the Packard Foundation to build a cadre of leaders in India who can, through exercising strong leadership, impact the health and lives of women and families.
The LDM program's vision is
A critical mass of diverse leaders, working individually and collectively, has affected systemic changes that improve reproductive health options and overall quality of life, especially for vulnerable populations.
We believe that leadership development is an ongoing process and we support the realization of our vision through encouraging ongoing development among all leadership fellows who have participated in the Packard Foundation's various leadership programs. We hope that fellows will continue to expand their ability to lead effectively and will work collectively to enhance reproductive health programs in India. To advance this vision, over the past six years, the LDM Leadership Network was formed three Information Resource and Advocacy Centers (IRACs) in Ranchi, Patna and Muzaffarpur.
SUMMARY OF LEADERSHIP FELLOWS
Today the Reproductive Health Leadership Network has 153 Fellows in India. Majority of the fellows are based in Bihar and Jharkhand, with a few shifted to different parts of the country and some out of country. They are from different organizations and diverse sectors including service delivery, law, media, research, policy makers and advocates. They are heads of organizations, community change agents and health practitioners. They come together in a vibrant network to exchange ideas, share experiences and knowledge, and support each other in their work. There is an active E-network as well as thematic working groups where Fellows can actively promote specific reproductive health issues in their regional areas.
Through the Leadership Network the LDM program facilitates several activities that support ongoing leadership development amongst leadership Fellows.
1. Leadership Development Training and Workshops: The LDM program continues to invest in professionals working for reproductive health, through leadership development activities and other forms of training that add to their professional development. In collaboration with the network members, the LDM program identifies training needs. Participation is then offered to the network for those interested to apply. Often, other opportunities not organised by LDM are floated on the E-network for individuals to pursue independently. Currently we are in the process of developing a core group of master trainers in Leadership Development who can respond to specific requests from Fellows’ organisations, other RH partners and networks for leadership development training.
2. Theme Groups: Leadership Fellows on the network choose their own thematic interests based on strategic interests within reproductive health. These groups aim to bring together Fellows who have common interests so that they may further their learning on the issue, share experiences and take collective action. Thus some of the theme group members have attended study tours on their issues of interest, and some groups have availed thematic mini-grants (see below) to implement collective action based on their areas of interest. Theme groups are also a resource for other partners in the development sector who may have similar thematic interests and who is looking for partnerships for specific activities or advocacy efforts. The current theme groups are:
a. Reproductive Health Service Delivery
b. Public, Private Partnership
c. Adolescent Reproductive Health
e. Media and Communications for Reproductive Health
f. Gender and Reproductive Rights
Fellows may opt for a first choice of thematic interest, which is where LDM will support the Fellows’ participation in group activities. However Fellows are welcome to participate in other theme groups if they so wish. To facilitate this, Fellows also identify their second choice. If you are currently not registered within any of the theme groups, please let us know of your first and second choices and we will ensure that you become part of the group activities. In addition, new theme groups sometimes may be formed if there is sufficient interest and initiative expressed by a group of Fellows.
3.Mini Grants: The LDM Program encourages Fellows to exercise leadership in RH and population by implementing small strategic and collaborative projects. Proposed projects can be implemented at individual, provincial or thematic levels and should build upon the skills and knowledge of the various leadership Fellows. The mini-grant selection process is structured to promote pro-active leadership, innovation, and collaboration among leadership Fellows. Mini-grants are generally considered for teams of two, three or more Fellows who will work together on the proposed project individually, thematically or regionally. Whenever possible, the strengths and resources of Fellows’ home organizations should be considered and incorporated into proposed projects. A formal selection and screening process will be done to ensure transparency and fairness.
If you are interested in availing a mini-grant, please contact the LDM India office for up to date guidelines.
4. Networking: LDM promotes experience sharing, collaboration and strategic partnerships between all leadership Fellows based in India so that we can promote collective action for reproductive health goals. Towards this aim we facilitate several platforms for networking amongst Fellows:
a. We have four regional e groups ( firstname.lastname@example.org for Jharkhand based fellows; email@example.com for Bihar based fellows; firstname.lastname@example.org for fellows/organizations in North Bihar and email@example.com for Delhi based fellows. All the RH leaders of this network are subscribed to this egroup based on their location and this listserve is used to communicate regionally or to all depending upon the nature of discussion.. This E-group facilitates communication and exchange of information, ideas and opportunities between all Fellows, and is a forum for discussion between Fellows. Once you become a member of this network you will be added to the list serve by the LDM India office and we will send you guidelines on the use of this professional networking tool. You will then begin receiving mails from list serve. Please contact the LDM India office if you have any queries or difficulties regarding this.
b. National alumni meetings are an opportunity for all the Fellows in the network to come together and reflect on achievements and challenges, and to plan for future collaboration and action. They are also an opportunity for the leadership family to reconnect.
c. Regional Meetings are an opportunity for Fellows from the same regional to come together regularly. Here Fellows can learn together and exchange experiences. These meetings usually are conducted by the IRACs in IRAC premises.
d. Website: Network has developed a website www.rhnetwork.org through which fellows can link up with each other, have access to leadership resources, and share experiences. Once you become part of the LDM network, you may post your information on the website.
e. Newsletter: IRAC Jharkhand publishes a quarterly newsletter “impression” which is a platform for sharing the innovation, best practices, current events and debates, views in the health sector. This is also a tool for advocating on specific issues related to health using print media. All fellows can post article/write ups and receive newsletter.
5. Coaching: The LDM network provides an opportunity for you to get the support and guidance of very many senior leaders. If you seek such guidance, the LDM office can support this process by offering coaching to you or link you up with another leader on the network who may be able to meet your needs for coaching.