Ghanaian Women's Social Leadership Program
The Ghanaian Women’s Social Leadership Program aims to provide a committed group of Ghanaian women in mid-level positions within civil society organizations with the skills and support needed to lead transformational change in their communities and society at large.
The deadline to apply for the 2014 program has been extended to noon EST on Friday, June 14, 2013.
The program is part of the Ghana Wins! Project initiated by New York University, Fundación Mujeres Por África, Banco Santander, and the University of Ghana. Ghana Wins! seeks to develop and promote leadership skills for Ghanaian women in the key sectors of healthcare, education and civil society.
The Ghanaian Women’s Social Leadership Program offers a one-year, cohort-based leadership development program for women leaders in mid-level positions in Ghanaian civil society organizations. Developed by RCLA and Fundación Mujeres por África, the program will select two cohorts of 15 women each who are working in civil society or on public and social issues.
The program will kick off with an intensive week-long leadership institute focused on leadership development and strengthening core management competencies. As a central focus of the institute, participants will identify a pressing organizational or community need and design an action-learning project to address it.
Over the course of the year, participants will work in small groups to apply what they are learning through the program to implementing their projects, aided by ongoing expert coaching and support from peers and employers.
Attending the Leadership Institute in New York City midway through the program will offer participants another opportunity to build robust knowledge and skills for advancing community change.
Finally, the program will culminate in a closing summit that both brings together the various elements of the yearlong experience and offers a chance to network with an incoming cohort of dynamic women leaders in Ghanaian civil society.
The program will cover in full all participant expenses including training costs, travel and lodging. Please refer to the Program Benefits for details.
The program consists of the following components:
Leadership Institute in Ghana – During October 2013, participants will come together in Ghana for a week-long intensive leadership institute. The institute will include instruction from NYU and local faculty on critical topics in leadership and management, experiential sessions to facilitate reflection and application of key concepts, and site visits to public and social sector organizations in the area through which participants would hear from influential leaders in their field. Potential topics of focus include: Leading Change, Collaboration, Mobilizing Stakeholders, Performance Management, Communications and Framing, Negotiation and Conflict Management, Organizational and Environmental Analysis, Articulating Vision.
Action-Learning Projects – Participants will engage in action-learning projects in their home organizations or communities, providing the opportunity for participants to apply concepts learned in the program in service of their organizations and the broader fields in which they work. In preparation for these projects prior to the intensive institute, participants will be asked to convene a team at their home organizations to solicit early ideas for a project that would be useful for the organization and/or field. During the intensive institute, participants will be given time to work in small groups on designing their action learning projects with the support of a coach. The implementation of the project will then occur over the course of the year with clear deliverables throughout to maintain momentum and ensure progress. The coaching described below will offer critical support to participants throughout the implementation phase.
Small Group Coaching – Following the intensive institute, participants will work in small groups of three to five with a coach to support the application of their learning to their home organizations through their action-learning projects and other efforts. The coaching component will be delivered at the NYU Global Academic Center in Accra six times over the course of the year. An essential element of the coaching component will be structured opportunities for deep reflection on participants’ leadership in action through their projects and otherwise.
Leadership Institute in New York City – About halfway through the year (Mid-May 2014) participants will spend a week at a Leadership Institute at NYU Wagner. The institute will focus on the knowledge, strategy and skills to be successful in work for social change. The institute will integrate leadership theory with real-world experience to offer participants a robust understanding of the nature and tasks of social change leadership, the contexts in which it is practiced, and the opportunities and challenges leaders face in their respective areas of work.
Individualized Assessment and Feedback – Prior to beginning the program, participants will be assisted in completing a self-assessment and collecting structured feedback from colleagues and others in their professional circle about their leadership behaviors, including both areas of strength to build upon and gaps to be addressed through the program. This feedback will be analyzed and discussed with each participant to help her make the most of her time in the program. A second round of feedback will be gathered at the end of the year-long program. This will enable participants to gauge their progress, and will also aid in overall program evaluation.
Closing Summit – At the end of the program year, participants will reconvene for a two-day closing summit. This summit will be focused on reviewing the feedback from the second round of the assessment process, sharing the results of the action learning projects, assessing the impact of the program itself, and preparing individual action plans for continued learning and development post-program. The closing summit will coincide with the intensive institute for the next cohort, so participants have the benefit of networking with one another.