UNDP Malawi holds 2014 staff retreat

Mar 24, 2014

Staff undertaking a group game during the Teamwork and Innovation session. Photo: Shorai Nyambalo, UNDP Malawi

The 2014 UNDP Malawi staff retreat was held at Club Makokola in the lakeshore district of Mangochi from 19th to 21st March.

Led by the Resident Representative, Ms. Mia Seppo all staff members came together and participated in the highly engaging exercise which was themed “The UNDP we want.” The retreat was designed to foster a strong team spirit among staff and challenge them to contribute to creating a highly successful UNDP country office through innovation and hard work.

The theme was arrived at after office-wide consultations in which staff expressed the need to improve their teamwork and reflect on repositioning UNDP work in the changing context of development practice in Malawi.

Among other things, the retreat provided a platform for the Resident Representative to share her vision in line with UN reforms and the UNDP corporate Strategic Plan. She therefore made a presentation that covered pertinent issues at the latest Global Management Meeting and emphasized on aligning the country office’s programme to the UNDP global strategy.

The staff also had time to brainstorm new ways of doing things for the organisation to remain competitive in contributing to Malawi’s development. They reflected on the recommendations from the last Management Audit conducted from February to March this year and looked at new financial sustainability scenarios and discussed ways of improving some of the business processes at the office. At the end, everybody came up with personal commitments to be pursued after the retreat.

In her moving remarks, Ms. Seppo encouraged everyone to part of the change that the UNDP country office in Malawi has embarked on.

“The train of change at UNDP has left the station. Some of you have already boarded while others have not and are still thinking that it is impossible. What I can say is that you are welcome to jump in and we will achieve the change together.

“When we get back to the office, we have to make sure that through continued resource mobilisation, good delivery and cost recovery, we ensure the sustainability of the country office.

“We have to make sure that as an office we take very rapid and prudent implementation of the audit recommendations when we get the report so that we do not repeat the same mistakes over and over again,” said Ms. Seppo.

Throughout her remarks, Ms. Seppo stressed the need for everyone to think in terms of success noting that “success innovates, success learns, success trains, and failure complains.”

The retreat was facilitated by a renowned facilitator Mrs Joyce Mataya who excellently handled the sessions despite the time constraints that characterised the event.

During the talent identification gala that took place on the evening before the final day, several members of staff received UN branded coffee mugs for their impressive displays in dancing, singing, drinking and others skills. Long serving members of staff who have been with UNDP for 20, 15, 10 and 5 years respectively were also specially recognised for their dedication and hard work.

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