LEADERSHIP IN NEGOTIATION PROJECT
The vitality of a nation is dependent upon the health of its citizens in general and its work force in particular. The right of access to health care has been internationally recognised and relies to a substantial degree on the availability of adequate numbers of sufficiently educated and trained health personnel as well as the ability of health services to retain them in active employment. ICN and its member associations firmly believe that quality health care is directly dependent on an adequate supply of qualified and committed nursing personnel, and supports the evidence that links good working conditions with quality service provision.
The socio-economic welfare of nurses has been an ICN priority since 1979. The factors leading to the development of the Leadership in Negotiation project internationally include:
- Critical economic situation of governments in general and health sectors in particular.
- Dramatic restructuring of the public service.
- Labour unrest and inadequate negotiation machinery.
- Poor pay and working conditions of nurses, often resulting in the migration or attrition of nurses and heavier workloads for those remaining.
- Difficult access to training programmes in leadership and negotiation skill development.
- Ineffective communication channels.
- Few opportunities for the advancement of women in the labour market and in society in general.
The Leadership in Negotiation project has been implemented in several regions of the world. It began in 1982 in Africa and has since been adapted to the needs of nurses in the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, Latin America, South East Asia, the Pacific Rim and the South Pacific. The project has facilitated the training of nurse leaders worldwide in problem solving, negotiation, communication, human resources development, occupational health and safety, association management, and marketing. At the same time, it sensitises participants to the impact of labour issues and the work environment on the delivery of care. The focus of this active-learning project is the personal and professional development of nurses, resulting in an effective voice in health sector decision-making bodies, improved workplaces and stronger professional organisations. The project outcomes have included national nurses’ associations’ increased membership, decentralization, democratisation, visibility, influence, effectiveness, range of activities, rapidity of response and relevance to nurses and health systems. This leadership development effort has also had multi-disciplinary impact such as the introduction of occupational health and safety legislation for the first time in the history of Samoa.
The project content is adapted to local needs and its method of work relies heavily on the active involvement of participants. In addition to the adult educational techniques used in workshop situations (e.g. role plays, group work), each participant is responsible for developing a post-workshop project that addresses nurses’ priority concerns, e.g. occupational health and safety, recruitment, leadership development, skills training, public relations, human resources management, remuneration, dues collection.
Logistic support is provided to facilitate communication and education activities as well as financial assistance for the duplication of educational materials. Further training in adult education, communication and negotiation techniques is sometimes provided to a selected group of participants to form national or regional teams of competent resource persons in these key areas.
One or two-week workshops are arranged annually or every 6 months over a minimum period of two years to ensure steady growth and sustainability, this schedule is determined in conjunction with the host countries. Faculty for these workshops are international and national multi-disciplinary experts. Partner organisations support the learning by providing technical expertise as well as practical skill development laboratories. The training sessions are limited to a maximum of 30 participants in order to ensure dynamic interaction and individualised support. Participants represent the range of nursing areas of practice (clinical, management, education, research, and association), public/private sectors, and geographic location.
In the past, this ICN project has been held in Latin America - Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Uruguay - and South Africa (co-sponsored by the Danish Nurses Organisation and financed by the LO/FTF Council for International Development Co-operation with funds from the Danish International Development Agency) and the South Pacific – Cook Islands, Fiji and Samoa (co-sponsored by the Swedish Association of Health Professionals and financed by the LO/TCO Secretariat of International Trade Union Development Cooperation with funds from the Swedish International Development Agency).
A LIN programme is running in 6 countries in south eastern Africa: Ethiopia, Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland, Uganda and Zambia, co-sponsored by the Swedish Association of Health Professionals (Vardforbundet) and financed by Union to Union (formerly LO-TCO) Secretariat of International Trade Union Development Cooperation through funds from the Swedish International Development Agency (2014-2016).
The Objectives of the Programme:
National Nursing Associations (NNAs) through capacity building will contribute to their country’s democracy and growth as they strengthen their role as independent trade unions with a goal of eliminating poverty and improving health care delivery.
With the overall goal of the project being capacity building and creation of self-sustaining NNAs the following will result:
• membership database supporting the collection of dues
• leadership development sustained through the creation and utilization of training manuals
• government recognition of the NNAs role in collective bargaining
• increased number of collective agreements supporting the role of the NNAs in the workplace
• improved working conditions due to transfer of effective negotiating skills
The Nurses Association of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas (NACB) desired to enhance Bahamian Nurses bargaining skills; empower nurses to be at the forefront in national policies and initiatives development; implementation and monitoring and evaluation and to gain knowledge and competencies in the management of challenging multi-faceted circumstances. The Bahamas NNA is self-funding through participant fees a 4 week LIN programme over 12 months (2014-2015).
The Objectives of the Programme are to:
• To support national nurses in their efforts to exercise leadership in the delivery of health care and the nursing profession.
• To provide knowledge and experience in the area of negotiation.
• To provide basic knowledge in economics, management and administration.
Additionally, this training will gives nurses the knowledge and skills to:
• Work more effectively one-on-one, in groups and across cultures
• Better understand the role of interpersonal and negotiation skills in influencing outcomes and achieving greater success
• Tap into individual /personal leadership competencies and learn to lead more effectively through both verbal and non-verbal communication
• Develop strategies to produce optimal outcomes while working with difficult people and difficult situations
The LIN training programme has been implemented in Russia in 2 projects over 8 years (2007-2014).
The first workshop of the 4-year Leadership in Negotiation (LIN) programme (2011-2014) in Russia was held with great success in the city of Suzdal (Ivanova Region) in June 2011. The LIN Russia programme is made possible through collaboration between the Russian National Nurses Association (RNNA), Vårdförbundet (The Swedish Association of Health Professionals), and ICN. The objective is to prepare strong nurse leaders able to master the skills of negotiation and be capable of influencing health and nursing policies. Topics covered included: communication; financial management; law at the work place; marketing; negotiations; NNA structure/strengths/priorities; media; and, project development. Thirty (30) nurses coming from 17 of the Russia's 52 regions participated in the workshop . The diversity of regions involved is a significant achievement and is thanks to the dedication of the RNNA in promoting and growing the programme. Over the next 4 years all participants will undertake a project addressing socio-economic welfare issues and the strengthening of nurses associations. On successful completion of the programme the participants will be awarded the International Continuous Nursing Education Credits (ICNECs). The venue for the LIN workshops will migrate to other regions within Russia over the four-year period.
In 2010, the final year of the previous 4-year Leadership in Negotiation programme (2007 - 2010) was hosted by the Omsk Professional Nurses Association in Omsk (Siberia) Russia. Participants included the Russian Nurses Association President Ms Valentina Sarkisova, along with six regional Presidents and Vice Presidents. A total of 30 participants from six regions. The final workshop focused on: adult learning, marketing, negotiation, mass media, occupational health and safety, reward systems, nurse-entrepreneur, development of nursing associations, social-economic welfare, current and future projects. During the four-year period all participants undertook a number of projects relating to areas to strengthen nurses associations and socio-economic welfare issues. Many participants reported significant success including increasing the number of members in their nursing associations.
With all workshop materials translated into Russian, graduates of the Leadership in Negotiation programme continue to deliver elements of the programme within their organisation and region of Russia.
The Socio-Economic Welfare project, Leadership in Negotiation , was developed in Latin America. The participating national nurses' associations (NNAs) in the last phase (Phase IV) included: Bolivia, Colombia, Cuba, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Paraguay. Associations involved in Phase II and III of the project also included: Chile, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Panama and El Salvador.
The objectives of the project included:
- To support national nurses' associations in their efforts to exercise leadership in the delivery of health care and for the nursing profession.
- To provide knowledge and experience in the area of negotiation.
- To provide basic knowledge in economics and management sciences.
The 26-month phase of the programme included two national workshops separated by one year when all 30 participants per association were responsible for carrying out a post-workshop project in their local area. They disseminated the training received thus multiplying the project impact and/or strengthen the NNA's activity base (e.g. research on priority questions, constitutional review, improve the financial management and accountability). The workshop sessions focused on association management, negotiation, communication, human resources development, workplace issues (e.g. occupational health), marketing and project management.
Logistic support was provided to facilitate communication and education activities as well as financial assistance for the duplication of educational materials. Further training in adult education, communication and negotiation techniques was also provided to National Co-ordinators so that each association has a team of competent resource persons in these key areas.
This ICN project was co-sponsored by the Danish Nurses Organisation and financed by the LO/FTF Council for International Development Co-operation under a framework agreement (or block grant) from the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA).
Since the project initiation, the impact of the project is felt to be concrete and measurable in terms of NNAs' increased membership, decentralisation, democratisation, visibility, influence, effectiveness, rapidity of response, activities, and relevance.
In Costa Rica, ICN developed the Leadership in Negotiation project with the direct financial and technical support of the Danish Nurses Organisation. Their first national workshop was held in September 1998. The next workshop was planned for December 1999 and will be followed by further training for a selection of co-ordinators from phase ii and iii of the Latin America project.
Donor support has facilitated the expansion of the Leadership in Negotiation project to other regions of the world. Co-sponsored by the Danish Nurses Organisation this training programme has been adapted to the needs of the South African nurses - the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa. Funds have been made available through the LO/FTF Council for International Development Co-operation.
The objectives of this project included:
- To support DENOSA members to exercise their leadership in the delivery of health care and for the nursing profession.
- To provide knowledge and experience in the area of negotiation and workplace-related issues.
- To provide basic knowledge in economics and management sciences.
The 1998 activities included four modules targeting DENOSA elected persons and staff members. Each participant is responsible for the development of a local post-workshop project focused on a priority need of the nurse membership and/or the association. Future development work at the branch level is being considered.
In addition, co-sponsored by the Swedish Association of Health Professionals the ICN Leadership in Negotiation project was introduced in the South Pacific. Four national nurses' associations - Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga - participated in a regional training event held in July 1998. The desired outcomes of this project included:
- To support nurses to exercise more effective leadership in health and labour arenas.
- To provide NNAs' financial and organisational base will be strengthened.
Again, each participant was responsible for developing a local post-workshop project thus multiplying the impact of this project.National nurses' associations have recognised that the attainment of professional goals relies to a great extent on adequate working conditions and not just remuneration of nurses. The recruitment and retention of qualified practitioners is a priority of health care organisations. Expanding the knowledge base of nurses on labour issues and developing nurses' negotiation skills are crucial elements in ensuring quality care. Providing the necessary education and training is one of the goals of ICN's socio-economic welfare programme.