Organizational Development for Change
The purpose of the Organisation Development Process (OD) of ANAFAE is to create a sustainable education provider which is capable to provide high quality adult education services for the suffering young generations (at present in 12 province) throughout Afghanistan.
The needs for adult education in Afghanistan are huge and increasing. ANAFAE is an important education organisation capable to become a high-quality performing education provider. Therefore, structures and procedures within the organisation need to be transformed from an implementing partner towards an independent proactive education provider who runs adult education services in a self-sustaining manner.
To achieve this goal, a participatory OD process was launched in the end of 2012. The program staff from different levels got actively involved, in order to strengthen the ownership of this change process, to develop hands on recommendation, and to apply effective management tools. The consultant who facilitate the process provided guidance, structure and methods to assess the current situation, to raise awareness and to run the process in an ownership mode.
The agreed common objective for the change process was “ Creation of a Sustainable Developed Society and Accessible Quality Education for All”
The first stage of the OD process from end of 2012 –to 2015 helped to create awareness for necessary changes within the organisation and to mobilise the commitment of the program staff towards the change process throughout the organisation, in all education centres and education departments in 12 provinces.
The early stage of the OD process also identified so-called change agents with the necessary skills, motivations and attitudes to deliver results within the change process, which always represents extra work beyond standard performance.
The second stage of the process started in 2016 and addresses important management issues that need substantial revision and improvement, in order to utilise the existing potential and to build the capacities within ANAFAE, to operate as an independent education provider.
To handle these issues a number of strategic goals were developed.
To establish a sustainable and independent education provider ANAFAE, OD participants and the ANAFAE management selected four core organisational domainsto allocate the development needs for ANAFAE and give the process a clear direction:
- Products / Services
In each domain a set of goals were jointly worked out and serve as an overall orientation for the OD process:
Since ANAFAE is working in twelve provinces throughout the country it is difficult and expensive to conduct the OD process at the headquarters only. The process was divided into the northern and central zone. Now Mazar-e-Sharif for the northern zone and Kabul for the central zone act as the hubs of the OD process. Through a series of participatory workshops in both places, taskforces of five to twelve OD participants for each of the ten strategic development goals were established. These task forces worked under the supervision of the management team, to achieve their respective development goals. A help desk was established to supervise the process and to be in close contact with each of the task force groups..
The role of the task force groups was to work out suitable solutions to implement their respective development goals, not only locally, in one Adult Learning Centre (ALC) or Community Learning Centre (CLC), but also to find solutions that are suitable to achieve the goal throughout the entire organisation in all ALCs and CLCs.
To make this possible the task forces worked on the creation of management tools. The management tools were tested under various circumstances and proofed, in order to be effective to achieve the respective development goals. The tool development process is divided into a few stages: drafting, testing, adjusting, approving before it can be rolled-out to all ALC and CLCs.
The OD Help Desk as the interface between the management team and various task forces provides information, supervision and assistance for the tool development process and ensures that the process keeps on track and is implemented on time.
As a learning result of the previous stage of the OD process the management team decided together with the consultant to focus on a smaller number of goals at a given period of time. For instance, during the 2nd quarter and the 3rd quarter of 2017 the main field of development activities was related to 5 development goals.
A whole set of new teaching and learning materials were produced for the following education sectors: science, ICT and languages including teaching plans and books for the learners. In relation to this, an assessment of the teachers’ skills was conducted to cluster teachers’ abilities into 3 categories. All the related development activities involved a larger number of staff including the management team members, master trainers and ALC/CLC education managers. They all collaborate in a coherent manner towards one common goal.
This consistent effort created the momentum needed to achieve a large progress within a relatively short period. The lesson learned from this approach was rather positive and the development efforts will continue in the same manner: one goal at a time to be addressed with the right people at hand.
Impacts of OD process
ANAFAE benefited vastly from the ongoing OD process and changed many elements of the organisation’s structure and behaviour.
On the practical education level, analytical thinking in the context of adult education was strengthened. For many program staff the connection between learner’s needs, teacher, methodology, learning and teaching materials and learning environment in the context of adult education and how to influence this system is the dominant idea.
On the meso level the networking across ANAFAE has been advanced. ALC and CLC staff members collaborate much better with each other and develop their institutional capacities.
On the macro level ANAFAE is increasingly perceived as a leading institution in adult education in Afghanistan.