The build up to one of the big twice yearly policy discussions between the Ministry of Health and its partners was well underway last week. The policy dialogue, known as the CCS (the coordinating committee for health), will be held tomorrow on the 11th March. However, on Monday and Tuesday last week, health partners had a workshop with representatives of the Ministry of Health to discuss issues such as how to strengthen the partnership and improve joint working, information that we will incorporate in the meeting tomorrow. We also considered how to monitor whether both government and partners are living up to the commitments we made in July 2008 when we signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) governing the way we should work together. Mozambique’s MOU is a lengthy document of 14 pages when presented in both English and Portuguese together. The document took intensive negotiation to draft and agree, but it now provides an important and useful framework to govern the relationship between the Ministry of Health and its partners.
The meeting was at the hotel VIP, situated next to the DFID office, so I was able to walk the short distance to venue. The blast of hot air on the walk to the hotel was welcome after sitting in the air-conditioned climate of the DFID office. The hotel is a good meeting venue as it has large meeting rooms with lots of break-out space. I’ve attached a few pictures from the meeting. Amongst the Ministry of Health participants was Dr Julio Langa who was part of a 9 person team that I visited Xai Xai hospital with during the joint review last year. It was good to work with him again and he made some very useful observations on ways of motivating Ministry of Health Staff, principally by acknowledging and praising good performance whenever it occurs. Julio works with the National Institute of Health Sciences and I have also provide a link to Google's English translation of this site. It strikes me that most organisations could do more to recognise and acknowledge good performance. It is amazing what positive words and a supportive environment can do to improve the atmosphere and productivity in an organisation. The staff in Mozambique’s Ministry of Health do a tremendous job, in often difficult circumstances, and one of the key messages next week will be to thank them for their energy, commitment and ideas.