Pacific Red Cross leaders build skills for positive change

Published: 17 October 2014

Nadi, Fiji October 17- The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is collaborating with the Australian-funded Pacific Leadership (PLP) to provide Adaptive Leadership training for Pacific Red Cross societies.

The session is part of the Annual Red Cross Leaders’ Forum which commenced in Nadi on Thursday. There are 32 participants in the leadership training and include Presidents, Secretaries General and senior staff of National Societies from 13 Pacific countries. The Japanese Red Cross is also participating as a key partner to sister Red Cross Societies.

The Pacific Leadership Program is a regional governance initiative of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade that supports Pacific islands leaders to work together to achieve policy and institutional reforms at regional, national and sub-national levels. As part of this support, PLP provides targeted training and skill building for individuals and organisations who are leading change in complex and often uncertain environments.

IFRC’s Pacific Head of Delegation Ms. Aurelia Balpe welcomed the collaboration with PLP, “We are very pleased to be working with PLP, it’s a partnership that adds great value to the work of the Red Cross. At the core of the Red Cross’ humanitarian work in the Pacific is a belief in the resilience of individuals and communities. We seek to invest in these strengths.

“We invest in supporting and training community leaders, such as Red Cross leaders, so that they are fully equipped to become positive agents of change in addressing vulnerabilities in their countries. PLP is helping us to do this through this training. We are also exploring other potential areas of collaboration with PLP,” said Ms. Balpe.

PLP’s Deputy Team Leader Lionel Gibson explained that the Program’s approach to supporting leaders recognises that being a leader – and bringing about positive, lasting change for communities and countries – is a difficult job.

“Adaptive Leadership training equips leaders, both individuals and those in organisations with the skills needed to adapt and thrive in challenging environments. During the sessions, we introduce concepts and tools that will hopefully assist participants to address their own development issues and with their partners and members, lead collective action for the public good,” said Mr. Gibson.

PLP’s Adaptive Leadership training has been developed over several years in partnership with the Harvard-based Cambridge Leadership Associates (CLA), and adapted to suit the real needs of Pacific leaders.

Lionel Gibson acknowledged the work of Red Cross National Societies, “They are at the forefront of humanitarian work in their countries. And PLP is privileged to work with organisations and individuals who are driving and leading positive, durable change in the Pacific.”

About PLP:
The Pacific Leadership Program (PLP) is a regional governance initiative of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade that recognises the pivotal role leadership plays in development. PLP aims to build, apply and share knowledge on ‘developmental leadership’, that is, leadership involving collective action to bring about locally owned, inclusive change for the public good.

PLP identifies influential individuals, organisations and coalitions in the Pacific and supports them in their exercise of developmental leadership. PLP acknowledges that developmental leadership is political and complex, and requires flexible and adaptive approaches that take into account context, agency and history. PLP supports developmental leadership efforts in regional organisations and at national and sub-national levels in Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.