Pepal is growing!

New beginnings: sunrise over Bukoba, Tanzania in June 2019.

New beginnings: sunrise over Bukoba, Tanzania in June 2019.

2019 is a year of expansion and growth for Pepal as an organisation. This year, we have welcomed two non-executive directors and two board members to the team, hired a new staff member to join us in Uganda, and are busy expanding our programming to India.

New Non-Executive Directors and Board Members

At the beginning of the year, we were thrilled to welcome two new members and two non-executive directors to the boards of Pepal Foundation and Pepal Limited: Ed Marsh, CJ Green, David Savage and Natalie Nicholles. The unique insights and expertise that each of these individuals has brought to Pepal since they joined the team have been invaluable and we are excited to have them with us as Pepal grows from strength to strength!

Ed Marsh, Trustee, Pepal Foundation

Ed has thirty years’ international Human Resources leadership experience in global consumer goods and technology companies. At Nestlé Ed was Global Head of Talent and Organisation Development responsible for a complete approach to hiring, developing and empowering leadership talent for Nestlé’s 350,000 employees. Subsequently, he spent 5 years as Global Head of Human Resources.

CJ Green, Trustee, Pepal Foundation

CJ served on the Board of a global facilities management business in the UK as Chief People Officer for a 26,000 strong UK workforce. Subsequently C-J took the helm as Chief Executive and led the UK business through a period of organic and acquisitive growth from £300million turnover to £600million and was instrumental in creating a forward thinking and progressive approach to Human Resource leadership.

David Savage, Non-Executive Director, Pepal Limited

David is an independent management consultant and development economist. David has thirty years of experience across the developed and developing world, working with commercial, public sector and not-for-profit clients. David has recently worked for not-for profits in Cambodia, India, Uganda, Tanzania and Myanmar.

Natalie Nicholles, Non-Executive Director, Pepal Limited

Natalie is the Global Director at RSA (Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) responsible for developing global strategy. Natalie has published, chaired and spoken publicly on a range of topics. She launched an enterprise project for leprosy and tuberculosis charity in Bangladesh, and built a successful socio-economic impact consultancy within think tank the New Economics Foundation (NEF).

Pictured left to right: Ed March, CJ Green, David Savage, Natalie Nicholles.

Strategy Day and Theory of Change Workshop

In July and August, the Pepal team had the opportunity to work with Board members and corporate partners to strategise on Pepal’s growth plan for the next decade, as well as collaborate with ITAD ( to streamline Pepal’s Theory of Change.

Both workshops were critical to defining what makes Pepal’s mission and vision just so unique in the context of international development and public-private partnerships. We look forward to sharing developments from these workshops with you all over the coming months!

New Staff Member in Uganda

We are very excited to have a new Project Officer join the Uganda team in early October! Kim Sorenson has a degree from the University of Cambridge, and has been working in the NGO sector since graduation. He was worked with United World Schools, a UK NGO dedicated to bringing education to children living in remote communities in South East Asia. He also has experience working abroad in Cambodia and Nepal. Kim will be supporting the Uganda programmes, mainly the adolescent health programme with Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson and the Cross Sector Leadership Exchange (CSLE).



Roche and East African healthcare leaders contribute to the fight against cervical cancer in East Africa


“It is so inspiring and mind blowing to expand leadership ability in real life and make a difference to patients and society.” - Roche Participant

In June 2019, the eighth group of NJIA leaders came together in Bukoba, Tanzania to develop their leadership skills and co-create ideas to tackle the cervical cancer burden. “NJIA” means “path” in Kiswahili and is the name of the leadership development collaboration between Pepal, F. Hoffmann la-Roche, ICAP Tanzania and MoHCDGEC Tanzania to combat cervical cancer in Kagera Region, Tanzania.

This cohort was the first of its kind, inviting a delegation from Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation Uganda, Ministry of Health Uganda and Uganda Cancer Institute to participate in the programme and pilot innovation ideas for improving cervical cancer prevention and treatment across five districts in Uganda’s Rwenzori region.

“As Ministry of Health, we have seen NJIA’s work improving leadership skills of our leaders for better cervical cancer prevention management. We think it would be good to scale up this program to other parts of Tanzania using cervical cancer prevention as an entry point to improve the leadership skills of district and regional health leaders to improve their day to day performance.” -  Dr. Safina Yuma, Head of Reproductive Cancer Unit, MoHGCDEC, Tanzania

Pilot innovation projects will be implemented across seven districts in Tanzania and five in Uganda ranging from strengthening treatment referral systems to coordinated HPV vaccine awareness campaigns. Make sure to check back to the blog over the next few months to follow project progress.




Leadership Development and Improved Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health in Uganda

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Pepal, together with Baylor-Uganda, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson and Aesara Partners, launched a new leadership programme focused on improving adolescent health in Kamwenge District, Uganda last week.

Bringing together adolescent peer leaders, adolescent focal health workers and Baylor-Uganda adolescent health specialists, this new programme is one-of-a-kind in the context of existing adolescent health interventions in the country.

Adolescent peer leaders work as volunteers at their local health facilities. Chosen because of their exemplary leadership potential, their adherence to HIV care and treatment and their passion to help their peers achieve better health, they support the adolescent focal health workers at facilities to deliver top rate service delivery to young people in their communities. It has been proven in multiple studies that peers prefer to confide in and receive care from their fellow peers and Baylor-Uganda have been engaging peer leaders in health care delivery for over two years, particularly under the incredibly successful ELMA-funded ‘Unfinished Business’ project. This new programme aims to develop the leadership skills of these volunteers - an as of yet unexplored part of their training.

Peer leaders receive their training separately from their link adolescent focal health workers but in this programme, we bring together both parties as teams. Building strong relationships of mutual respect, and creating a platform where peer leaders and health workers can share their experiences, opinions and frustrations with adolescent health services, should improve service delivery at the health facilities where the new Pepal intervention will be piloted.

Made up of three teams stationed at Ntara HCIV, Bigodi HCIII and Mahyoro HCIII respectively, the three teams have been engaged twice thus far by the programme. At both their Orientation and Immersion trainings, teams learned new leadership skills like thinking partnerships, self-awareness, conflict resolution and performance equations alongside sexual health education and counselling skills.

Together with their Baylor-Uganda and Janssen teammates, the three teams were tasked with a mission to create action plans in their communities to improve adolescent HIV and sexual reproductive health. During their Immersion training, teams visited health facilities, Community Based Organisations and local secondary schools to '“step into the shoes” of adolescents living in Kamwenge District, one of the country’s most under-served districts.

Teams presented their innovation ideas to District representatives including Central Administrative Officer, District Health Officer, Secretary for Health, District Education Officer and District Community Development Officer Kamwenge. With their full support and buy in, our teams are going to bring sexual health education to secondary schools, set up sexual reproductive health focused camps and organise family days at their health facilities to increase knowledge of and access to adolescent friendly health services over the next six months.

The Pepal Team in Uganda are excited to support the implementation of these ideas and to track their impact on adolescent health in the district.




NJIA Leadership Testimonials: "NJIA helped my dreams come true"

Rachel Yangwa is a Nursing Officer at Rwamishenye Health Centre in Bukoba MC, and the Public Private Partnership Coordinator at District level.

When Rachel first joined our fourth cohort of leaders in 2017, she had quiet ambitions to further her career within the health care system in Tanzania but lacked the confidence to pursue them. Her leadership goal for the program was to improve her communication and presentation skills so that she could articulate the ideas she had to improve health care at her facility to her colleagues and her superiors. During the week-long leadership training, which focuses on leadership development in the context of piloting innovation ideas to improve cervical cancer outcomes, Rachel’s confidence exponentially grew.

On the final day of the week, Rachel was tasked with presenting her team’s innovation idea to District Health Officers, NGO staff, Regional Health Team officials and representatives from the Ministry of Health - a daunting challenge! Rachel’s idea of integrating cervical cancer screening into existing HIV testing services, combined with her confidence as the team’s Presentation Lead, encouraged her District Health Officer to approach her after the program and offer her an important position within his team as the District Public Private Partnership Coordinator.

As Rachel says in the below video, “NJIA helped my dreams come true”. Following her participation in the latest NJIA cohort in November 2018, we cannot wait to see what is next for Rachel!



The NJIA Program in Tanzania: Perspectives from Community Outreach Volunteers

Cervical Cancer is a 90% preventable disease but in Tanzania is the leading cause of cancer and cancer-related deaths among Tanzanian women. Each year more than 9,772 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and over 69% of these women die as they are diagnosed at a late stage of the disease.

Pepal partners with ICAP Tanzania on a program called ‘NJIA’ which develops the leadership capacities of health care professionals to tackle this disease burden in the Kagera Region. This partnership, together with Roche Pharmaceutica and MoHCDGEC Tanzania has been running since 2016, and has evolved from strength to strength.

Over the years, NJIA has engaged with individuals working in the health system structure at all levels - from Ministry of Health officials to community health workers. The focus of this blog is to feature the perspectives of two outstanding participants from our fifth cohort of leaders in 2017: Community Outreach Volunteers (COVs).

COVs are enrolled by ICAP to engage with key and vulnerable population groups in the community and link them to vital HIV and primary health care. Their work is crucial to achieving healthy, empowered communities across Tanzania. COVs are representatives of key and vulnerable populations (e.g. adolescent girls and young women, sex workers, HIV+ patients) and are often the first point of contact for many communities to learn about essential healthcare. They act as role models, are relatable and approachable to other community members, and complete all of their work on a voluntary basis.

Pepal and ICAP are working together to integrate cervical cancer education into the rigorous training that COVs undergo before they begin volunteering with ICAP. Valentina Vicent and Anisia Kamugisha, through their participation in the fifth cohort of the program, demonstrated how powerful this idea is - not only in helping to save lives of women in their communities, but for their own personal development.

Valentina Vicent (left), ICAP COV Muleba District and Inviolata Antony (right), Registered Nurse Muleba District

Valentina Vicent (left), ICAP COV Muleba District and Inviolata Antony (right), Registered Nurse Muleba District

“When I joined the NJIA program I was excited by the exposure of working with different people and professions who I never imaged I would have had the chance to work with. The first day it was hard for me to engage with them but they were so interactive with me and I slowly gained the confidence to engage. Today I have no fear standing and talking to new people in my day to-day work. I have learned a lot about cervical cancer, which enabled me to integrate CCS sensitization during my HIV testing, community mobilization, and I have gotten women to go for screening. This make me feel so empowered and motivated to approach the community because of the confidence I gained on the NJIA program.” ~ Valentina Vicent

Anicia Kamugisha, ICAP COV Bukoba MC and JJ Palombo, Roche Pharmaceutica

Anicia Kamugisha, ICAP COV Bukoba MC and JJ Palombo, Roche Pharmaceutica

“Being in a NJIA program as a COV has helped me to strengthen my capacity to interact with my community and I have gained confidence to stand and speak to people. I am grateful to have an opportunity to learn and increase my knowledge on leadership and cervical cancer, which I use now to sensitize community” ~ Anicia Kamugisha



Cervical Cancer Awareness Month 2019: A Recap

Pepal’s mission is to bring together NGOs and global corporations to develop leaders and find practical solutions to challenging social issues in emerging economies.

In Tanzania, Pepal collaborates with Roche Pharmaceutica (a global pharmaceutical company based in Switzerland), ICAP Tanzania (NGO under Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health) and MoHCDGEC Tanzania to develop leaders in the context of tackling the cervical cancer burden in Kagera Region, Northwest Tanzania. We call this program ‘NJIA’.

January 2019 was Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, and the Pepal Team were busy spreading awareness across our online platforms about this 90% preventable disease. This post features some of our favourite graphics!

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@PepalFoundation) and watch this space for an exciting new feature on the NJIA Program for International Women’s Day in the ICAP HQ newsletter!

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Pepal 2019: The Year Ahead

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2019 is Pepal’s ten year anniversary and is set to be one of the most exciting years yet for the organisation.

We are establishing new programs in new countries across East Africa and South Asia and expanding our social impact to some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.

The video below captures Pepal’s vision and the new paths the organisation will be breaking in 2019.



Caring Together: 10 Months On

It has been almost ten months since 150 guests from over 40 health-focused organizations travelled from ten different countries to learn about both the final Caring Together project results and other initiatives impacting healthcare in Uganda at the International Summit on Leadership in Healthcare in Kampala.  

The Caring Together project and the Baylor-Uganda Leadership Academy received resounding endorsements from many different stakeholders, including the Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, the Ministry of Health, and Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The Baylor-Uganda team have worked hard to ensure that the legacy of Caring Together continues and that the Leadership Academy becomes reality.

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Caring Together is Helping Baylor-Uganda Reach 90:90:90

There has been nationwide progress in Uganda towards meeting the UNAID’s 90:90:90 targets – a vision that by 2020, 90% of people who are HIV infected will be diagnosed, 90% of people who are diagnosed will be on antiretroviral treatment and 90% of those who receive antiretrovirals will be virally suppressed.

While there have been increased efforts to scale up treatment initiatives in Uganda there are still many people living with HIV who are unaware of their status and do not have access to medicines. As of September 2018, Uganda stands at 81:89:78.*

The Ministry of Health, with support from PEPFAR, introduced a SURGE strategy to all implementing partners to encourage progress. Health facilities are now required to find a specific number of new HIV+ cases per week, this ranges from as low as 5 to as high as 30 cases per week depending on the size of the health facility. SURGE requires weekly reporting and using facility level data. Each facility needs to be aware of their goals and able to visualize their progress towards them.

During the Caring Together project, Janssen worked with healthcare practitioners to create tools to like the TPMT (Team Performance Monitoring Tool) to help monitor team performance and increase staff motivation to reach targets.

Adapted by Baylor-Uganda to monitor weekly (rather than monthly) performance, the TPMT is now being used by facilities across the Rwenzori region to track reporting on SURGE performance. Key indicators tracked on the TPMT are number of clients tested, number of positives identified, and percentage of those positive linked into care, which is expected to be 100%.  It has empowered facilities to use data, to visualize their results, and to plan well.  

During support supervision visits, healthcare practitioners have been reoriented on how to use both monthly staff meeting books and the TPMT, and in facilities which are not regularly using these tools, Baylor staff have noticed that staff are unaware of targets.


The Baylor-Uganda Leadership Academy


Ministry of Health

The Baylor-Uganda Leadership and Governance Team have been working with the Ministry of Health to realize the dream of the Leadership Academy.

In particular, the Commissioner for Human Resources has shown interest in the concept and has recommended a number of future paths for the Academy. During a follow-up meeting, it was agreed that the best path would be to partner with the Health ManPower Development Center (HMDC) that has been restructured to be under Ministry of Health. This would be a sustainable way to extend leadership training to health workers. A revised concept note will be discussed in 2019.

Health Development Partners

Baylor-Uganda were invited to present at the Health Development Partners (HDP) meeting. Dr. Adeodata Kekitiinwa (Executive Director of Baylor-Uganda) presented on the Leadership and Governance agenda at Baylor and was thanked by leading stakeholders at the meeting including WHO, PEPFAR, UNICEF, UNAIDS, World Bank, DFID and CDC for Caring Together’s contribution to health systems strengthening in the country. The meeting was a platform to disseminate learnings from the Summit to those partners who could not attend. The Baylor-Uganda team are in discussions with partners present at the meeting about future collaboration.

11th Joint Annual AIDS Review Conference

Baylor-Uganda were invited to present at the 11th Joint Annual AIDS Review Conference in Kampala on “Innovative Leadership in Community Based HIV programming.” Michael Musiime Koima presented on the Caring Together approaches being used successfully to help Baylor-Uganda reach SURGE targets at facility level.

“Magic in Patient Flow”

The Caring Together patient waiting cards were recognized as an important tool for ensuring efficiency at health facility level by the Programmes Outcomes and Evaluations Coordinator at Baylor-Uganda in early December. Dubbed as “creating magic in patient flow” at Rukunyu Health Centre IV, the patient waiting cards were used as an example of a simple tool creating huge impact in HIV care and treatment at facility level.

Research Published in the Journal of Healthcare Leadership

Research conducted by Musinguzi Conrad, funded by Janssen, has been published in the Journal of Healthcare Leadership.

This cross-sectional study was conducted in three different geographical regions in Uganda - Eastern and Rwenzori regions (where the Caring Together leadership project was implemented), and West Nile region (where the project was not implemented). The study found that transformational leadership styles had a positive impact on stimulating motivation, assuring job satisfaction, and consolidating teamwork among health workers compared with those who demonstrated transactional skills or laissez-faire styles.

As the graph below demonstrates, the paper has proved to be very popular with nearly 2,000 views thus far!




Pepal is seeking new Board Members


Pepal is a unique organisation which brings together global corporations, NGOs and the government to develop leaders and find practical solutions to challenging social issues. We are now entering a new and exciting period of growth; new clients, new programmes, new countries. We have ambitions to achieve greater impact and long term change. Key to this expansion is growing our board.

We are seeking two committed and dynamic people to join our highly experienced team.


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The NJIA program in Tanzania: Creating Shared Value


“We came together as strangers with little in common and faced a serious challenge. We supported each other, shared our personal stories and celebrated each other’s successes. We created a unique community in that week, bonded to a common purpose, helping patients.”

NJIA is a collaboration between Pepal, F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd, Mc Bride & Lucius, ICAP Tanzania and the Government of Tanzania to tackle the cervical cancer burden in the Kagera Region through leadership development. NJIA brings together Roche employees from across the world with Tanzanian healthcare workers and NGO staff to take part in an immersive leadership development program in Bukoba, the urban center of the Kagera Region. Participants apply their leadership learning to an important cause: the co-creation of innovative ideas to increase access to and awareness of cervical cancer prevention services.

Kagera is now ranked third in the country for meeting national cervical cancer targets on number of women screened. After 3 years, the NJIA program is evidently having a lasting impact on health outcomes.

In this blog post, we dig a little deeper into the corporate participant experience to understand why this shared value program is effective not only for cervical cancer prevention, but also for professional leadership development. We are delighted to share the personal insights of Francesca Paolone Lamb, PDR Business Analysis and Insights at Genentech Inc, San Francisco, who travelled to Bukoba in November 2018 to take part in the NJIA program.

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A Stranger with a Challenge

I travelled thousands of miles, over vast landscapes of oceans and mountains, from a predictable environment and a trusted support network to land in a world completely foreign to me:  Bukoba, Tanzania.  I was joined by 18 fellow Roche colleagues, only a few I had worked with before, and 20 Tanzanian health care professionals I had never met. I felt out-of-place and awkward. 

Our challenge was clear: we were to form teams, visit 7 districts in the Kagera region, learn the hurdles to effective cervical cancer prevention, treatment, and comprehensive HPV vaccination, and come up with 6 proposals which aimed to reduce barriers to care using only the resources available. We had just 1 week to accomplish this.

Fortunately, we had NJIA to guide us. “Njia” is the Kiswahili word for “the way”, and we literally had to find a way to quickly unite across cultures and language barriers to design innovative, and sustainable proposals.  Together, we formed Cohort 8 of the NJIA program. 

Prior to landing in Bukoba, a town in the Kagera region and the home base of the program, I had completed an assessment of my leadership skills.  This assessment collated extensive peer feedback, and was debriefed by an HR coach, to highlight my leadership challenge:  Taking action in the presence of little information or data.  In Bukoba, I had immediate opportunity to practice.

I was thrilled to be a part of NJIA as I am personally passionate about increasing access to health care, and I desperately wanted to make a difference for the women in Kagera.  True to my nature I absorbed as much data as I could, I asked many questions of my Tanzanian teammates, and of their peers.  By the end of the 4th day, with only 2 days left, I was frustrated and disappointed. The data didn’t make sense, and in some places it was even conflicting. Insights from the field visits also highlighted fundamental cultural hurdles, hurdles that could not be removed with a simple proposal. I could see no way to make a difference.   

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A Team with a Purpose

The program included Leadership Circles, where small groups gathered to discuss our leadership challenges and how we were addressing them throughout the week.  Listening to my colleagues share their insights, and sharing my challenges with them, helped me to uncover a deeper purpose to the week. 

Our facilitator stated it so clearly, “In the corporate world, we often speak about creating culture or changing culture by launching big, cross-organization initiatives.  Sometimes the most effective approach is to focus on a few people.”  I realized right then, the best way I could help the women of Tanzania was to focus on supporting my Tanzanian teammates.  By working with my team and supporting each other become better leaders, we would create a sustainable path to better health outcomes.

Once I oriented to this purpose, everything became much clearer.  We prepared a bilingual, 10-minute presentation of our proposal to the Kagera Regional Medical Officer, the District Medical Officers, leaders of our NGO partner, ICAP and the Ministry of Health.  With their endorsement and the support of Pepal, our team will work virtually over the next 6 months to implement our proposal.  

The Impact of a Shared Value

This program had a profound impact on me.  Yes, I learned how to get comfortable taking action with little information.  And yet, above and beyond, I experienced something greater: the power of ‘we’, the powerful impact of a Shared Purpose and Community.  We came together as strangers with little in common and faced a serious challenge.  We supported each other, shared our personal stories and celebrated each other’s successes.  We created a unique community in that week, bonded to a common purpose, helping patients.  What’s more, we are part of a legacy which builds on the successes of prior cohorts adding this to our own and continuing the path to a healthier life. 

Francesca Paolone Lamb

Francesca is passionate about public health and increasing patient access to care.  To that end, Francesca has dedicated her career to simplifying drug development and volunteering in global health efforts. 

With over 15 years of experience in academic and industry settings, Francesca has expertise in finance, program management and in clinical research.  She has led global teams to develop innovative solutions to complex problems always with an eye toward productivity and fostering an engaged work environment.  She is recognized for cultivating high-performing teams and enjoys mentoring young professionals.  

Francesca is currently the lead for PDR Business Analysis and Insights at Genentech, and a board member for Global Healing, a non-profit organization.  She has a BA in Spanish Language and studied Neuroscience at the University of California, Los Angeles.  She has a Masters in Public Health in Epidemiology from the UCLA School of Public Health.


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How Coffee is Tackling the Cervical Cancer Burden in Tanzania

Over 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed in the world everyday. Have you ever stopped to think how your morning brew could make a difference in the lives of others?

Three alumni from our leadership program in Tanzania, Davide Ravazzoni, Carol Zoner and Angie Namenuk, considered this question as a result of their participation in their “Immersion Week” in Kagera Region in 2016. Pepal, in collaboration with Roche Pharmaceutica, ICAP Tanzania and Ministry of Health Tanzania (MohCDGEC) runs the NJIA program in Kagera to improve the leadership skills of international pharmaceutical employees and local healthcare workers over a six month period. Participants are brought together for one week in Kagera to learn new leadership competencies and to put them into practice by co-creating innovative solutions to tackle the high cervical cancer burden in the region (known as the “Immersion Week”). The ideas generated from this week are then implemented over the following 5-6 months and results shared at a Handover meeting in Basel, Switzerland, and Bukoba, Tanzania.

Davide, Carol, and Angie decided to extend their six month commitment to improving health outcomes for women in Tanzania by setting up the Kahawa Foundation. “Kahawa” means coffee in Kiswahili, and during their time in Tanzania as part of the NJIA program, the three founders wondered if the abundant coffee produced in Kagera Region could be sold at their workplace in San Francisco to generate funds to implement projects to save women’s lives in Tanzania.

One such project which is underway is the building of a reproductive child health unit at Nyaishozi Dispensary in Karagwe District in Kagera Region. This building will provide women with the privacy they need to be screened for cervical cancer, and for other reproductive health-related matters.

For more information about the work they do, please make sure to visit their website by clicking this link.




Cross Sector Leadership Exchange: Uganda Leadership Pioneers 2018

Pepal brings together NGOs, global corporations and the public sector to develop leaders and find practical solutions to challenging social issues in East Africa and South Asia.

Since 2016, Pepal has collaborated with the Cross Sector Leadership Exchange (CSLE) and Baylor-Uganda (Ugandan NGO) to improve health outcomes for patients in two regions in Uganda through executive leadership trainings, this program is known as the Uganda Leadership Pioneers. Uganda Leadership Pioneers (, facilitated by Sue Hopgood and Charlie Phelps from CSLE, brings together senior leaders from the UK public sector with government District Health Management Teams and frontline government health workers to create sustainable solutions to pressing health burdens through improved leadership skills.

From the 15th to the 22nd of September 2018, Jemima Burnage (Care and Quality Commission, NHS England), Mark Gillyon-Powell (Health and Justice, NHS England), Nina Pinwill (National Cancer Drugs Fund, NHS England) and Penelope Banham (Metropolitan Police) alongside Ugandan colleagues took part in the fourth Uganda Leadership Pioneers workshop in Kyenjojo and Kyegegwa districts in Rwenzori region, Uganda.

Baylor-Uganda, as the main CDC-funded implementing partner in Rwenzori the region, together with the government District Health Management Teams, advised that the focus of the workshop should be to support their joint efforts to reach the global UNAIDS target to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. As part of this these targets, Baylor-Uganda aims to identify 372 new HIV positive clients per week in each of the eight districts in the region.

Uganda Leadership Pioneers, through their classroom training and discovery field visits, tried to identify challenges faced by health facilities in achieving these targets. Theoretical frameworks on systems thinking, stakeholder mapping and PESTEL/SWOT analyses were employed by the teams to propose pragmatic solutions and design their action plans.

To ensure sustainability, the action plans were presented to district technical and political leaders on the 21st of September for their feedback and review. Actions plans centred on ideas of increased health education amongst communities, ensuring that outreach activities to reach people who are suspected to be positive for screening were adequately facilitated, and that district leaders provide increased mentoring and monitoring. The implementation of these plans will be overseen by the Baylor-Uganda Governance and Leadership Team over the coming months.

At the end of the programme, one of the UK participants said:

“I am going to keep in touch with my team who will update me on the progress of our goals. I have achieved deeper insight into working with diverse people and how to get the best from them.”

One of the Ugandan participants stated:

“I have gained practical skills in steps to solving health systems challenges using a bottom-top approach. I will use these skills in my health facility technical support visits.”

The cross-sector learning developed during this week-long workshop will augment the incredible work that is being done by Baylor-Uganda to tackle the AIDS epidemic in Rwenzori region. The shared value created during this program is sure to affect the workplaces of both our UK and Ugandan colleagues in a positive way with increased motivation to make a change in their respective communities. Listen to participants share their experiences in the above video!

If you would like to join the Uganda Leadership Pioneers in the future please contact to register your interest.



Cervical cancer prevention and treatment training in Tanzania


Pepal Foundation, through the NJIA collaboration and with the support of the Ministry of Health (MoHCDGEC), organised a cervical cancer screening and treatment training this week for 20 health care practitioners in Kagera Region, Tanzania. 

Cervical cancer is a preventable disease yet it is the second most common cancer among women worldwide. 87% of deaths resulting from cervical cancer occur in low-income countries. Mortality from the disease is especially high in sub-Saharan Africa, with East Africa having the highest incidence rate in the world. In Tanzania, the cervical cancer age-standardised mortality rate is 54 per 100,000 women meaning that cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer and cancer-related death among Tanzanian women. More than 7,300 Tanzanian women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year and more than half of these women die due to late stage diagnosis.

Pepal collaborates with Roche Pharmaceutica, ICAP Tanzania and the Ministry of Health (MoHCDGEC) to tackle the burden of cervical cancer in Kagera region through the NJIA program. NJIA translates as 'the way' in Swahili, and combines leadership with innovation training. The program aims to develop leaders in the region capable of increasing the numbers of women screened and treated for the disease by piloting innovative ideas. NJIA has been running in Kagera since 2016 and thus far nearly 100 leaders have been trained and 40 ideas piloted. NJIA has contributed to the screening of 63,000 women and treatment of 2,217 VIA positive women with cryotherapy. This remote northwestern region is now the third best region in the country for cervical cancer prevention and treatment indicators after Dar Es Salaam and Dodoma (the country's largest regions).

Pepal is proud to have organised the training of 20 health care practitioners in VIA (visual inspection with acetic acid) and cryotherapy this week. In resource-limited settings, this is the WHO recommended procedure for cervical cancer prevention and treatment. The cervix is swabbed with the vinegar, visually inspected by the health care professional and if an abnormality is suspected, treated immediately with non-invasive cryotherapy.

We cannot wait to invite these newly-qualified health care practitioners onto our leadership and innovations programs in the future to increase their capacity to save women's lives!



Research Published in the Journal of Healthcare Leadership


Research conducted as part of Pepal's Caring Together project in Uganda has been published in the Journal of Healthcare Leadership!

Caring Together was a partnership between Pepal, Baylor-Uganda and Janssen Pharmaceutica (Johnson & Johnson) to improve the leadership capacities of frontline health care workers in Uganda from 2015-2018.

As part of the project, Musinguzi Conrad, a Health Service specialist, was awarded a grant by Janssen Pharmaceutica to work as a Research Fellow at Baylor-Uganda to investigate the connection between leadership style and health worker motivation, job satisfaction and teamwork. Conrad was supported in this research by our wonderful Programmes Manager, Aruna Dahal, who is credited as a co-author in the publication.

This cross-sectional study was conducted in three different geographical regions in Uganda - Eastern and Rwenzori regions (where the Caring Together leadership project was implemented), and West Nile region (where the project was not implemented). The study found that transformational leadership styles had a positive impact on stimulating motivation, assuring job satisfaction, and consolidating teamwork among health workers compared with those who demonstrated transactional skills or laissez-faire styles. The results of this study clearly shows that transformational leaders need to be fostered in the health care system to ensure efficiency in health care delivery in Uganda. 

This research was invaluable to the Caring Together program design and for Pepal's other leadership training projects in East Africa and South Asia.

Please follow this link to read the article and get in touch with us if you would like to learn more about the importance of leadership for health system strengthening in East Africa.



Innovation in Myanmar: Celebrating the End of a Program


Since 2016, Innovation in Myanmar has brought together Burmese NGOs and CBOs together with employees from Johnson & Johnson to design innovative pilot projects to aid Myanmar's HIV response.

NGOs rely on money from a variety of sources, and in Myanmar, the majority of NGOs depend on foreign donors to survive. Pepal recognised that an ongoing shortfall in aid was, and continues to, threaten the sustainability of NGO activities in the country. Accordingly, at the heart of the program was the goal to help a variety of local NGOs in Myanmar to become self-sustainable.

Over the course of two years, Pepal hosted four innovation workshops and worked with over thirty local organisations in the fight against HIV. As a result of the program there are now 35 Burmese local healthcare workers trained in leadership skills who are driving sustainable social change on the ground. 

Three of the innovation projects piloted during the program continue to thrive in Myanmar:

- A sexual and reproductive health education tool for young people created by our leaders is now being integrated into mainstream youth programming. Phoenix, a local NGO, together with corporate participants, created a novel game to engage adolescents in conversations about their sexual health. In their ‘Ask a Question, Get an Answer, Win a Prize’ game, youths pay a small fee for three attempts at shooting a target. If they fill out a quiz on sexual reproductive health correctly, they get an additional two attempts for free, increasing their chances of winning a prize. After they have filled out the quiz, they talk through the correct answers with Phoenix volunteers, and are given the opportunity to ask questions. This allows Phoenix volunteers to educate youths for sexual reproductive health and collect valuable data at a low cost.

- In Mandalay, Alliance Myanmar's CBO partner, Spectrum, has set up a shop run by HIV+ clients. All profits from sales are used to support HIV prevention, care and treatment activities run by the CBO.

- A 'one-stop-shop' for HIV patients in Yangon is almost finished construction, and due to open this summer. During an innovation workshop, teams identified that accessing comprehensive care in Yangon was difficult due to distance between diagnostic and treatment facilities. The one-stop-shop was conceptualised so as to increase access to diagnosis and care for HIV+ patients, and to cut down time and costs of travel. Ratana Metta Organisation, the CBO involved in the workshop, has received local funding and will open its doors to the public soon.

Innovation in Myanmar demonstrated that sustainable social change is possible through collaboration, leadership and innovation. Collaboration between corporate and NGO partners facilitated a knowledge exchange of business thinking and healthcare knowledge. This knowledge exchange made innovation possible. But the leadership skills, at the heart of all Pepal projects, ensured the sustainability of the projects piloted during the program.

We would like to thank all of our partners who drove Innovation in Myanmar's success since 2016, and we look forward to watching the progress of our local partners in the country go from strength to strength. 



The International Summit on Leadership in Healthcare

The Rt. Hon Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, Prime Minister of Uganda, Dr. Adeodata Kekitiinwa, Executive Director of Baylor-Uganda, and Julie Saunders, Executive Director of Pepal at the International Summit on Leadership in Healthcare.

The Rt. Hon Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, Prime Minister of Uganda, Dr. Adeodata Kekitiinwa, Executive Director of Baylor-Uganda, and Julie Saunders, Executive Director of Pepal at the International Summit on Leadership in Healthcare.

Pepal believes that improving leadership at all levels is key to driving sustainable social change and reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Over 150 people, including the Prime Minister of Uganda, believed so too at the International Summit on Leadership in Healthcare that we co-hosted in Kampala, Uganda in April 2018.

The Summit hosted over 150 guests from 40 health-focused organisations who travelled from over 10 different countries. Organised to provide a forum for a cross-sector discussion of the importance of leadership in healthcare systems, the Summit was also a platform for the launch of the final Caring Together project results. The Summit, in bringing together representatives from government, donor, implementing partner and corporate sectors, actualised Pepal's mission of aligning social and political agendas to solve pressing social issues. 

Highlights from the International Summit on Leadership in Healthcare.

The Summit drew the Caring Together project to a close after three successful years in the Rwenzori and Eastern regions of Uganda. The Caring Together project was jointly run by Pepal, Janssen Pharmaceutica (Johnson&Johnson) and Baylor-Uganda to strengthen the leadership skills of frontline health workers to improve service delivery and patient outcomes. Baylor-Uganda will be carrying forward the best practices of Caring Together through their newly-established Leadership Academy which will provide leadership and capacity-building training to institutions throughout Uganda. We are now working to ensure that all the commitments relating to the Baylor-Uganda Leadership Academy are fulfilled, particularly engaging with the senior partners at the Ministry of Health to ensure that the right procedures are followed for the Academy’s establishment. 

Pepal would like to thank the partners that made this event possible: Baylor-Uganda and Janssen Pharamceutica. The drive and dedication of their organising committees were instrumental to the Summit's success. 

All videos, posters, and publications from the Summit can be found here:



The International Summit On Leadership In Healthcare, Kampala

With just 19 days to go until the International Leadership in Healthcare Summit in Kampala, the Pepal team have been working hard to organise what is sure to be an incredible event.

Hosting high profile plenary speakers, world class researchers, donor panels and poster presentations, this exciting, two-day international event will gather together some of the foremost thinkers on leadership in healthcare from around the world.

A forum for sharing best practices and practical implementations as well as debate and knowledge exchange with global experts, the International Leadership in Healthcare Summit will showcase the latest leadership innovations in healthcare and explore their sustainability.

Hosted by Baylor-Uganda, and supported by Pepal and Janssen Pharmaceutica, the Summit will be celebrating the end of the three year Caring Together project in Uganda. The results of this incredible project, funded by Comic Relief, will be launched and the team will advocate for the importance of leadership in healthcare to improve health service delivery in front of the country's foremost donors and implementing partners. 

Check out for the latest news and uploads from the Summit. We wish the Pepal team in Uganda all the best in their preparations over the next 2.5 weeks!

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