UNESCO empowers Iraqi high level managers in Higher Education with Modern Management and Leadership Methods
With the support of the Office of Her Highness (HHO) Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser the first lady of Qatar, UNESCO Office in Iraq held an intensive capacity building workshop to help develop the proficiency of 20 key high-level managers of the Ministries of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Baghdad and of the Kurdistan region.
The workshop was hosted by HHO in Doha from 16 to 19 December 2012; and it is part of a programme developed as a response to the findings of a needs assessment which pointed out at introducing substantial administration reforms and adjustments for better organization and governance. The tackled areas have been project and change management, quality, and lean administration. Director Generals and department heads and directors from the major Iraqi Directorates of Research and Development, Quality Assurance, Fellowships and Cultural Relations, Studies and Planning, Reconstruction and Projects, as well as Human Resources, participated in this four-day workshop. Two international “Six Sigma Black Belt” experts from WZL-RWTH Aachen University, namely Dr.-Ing. Sebastian Schmitt and Dipl.-Ing. Stephan Losse, facilitated the workshop, and, in collaboration with UNESCO, designed and compiled the course materials.
This capacity building programme comes as a major component of the Rehabilitation of Iraq Higher Education System Project and aims at:
· Developing participants understanding of crucial and core management skills to shift from being an individual contributor to a well-respected manager able to achieve team success and drive quality performance;
· Strengthen participants’ readiness to work in teams and to introduce modern management styles and manage changes inside the organization;
· Provide participants with methods and approaches to make use of the best management concepts and tools such as stakeholder analysis, critical path identification, RSI matrix, milestones and quality gates for a better implementation of projects and quality improvement.
The participants showed a great interest to the programme and worked on real-life cases of project management.
Mr. Mohammed Al-Nuaimi, representing HHO, voiced in his opening address the Office concern on the status of Higher Education in Iraq, and stated that ”Her Highness Office would be happy to develop more solid partnerships with Iraqi universities in the next two years in order to better support the rehabilitation of the Higher Education system in Iraq”.
UNESCO Project Manager Semia Saadaoui highlighted that “this workshop is the first in a series to follow during 2013 that will empower Iraqi senior managers at the Ministry and in Higher Education institutions with strategic and operational know-how on structural and organizational frameworks necessary for continuous quality improvement". Emphasizing the importance of this component within the overall Higher Education project, she stated that "this capacity building programme will help introduce new process and system management tools and instruments needed to develop a modern and lean administration”.
Within the project of “Rehabilitating Higher Education in Iraq”, UNESCO is assisting the Ministries of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Baghdad and Kurdistan Region to establish a modernized and qualitative Higher Education system in Iraq. Building capacities of Iraqi decision makers and public staff in the field of Higher Education constitutes an essential component of this multidimensional programme.