Leadership Samoa Chief Executive Officer- Seumanu Douglas Ngau Chun and PLP Country Representative- Muliagatele Dr Potoae Roberts Aiafi conducting a session with leadership Samoa members.

Apia Samoa September 13- Members of the Leadership Samoa 2016 cohort were introduced to Adaptive Leadership concepts  during training sessions with PLP Country Representative- Muliagatele Dr Potoae Roberts Aiafi  and Leadership Samoa Chief Executive Officer- Seumanu Douglas Ngau Chun.

PLP support to Leadership Samoa enables the organisation to bring together Samoa’s emerging leaders and introduce them to development issues, identify skill building and engagement opportunities with government, private sector and civil society. Cohort members also implement projects to address development issues.

The program includes study tours and high level forums but according to Dr. Aiafi does not adequately address leadership skills training hence the sessions in August, “The participants were very interested in the adaptive leadership approach and how they could diagnose challenges in their personal lives, organisations, communities and country.

Mr. Ngau Chun said the introduction of Adaptive Leadership training  was an innovative move for the organisation, “These sessions will go hand in hand with the critical thinking required of the participants when they are analysing Samoa’s development issues and what they can do as emerging leaders in their organisations and communities to address these issues. The Adaptive Leadership model is considered to be particularly relevant to developing countries.”

“This will also contribute to their personal development and is something they continue to use well after they graduate from the year long program with us,” he said.

Majority of the 2016 cohort members hold management positions in government and the private sector. This year they have participated in study tours focusing on all levels of Government in Samoa, education and health sectors, development of communications technology in Samoa and the impacts of climate change.  During their health sector study tour, the 2016 cohort identified the management of patient information as an issue that will attempt to address.

Previous cohorts have implemented community-based projects including a toolkit for student s preparing them for employment and the provision of a scholarship to encourage teachers to undertake further studies in science to address the shortage of science teachers in the country.  The 2015 cohort is currently implementing a sports awards night to celebrate the achievements of sports organisations and sportspeople.

The Adaptive Leadership training was conducted by Mr. Ngau Chun and Dr Aiafi, they are participants of PLP’s Pacific Regional Leadership Initiative (PRLI) and its corresponding Training of Trainers program.

PRLI is a nine-month adaptive leadership program designed to build the skills and resilience of Pacific leaders to effectively lead policy and development change. It is based on the ‘adaptive leadership’ framework, which focuses on the leadership of change in difficult and uncertain environments, and offers a range of tools that leaders can draw on in their leadership of change.

Developed by PLP in collaboaration with Cambridge Leadership Associates (CLA), who deliver leadership training for the US-based Harvard Kennedy School, the PRLI is in its second year. It builds on previous collaborations between PLP and CLA, supporting individuals, organisations and coalitions engaged in the leadership of change in the Pacific.

Mr. Ngau Chun said he was pleased to be part of the PRLI, “As a PLP partner, attending the PRLI has been an enriching experience for me personally. On a professional level, I  will be able to share the framework with the leaders I work with. and with my fellow PLP partners in Samoa who are also   participating the PRLI we can create a network of leaders trained and using adaptive leadership skills.”

Dr Aiafi and Mr. Ngau Chun said they were pleased to convene the training for Leadership Samoa participants, as it will also help them gain practical experience in sharing what they have learnt in the first module of the PRLI. Other PLP partners  participating in the PRLI are  Samoa Chamber of Commerce, Samoa National Leadership Development Forum and the Samoa National Youth Council. Also in attendance are key personnel from the Samoa Cultural Centre, Samoa  Office of the Electoral Commissioner and the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development.

The next session for Leadership Samoa will be held in September.

Samoa Country Program Fact Sheet