Sunday, March 26, 2006

Programme Management

Brian Orlin demystified project and programme management for us in his presentation. He is a Project Manager for the Johannesburg Development Agency and has been working on turning around Constitution Hill into a viable commercial enterprise at the same time maintaining its historical image I got the emphasis that one requires a great degree of interpersonal, leadership and management skills. I feel glad that most of my undergraduate courses (Principles of Management in particular) are becoming relevant to me in this Internship programme. No doubt they will become more relevant when I become a Project/Programme Officer in the near future.

I would like to become a project officer because it offers a more challenging and rewarding prospect. I say this because a project affords the opportunity of one being able to work on an independent unit of a broader programme that has a time frame and measurable objectives. Projects produce benefits and foreseeable changes usually for the benefit of society or a special community. In the near future I see myself working in my area of interest which is HIV/AIDS. I am particularly inspired by the work being conducted by the United Nations Development Programme and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and

I feel that I can make a contribution in providing my academic skills to providing strategic solutions to issues like HIV/AIDS which has bogged our society for so long. Using my analytic and communication skills I believe I can offer some new approaches to reverse the negative effects of the epidemic. Programme/ project management is the only way that promises better delivery of change as the component of monitoring is always present. These two components have gained certain popularity in both profit and non profit driven scenarios. It has become increasingly acceptable for certain programmes/projects to bring about policy change and advocacy for human rights in different societies and governments. I believe that organisations, companies, governments etc should embrace project and programme management if they want to be effective and are results driven.

Constitution Hill

On Friday World of Work Internship Training delegates including myself spent the whole day at Constitution Hill where we were taken on a tour of both the men’s and women’s prisons. I found the tour very depressing because of all the atrocious conditions that freedom fighters and other ordinary people had to endure when they were incarcerated. It was the notorious Section 4 and 5 that made me feel like that. Hundreds of thousands of black men were stripped of their dignity by the apartheid regime in these sections. I urge everyone to find time to go to Constitution Hill and get a feel of this South African history. I think it provides a link and may help explain why South Africa is the way it is today. So many issues that deal with democracy and upholding it are based there at the Constitutional court where cases are heard and judgments passed. I hope what happened at Constitution Hill will never be repeated and hopefully that it just remains what it is; history.