Since inception in 2012, the Harvard Ministerial Leadership Program has included a (post-Harvard) in-country Follow-up component designed to support participating Ministers in achieving their primary (legacy) goals by providing planning and implementation management capacity to senior officials. Over the past seven years, 21 countries and 272 officials have participated in the Follow-up component. Although a significant number of countries benefitted, the Follow-up was highly selective only inviting four or five countries annually. Furthermore, after seven years, it is evident that the Ministerial Program does not have the capacity to sustain this effort at the intensity needed to make a lasting impact.
With the aim of ensuring that all participating Ministers have access to post-Harvard training and technical support, the Ministerial Program will soon launch a Virtual Implementation Platform (VIP)—a unique virtual program of technical assistance and capacity development designed to support implementation of Ministers’ legacy goals. The VIP will combine cutting edge online learning modules, customized technical support and virtual mentoring designed to:
- provide an ‘informational’ bridge between the Minister’s Harvard experience and senior Ministry leadership;
- provide training modules for ‘enablers’ (senior Ministry leadership mandated by the Minister to lead institutional mobilization in planning and implementation of the Minister’s legacy goals);
- detailed program planning and implementation mapping tools for ‘leaders’ overseeing the process;
- a comprehensive curriculum together with customized guidance/consultation for ‘implementers’ (program directors and line-managers) to support implementation management and monitoring of Ministers’ legacy goals.