The ‘D-Team’: Cape Verde’s Use of Leadership to Drive Health Reform

Following the participation of both the Health and Finance Ministers in the Harvard Ministerial Forums, Cape Verde Ministers mandated a team of top health and finance officials dubbed the ‘D-team’ to work with the Ministerial Program to strengthen health service delivery and increase budget effectiveness.

The Harvard Ministerial Program stressed that all personnel are leaders in the effort to improve health service delivery. In order to strengthen the participants’ leadership capability, the training included building skills in team management, conflict management, and interpersonal communication. Using the Delivery Approach and tools created by the D-Team, each health center prepared an implementation plan aligned with the D-Team’s priorities for health worker productivity and procurement. The implementation of the centers’ plans has been supervised by members of the D-Team who visited the health centers at least once a year to monitor progress, identify challenges, and work with staff to resolve these.

According to the D-Team, health centers have responded positively to working towards a common goal: “It has been a good change. After the Harvard Program implementation plan, things changed – we have a common goal and colleagues are really engaged.”