Secretariat for European Affairs (SEA), a partner organization of the USAID’s Organizational Performance Improvement Program (USAID OPIP) (january - june 2016)
USAID’s Organizational Performance Improvement Program aims at enhancing the performance of Macedonian organizations deemed key for the development of the country and for the objectives that USAID Macedonia strives to achieve in the democracy& governance, education and economic sectors.
The program works with seven selected organizations to strengthen their structure, advance their work processes, and elevate the skills and knowledge of their employees. The program also strives to strengthen linkages across institutions and improve important processes to provide better services to the citizens of Macedonia. Program activities are divided into three stages: 1) Performance assessment of the partner organization; 2) Implementation of proposed interventions, and 3) Re-assessment of partner organization’s performance.
The cooperation between SEA and OPIP began on December 15, 2014, with signing of the first Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation (MOU). Following a series of performance assessment activities, a second MOU was signed between SEA and OPIP that marked the beginning of the second stage – implementation of interventions, an overview of which is presented below.
- Workshops on developing M&E plan for SEA’s Annual Program for 2016
On February 24 and March 3, 2016, OPIP organized two workshops on M&E plan for SEA’s Annual Program for 2016, on institutional level. A selected team of 17 representatives of all SEA’s sectors, including state advisors, heads of sectors and units, as well as other SEA employees, worked on finalizing the Framework of Goals, Objectives and Results, as a tool for planning and monitoring the implementation of SEA’s Annual Program for 2016. Following the OPIP team guidelines, the participants reviewed and revised the institution and sector-level goals, objectives and results.
Workshop participants working in groups on M&E plan for SEA’s annual program
Following on to the first workshop and the finalization of Framework of Goals, Objectives and Results, at the second workshop, the participants revised the draft sector and institution-level indicators. They drafted description, baseline and target values for most of the institution-level indicators, as well as means for data verification, responsible persons for data collection and reporting purpose.
- Workshop on semi-annual performance interview
On May 19, 2016, OPIP organized a half-day workshop the goal of which was to prepare relevant SEA staff for conducting semi-annual interviews. The workshop was attended by 20 representatives of SEA management, including the state secretary, two state advisors, heads of sectors and independent units, deputy heads of sectors and heads of units. During the workshop, clear guidelines were offered to the participants on how to conduct the semi-annual interview, according to the Law on Civil Servants in the area of civil servants performance management. Mandatory steps, activities and templates were presented and practical answers were given to all questions from the participants regarding the overall process.
Ms. Ana Blazeska, State Secretary, following the guidelines on semi-annual interviews, along with the other participants
- Focus group for identifying intrinsic motivation measures
On May 19, 2016, OPIP organized a focus group discussion that aimed to identify measures for intrinsic motivation. The group consisted of 20 representatives of SEA management, including the state secretary, a state advisor, heads of sectors and independent units and heads of units. A set of motivation measures was presented by OPIP expert and a discussion was conducted on the applicability of those measures in SEA’s working environment. The participants also gave their suggestions on additional means of employee work motivation.
- Mr. Arbr Ademi, Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs, meeting with representatives of OPIP and USAID
On May 23, 2016, Mr. Arbr Ademi, Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs. met with Mr. Ivica Vasev, USAID, and OPIP team lead by Ms. Valbona Morina-Maksut, Chief of Party and Ms. Elizabeta Markovska-Spasenoska, Deputy Chief of Party. The OPIP team presented to-date accomplishments resulting from the implementation of activities aiming at improving SEA’s performance.
Mr. Ademi expressed his appreciation of the support provided by OPIP for the establishment of the integrated annual planning system of SEA, the civil servants performance management system and the system for monitoring and evaluation of SEA’s performance.
Mr. Arbr Ademi and USAID/OPIP representatives discussing the next steps under OPIP support for SEA
- Workshop for developing internal PR communication processes and procedures
On May 25 – 27, 2016, OPIP organized a workshop for developing internal PR communication processes and procedures. 13 SEA employees, in charge of PR and internal communications, attended the workshop. The participants had an opportunity to gain knowledge in the area of strategic planning and management of communications.
They were also introduced to and discussed the proposed model of effective PR communications. Moreover, they reviewed and tested the proposed procedures for: 1) proactive and reactive PR on daily bases, 2) planning and organizing communication events, and 3) planning and developing periodical communication plans.
Workshop participants practicing the application of internal PR communication tools