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Evaluation of the Effectiveness of an Initiative to Develop Leadership Skills among Women in Africa: A Case Study . Evaluation of the Sisters Leadership Development Initiative (SLDI) By Jane M. Wakahiu Lsosf , Ph. D. Challenge to Leadership in sub-Saharan Africa .

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Evaluation of the Effectiveness of an Initiative to Develop Leadership Skills among Women in Africa: A Case Study

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Evaluation of the Effectivenessof an Initiative to Develop Leadership Skills among Women in Africa: A Case Study

Evaluation of the Sisters Leadership Development Initiative (SLDI)

By Jane M. WakahiuLsosf, Ph. D.

Challenge to Leadership in sub-Saharan Africa

  • frequent political instability, few social services, limited technological networks, inequality in resource management and distribution (Collier,2007; Ochola, 2007; Moss, 2007).

  • Study of 213 countries, more women leaders, more women are mentors and role models (Bullogh, 2006)

  • No studies have empirically examined: leadership development; management experiences and performance of women religious.

The Sisters Leadership Development (SLDI) Program

  • Initiated in 2007 with a $2 million grant from the Conrad Hilton Foundation

  • Leadership needs, essential tracks and competencies are were delineated.

  • Trainee and instructors recruited and program commenced in five countries (Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania)


The purpose of this qualitative case study was to evaluate the Sisters Leadership Development Initiative (SLDI) program.

  • Determine

    • impact

    • effectiveness

    • changes that resulted

  • Assess the pedagogical practices

  • Describe sustainability strategies

Objectives of the SLDI Program

  • Transfer knowledge and skills

  • Encourage creative and effective practices

  • Identify, mobilize resources

  • Expand knowledge of development issues

  • Enhance skills in human relations

  • Develop skills in strategic planning

  • Ensure sustainability of the projects

    SLDI Program Handbook, 2007

Research Questions

1. Have the goals and objectives of the SLDI program been attained?

a. Program delivery model match initial strategy

b. Most effective pedagogical strategies

2. What is the impact of the SLDI program on the ministries of the participants?

a. Projects evolved and benefits of the program to stakeholders?

3. Are strategies in place to sustain the program for the future?

a. What are perceived lasting effects and plans for the continuity of the program?

Theoretical perspective

Rogers, 2003

Culture software of the Mind (Hofstede, 2005)

Transformational leadership (Bass, 1985)

SLDI Theoretical Perspective Model


  • Research design qualitative case study. In-depth exploration of the context, perspectives, and details of the activities

  • Participants - Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria and United States

  • Interviewees (45)

    • 32 trainees

    • 10 instructors

    • 3 administrators

      Merriam, 2001; Creswell, 2007

Data recording and processing

  • Transcribed verbatim

  • Excel data base

  • “Conversing” with data

  • Open-coding

  • Axial-coding categories w/sub-categories

  • Face-to-face and phone interviews

  • Site-visit observations

  • Document analysis

  • Field notes, tape- recorded interviews


Percent trainee participants by track

Percent trainee participants by country of origin

Percent trainee level of education

Total enrollment and graduation by country96 % retentionrate was reported and 93%graduation rate.

Funds Raised by Country

Community Transformation

Improved farming methods

Water reservoir

  • sinking wells, defloridation

  • Improved farming

  • job creation



  • Leadership proficiency created transformation; women agents of change.

  • Meaningful pedagogical practices encourage skills transfer to workplaces

  • Mentoring enhanced skills transfer and is a sustainable strategy

  • Program effects, change in management, increase in individual leadership insights led to societal change

  • Leadership training provided a “moral campus” - building confidence and self-efficacy

  • Leadership program a favorable investment for women empowerment in the sub-Saharan Africa

  • Reframe organizations by adopting best leadership practice

  • Innovative programs and projects and use of technology for change


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Evaluation of the Effectiveness of an Initiative to Develop Leadership Skills among Women in Africa: A Case Study


Jane Wakahiu, Lsosf, Ph. D.

African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC) &

Sisters Leadership Development Initiative (SLDI)

Marywood University

[email protected]

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