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Planning for greater impact

Graphic: Discussions at the retreat

A strategic planning retreat has allowed the Ombudsman and staff of Samoa’s NHRI to identify a range of steps to bolster their impact.

The Office of the Ombudsman/NHRI will bolster its communication and outreach efforts across all aspects of its work, following staff discussions to identify ways to strengthen the organisation's impact and operations.

An information management system was one priority identified to meet the growing data management needs of the Office.

The discussions were part of a three-day strategic planning retreat, which involved all staff of the Office and was facilitated by APF Expert NHRI Consultant Rosslyn Noonan in collaboration with local expert Vanessa Barlow.

The Ombudsman requested the APF's assistance to review their current strategic plan, to assess implementation of recommendations made through the Capacity Assessment and Review, and to begin preparations for the development of their 2021-2026 strategic plan.

Staff of the Office of the Ombudsman and retreat facilitators

The Office of the Ombudsman has three distinct aspects to its mandate: promoting and protecting human rights, promoting good governance and conducting special investigations.

It was established as Samoa's national human rights institution in 2013 and was accredited with 'A status' by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions in 2016.

At the retreat, the Ombudsman noted that the strong reputation enjoyed by the Office within the community was a result of the dedicated efforts of a small, skilled team over recent years.

He added that, given the limited human resources, it was crucial that staff were able to support the different functions of the Office.

Accordingly, participants identified a range of steps that could be taken to strengthen and streamline the internal functions of the Office.

The discussions also looked at the possibility of advocating for certain legislative changes to improve human rights protections available to the community.

APF Projects and Planning Manager Faso Aishath attended the retreat to document the insights and ideas shared during the strategic planning process.

These conversations will inform a new APF resource on strategic planning for Pacific NHRIs that will be available later in 2019.

The strategic planning retreat, held in Apia from 29 April -1 May 2019, was supported by the Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) of the Pacific Community.

Date: 14 May 2019

Image credits

  1. Discussions at the retreat - APF/Faso Aishath
  2. Staff of the Office of the Ombudsman and retreat facilitators - APF/Faso Aishath