How one organization is taking a hands-on approach to developing its future leaders locally

A Marie Stopes team member in Zambia. Photo by: Marie Stopes International

BARCELONA — With the increased focus on local ownership, many global development organizations struggle to find the necessary talent and skills at the national level, and when they do, competition can be fierce. Looking ahead, some employers are investing in efforts to build expertise internally and, in turn, a pipeline of future leaders. The executive team at Marie Stopes International is taking a very hands-on approach to this and seeking to identify and develop its future leaders through an Accelerated Leadership Programme, which is focusing specifically on capacity-building at a local level and moving its people and skills from “south to south.”

The program, launched earlier this year, was the idea of CEO Simon Cooke and other members of the executive team. Cooke and the executive team were directly involved in delivering training to the first cohort of candidates in May. It is about taking a long-term view to people development, says Cooke, “as opposed to just hiring from the outside or hiring from the inside but without the skill development.”