The Psychology and Social work department held their annual strategic planning session at the Barn in Windhoek on 9 February 2023. The planning workshop was facilitated by visiting Fulbright scholar, Associate Professor Nicole Bromfield from the University of Houston, Graduate College of Social Work, USA. Apart from her impeccable facilitation skills and experience, Professor Bromfield was able to avail funding to ensure that the planning session took place off campus to enhance participation and innovation.
The half-day session was divided into three parts. The first part started by re-evaluating the roles and ambitions of each staff member. The journey of reflection and introspection highlighted the motivating factors of academics and the roles they play. Apart from the session being a wake-up call regarding the requirements to progress, the session revealed different ways to prioritise strategic objectives for the individual, department and UNAM.
The second part of the session focused on the importance of aligning activities with strategic objectives and mission. Colleagues in the department shared their experiences related to some of the tasks that are less enjoyable but needs to be completed, the tasks that they struggle with and other tasks that are mostly enjoyed. Emphasis was placed on finding a balance between all domains of work, including time to rest and recover. Considering that promotion at UNAM is mainly focused on research, staff members were tasked to identify and plan how the rest of the year will be utilised regarding research and publication. Prof Bromfield noted that if goals are scheduled and planned for, staff are more likely to avail the resources and time to execute them.
The third part of the planning workshop focused on discussions related to the department’s community engagement agenda for 2023, how to accommodate and utilise our students, departmental seminars, research and grant writing workshops. Dr Hlatywayo, Head of department (Psychology and Social work), applauded staff for their continued efforts towards the work in the department and encouraged them to continue the good work. Dr Hlatywayo noted that at times resources and support might be limited however staff members should remain steadfast in their pursuit for excellence and pursue the strategic goals.