/ / AHA Centre Diary 1


Following the adoption and implementation of the 2025 Work Plan, the AHA Centre conducted its mid-term review process from 21 to 26 July 2021. Carried out online, this mid-term review was geared towards promoting project performance, learning and evidence-based decision making and management. In particular, the review aimed to assess results achieved from January to June 2021.

Conducting any form of activity online has been a unique challenge since the COVID-19 pandemic struck last year. Not only is there “Zoom fatigue” whereby staff are worn out by too many virtual calls and meetings, there is also the fact that despite the comparative ease in setting up such meetings, technology can often fail. Some people lose their internet connections; some even lose electricity. Furthermore virtual mid-term reviews are limited to audio and visual cues, unlike in-person meetings where body language, tone of voice, pacing and gestures add an extra dimension to a speaker’s words. The entire process can lead to tedium in many cases. Nevertheless, the review with careful design and coordination among the Knowledge and Change Management (KCM), ICT and Resource Mobilisation (ResMob) teams, went ahead better than could be expected.

The mid-term review programme was separated into four-half day meetings in which all of the AHA Centre’s staff and senior management took part. Each meeting consisted of plenary and breakout room sessions. The breakout rooms were created based on the Work Plan’s priority programmes. As the AHA Centre has been implementing online project management and monitoring through Zoho since 2018, prior to the review the project team was asked to update its activity progress on that platform.

On the first day of the programme, using a problem tree analysis, the AHA Centre’s staff explored any delays in project implementation, their causes and drew lessons from the delays and provided suggestions for improved implementation to avoid further delays going forward and to ensure the achievement of the project objectives.

It also drew lessons and made recommendations for enhancing project implementation and performance on the second day. This session was the first time everyone was introduced and utilised a tool called a “transformation card deck”. The cards in the transformation deck acted as thought triggers, conversation starters and reflection framers. They helped tease out tacit knowledge, showcased staff experience and allowed for deep reflection. They could be used to design or co-design a project and facilitated support and learning from each phase throughout the project. Even though this tool is ideally used for face-to-face meetings, the AHA Centre’s staff were keen to discover how it could be used online. Both discussions on the problem tree and the transformation card deck were conducted using the Miro interactive virtual meeting tool, where participants could engage in mind mapping together.

Those two sessions led to the adjustment of the activity plan for July to December 2021. The KCM team presented the overall progress and projection for the next phase and provided their analysis on the possible completion rate by the end of 2021 so that the project team could decide on the number of activities and the timeline to achieve their intended targets.


Written by: Merry Rismayani & Caroline Widagdo | Photo : AHA Centre