Organizational Development of National Nursing Associations (ODENNA)




ICN's ODENNA partnership aims to build stronger and more sustainable nursing associations on the African continent for improved healthcare delivery and health prevention measures. Supported by the Johnson & Johnson Foundation and The BD Foundation, this partnership will pave the way for a global scale-up of the concept.

Nurses play a vital role in enabling people to access care and treatment wherever they live, including in remote rural areas. For many, nurses are the only health professionals they ever see, so it is vitally important that nurses have the support and guidance they need to deliver the best possible care for all their patients.

One of the core functions of National Nursing Associations (NNAs) is to provide advocacy to influence better health outcomes, whilst building respect, recognition and support for the nursing profession. Strengthening ICN member NNAs to effectively influence and positively impact improvements in healthcare delivery and prevention is essential for ICN’s global voice of nursing to continue being heard and for nurses to be valued as knowledgeable professionals and system navigators.

The ODENNA partnership brings together ICN’s National Nurses Associations in Africa with the goal of improving protection, support and advocacy for nurses on the ground. Twenty-four NNAs from the following countries have signed up to take part in ODENNA: Botswana, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Somaliland, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The scheme is a package which includes the ICN’s Leadership For Change (LFC)™ programme, organizational assessment through the ICN Tool, and twinning with well-established NNAs and regional twinning, with the aim of increasing the capacity to represent their nurses, yielding mutually beneficial engagement and collaboration.

We are very grateful and acknowledge the Johnson & Johnson Foundation and The BD Foundation for their supporting grants!

Phase 1 of the ODENNA partnership (2022), gathered NNA feedback in the region regarding the initiative and saw the training of faculty and facilitators who would eventually run educational activities in participating countries.

Phase 2 (2023) sees the implementation of subregional Leadership for Change™ (LFC) training and of the ICN Organizational Assessment Tool, with the development by NNAs of plans to address areas identified for improvement. Twinnings between NNAs start, to facilitate knowledge sharing.

ICN members DENOSA and NNAK were the hosts of LFC Workshop 1 in Pretoria, South Africa and Nairobi, Kenya, which took place between February 27 and March 10, 2023

Phase 3 (2024) will involve the establishment of the LFC programme in all participating countries and the rollout of NNA strategic plans.

Howard Catton, ICN CEO