Dr Neill Stevenson
Organizational and Leadership Development Consultant
Dr Neill Stevenson directed the Centre for Advanced Management Development (CAMDEV) which he founded in 1991 to provide organisational and leadership development programs. His doctoral research identified the need for innovative alternatives to leadership development in order to address the skills shortage and historical disadvantages of many potential leaders. CAMDEV broke the logic bubble of what was considered possible by introducing into South Africa the first internationally credible, full distance learning, MBA degree (Edinburgh Business School). Neill continued his pioneering contribution to leadership development by designing, developing and implementing an innovative Management Development Programme (MDP). The MDP ran for six years as a joint venture between the (then) University of Natal and CAMDEV, until it was absorbed into the new business school at the University. During that time the MDP was customised and offered in-house to meet the needs of a number of major organisations, including: Spoornet, Telkom, Nedbank, Old Mutual and many others. The MDP offered a unique combination of delivery modalities, flexibility and action learning. The teaching staff included academics from the faculties of commerce and economics as well as business people and consultants. The formal education and training programs were accompanied by organisational and leadership development consulting which applied theoretical concepts to practical applications across a wide spectrum of organisational types, including faith-based and non-profit organisations.
After the business unit providing the MBA and MDP programs was sold to a stock exchange listed company (Educor) CAMDEV continued to offer education, training and development programs customised to the specific needs of individual clients and provided organisational development consulting. Neill spent seven years in leadership positions in a faith-based organisation. He was an ordained Presbyterian minister in a full-time pastoral charge and served the church for two terms of office as Clerk of Presbytery (regional administrator) and two terms of office as Moderator of Presbytery (chairperson of the regional executive). He gained valuable experience in the context of non-profit organisations functioning primarily with volunteers. He had wide exposure to congregations, members and their leaders in deep rural, peri-urban and urban settings. At the same time he continued to provide organisational and leadership development consulting within this context.
Neill has, for the past dozen years, focused his attention on NGOs. This includes: a series of case studies for Oxfam Australia on NGO "organisational sustainability" and "youth involvement" (copies available on request); an evaluation of the "meaningful participation of young people" of ten local partners (and five other NGOs for comparison) for Stop AIDS Now! (Netherlands), together with a training intervention (reports available on request); writing a training manual on sexual reproductive health and advocacy, together with student notebook, for Dance4Life (copies available on request); an external evaluation of the HIV and AIDS project of the South African Scout Association and Targeted AIDS Interventions for Oxfam Novib. He joined the Children in Distress Network (CINDI) as its Programme Manager for the USAID funded OVCY Programme in January 2008.