TCI Global Toolkit: Coaching Essentials

TCI’s Coaching Model

TCI’s definition of coaching: A structured yet flexible process by which coachees are empowered to make positive changes in their internal motivation, knowledge, skills and ability to address needs; solve problems; take on new challenges; improve individual performance; achieve individual, team and organizational objectives; and coach others in their geographies.

Coaching Type
Proactive or Planned
Coaching Initiated By
TCI coach
A stakeholder in a TCI-supported geography
  • Periodic, planned, one-to-one or group coaching that supports:
    • Dissemination and use of TCI tools for expression of interest and gap analysis and program design processes
    • Identification, adaptation and implementation of TCI-U proven approaches and tools
    • Monitoring, improving data systems and use of data for decision-making
    • Institutionalizing TCI approaches into health systems, budgets and work plans
    • Scale-up and diffusion of TCI approaches beyond TCI-supported geographies
    • Step-down coaching for supervision, management and on-the-job training
  • Frequency, content and style fluctuates over time
  • Stakeholder/coachee reaches out to request one-to-one or group coaching through TCI-U or by contacting a TCI hub coach
  • TCI hub assesses available resources for request based on both need and opportunity and responds by matching a qualified TCI coach to address the expressed need/coaching request
  • Coachee and coach work together to articulate the need/problem, improvement objective and solutions, including use of TCI-U approaches and tools

In addition, TCI provides ad-hoc coaching to political and health leadership. However, delivery of this type of coaching is not tracked as coaching sessions given that they take place during advocacy visits and general stakeholder engagement.

Frequency of Coaching Interactions: Coaching may take the form of more frequent coaching interactions that may last 3-6 months versus a one-time coaching session. For example, the planned coaching session on the program design template may begin with a face-to-face coaching session but then require coaching follow-up over a period of time, while on-demand coaching may result in communication via WhatsApp, phone calls, or even the TCI-U website and may be completed with a response to the coaching question.

Read the Coaching Technical Brief to learn more about how TCI has operationalized its coaching model.

Lessons Learned

TCI’s coaching approach is generally similar across hubs, leveraging existing local structures and processes, but with different touch points for each program area—service delivery and supplies, demand generation, advocacy, data systems and use and AYSRH. For example, for service delivery interventions, each hub has found success in establishing and/or strengthening quality improvement teams and aligning on-the-job coaching with the existing supportive supervision workflows and meetings at the facility. In addition, coaching can lead to different types of advocacy and diffusion of the proven interventions. For example, when the hub sees that an intervention is having impact, the data are shared with TCI stakeholders and TCI can better advocate to scale-up the approach through other geographies’ work plans.

TCI has found the following elements to be critical to the success of its coaching model:

Knowledgeable about local health system, political and socio-cultural environment
  • TCI hub staff master coaches should have an in-depth knowledge of the local health system and decision-making apparatus
  • TCI hub staff in partnership with local government stakeholders should proactively identify key decision-makers to champion and be involved in the coaching model
  • TCI hub staff master coaches should actively participate in existing planning bodies, working groups, and partner coordination for a with local government stakeholders
  • TCI hub staff master coaches should work with local government stakeholders to identify and strengthen an institutional home or establish one to oversee implementation of TCI proven interventions
  • TCI hub staff master coaches should work with local government stakeholders to align the proven interventions with existing geography processes, such as quality improvement teams, supportive supervision processes and data review meetings, among others
Good relationships established between coaches and coachees
  • Establish geographic proximity between the coaches and coachees, if not sharing office space in the same location then at least ensuring that the presence of TCI coaches is regularly felt by the local stakeholders
  • Identify and train a pool of implementers to serve as coaches related to specific interventions
  • Be respectful of the coachee’s level of authority when engaging and providing coaching; be mindful of the language that is used to describe coaching and speak to the coachee’s goals
  • Lead by listening and empowering coachees; invest time in building a rapport with stakeholders and potential coachees
  • Ensure coaches are viewed as equal partners, not outsiders
  • Set the tone of coaching for self-reliance and ownership from the outset, as embedded TCI coaches may sometimes be called upon as an extra set of hands in resource-limited settings with few staff in the Family Planning Unit of government systems
Comfortable with coaching process and confident and skilled in coaching content
  • Be flexible given that the coaching process should be led by the coachees’ needs and requests
  • Demonstrate success with the proven interventions to build confidence and capacity of local stakeholders and showcase results as the results achieved by the city team, not TCI
  • Provide coaching on management processes and skills; this is equally, if not more important than purely technical coaching on the execution of TCI proven approaches

Apart from the technical aspects of coaching, as a coach there are some emotional attributes, we should ensure that the coach has at least 70% of these attributes and skills. Emotional intelligence is key. … You need to be able to reach your coachee. It goes beyond the TA [technical assistance] that you are providing. You need to reach beyond. So, you should be able to put yourself in the position of the coachee and know what is happening any time.” — State Program Coordinator, Ogun state, Nigeria



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