Global Health Council Conference Panel Discusses Country Ownership

“The Global Health Initiative [GHI] will focus more heavily on countries’ own goals for development, explained Amie Batson, deputy assistant administrator for Global Health at USAID at a panel at the Global Health Council Conference on Thursday,” GlobalPost’s “Global Pulse” blog reports. Batson, who participated in a panel with health leaders from Ethiopia, Mali, Nepal, Senegal and Sierra Leone, said, “We are in agreement on country ownership.”

“We will not always be able to deliver the exact intervention that the country wants in the time frame that the country wants,” Batson said. “But we’re certainly trying,” she added. The panel focused on how countries should define their development goals, and health ministers from the countries represented talked about their domestic health initiatives (Karimjee, 6/16).

The health ministers also released a Call to Action (.pdf) that “pushe[s] for greater country ownership of health programs and more flexibility from donors to match programs with national priorities, saying that this dramatic shift in the donor-recipient relationship would save money and lives,” according to a post on GHC’s “Global Health” blog. The document is a result of support from the Ministerial Leadership Initiative for Global Health (MLI), which GHC President and CEO Jeffrey Sturchio said is “a model that should be nourished by donors and developing countries” (6/15).

In related news, PBS NewsHour interviewed GHI Executive Director Lois Quam about what the initiative has accomplished so far and what comes next (Miller, 6/16).