USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah weighs in on the issue of country ownership during a roundtable organized by MLI
This is the first of a series of perspective pieces on country ownership from the “Advancing Country Ownership for Greater Results” roundtable organized last week by the Ministerial Leadership Initiative for Global Health (MLI), a program of Aspen Global Health and Development. It attracted 50 people, including senior officials from developing countries, the U.S. government, development partners and NGOs.
The first of four pieces covers the comments of USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah.
Rajiv Shah opened MLI’s meeting by saying that the U.S. government was committed to country ownership, but that it needed to find ways to improve its support of country-led plans.
He cited several examples that showed how integral country leadership was in producing results. One was a 2011 Demographic and Health Survey in Ethiopia that showed a 30 percent reduction in under-5 mortality. He attributed that in large part to the leadership of Minister of Health Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“What we don’t appreciate as much is the driving force for that result was Minister Tedros’ leadership and the Ethiopian political will to get that done by deploying 30,000 health extension workers, seizing upon what we call in our culture ‘low-hanging fruit’” and finding “opportunities to save children’s lives.”
Read the full blog. Photo by Dominic Chavez, courtesy of MLI.