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September 14, 2010

Welcome to our new blog

Ministerial Leadership Initiative for Global Health

Welcome to our new blog, Leading Global Health.  This week, we are featuring a series of stories rarely told, yet critical to the developing world: the growing importance of leaders in Ministries of Health.  

When the Ministerial Leadership Initiative for Global Health (MLI) began three years ago, we thought about country leadership development mainly in terms of tailored approaches to training and capacity building for leaders in Ministries of Health – especially the Ministers themselves. 

Now, after working closely with Ministries in Ethiopia, Mali, Nepal, Senegal, and Sierra Leone, and learning from the experience of many other countries, we know that strengthening ministerial leadership is much broader than we originally conceived.

It is also about giving leaders the support and space they need to lead.  It is about country ownership and listening to the health priorities of country leaders, both within government and civil society.  And it is about helping build the capacity of civil servants holding pivotal roles within the Ministries both because they are important actors in developing policy and because it is not unusual for the Ministers to serve relatively short terms.

MLI is working to advance three inter-related policy areas:  health financing to ensure sustainable health care for all; donor alignment to ensure that donors work together to support country led priorities; and reproductive health because the health of women is central to the health and stability of communities and nations. 

Centered around these three policy areas, Leading Global Health will spotlight the views of global and country leaders, as well as health development practitioners, on the role of leadership and the importance of improving health systems so that vulnerable people around the world can depend on good health care. 

In the following days, international journalist John Donnelly explores these topics through a series of interviews:

In the Driver’s Seat:

A Series on Country Ownership of Health Programs

As world leaders gather on Sept. 20-22 at the United Nations in New York for the Summit on the Millennium Development Goals, one pressing issue is who calls the shots in trying to reach those goals in developing countries. In a series of daily question-and-answer pieces with writer John Donnelly, starting today and running through Sept. 23, eight policy and thought leaders in global health discuss the next steps in giving countries what they crave: ownership of their health programs.

We hope that our blog helps spur more dialogue around health issues in the developing world. Please use our Comments section to let us know what you think.

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