themliapproach
December 09, 2010

Motivators: Ethiopia's Roman Tesfaye

John Donnelly

This is the fifth in a series of interviews with participants at the Ministerial Leadership Initiative for Global Health’s Learning Collaborative Forum in Addis Ababa on motivation – what motivates them and how do they motivate others. Roman Tesfaye is the director general of the Policy, Plan & Finance General Directorate in the Ministry of Health in Ethiopia.  

Q: What motivates you?

A: When I did my Master’s degree, I had one lecturer from Ghana named Willy Addai. He was the most inspiring lecturer that I have ever experienced, honestly. He motivated people to live up to their own potential. He didn’t tell you what to do. He just showed us that you can use your potential to the fullest. He always said, `We were not created to eat, or play, or whatever. We were created to give service.’ You have to always think, even at home, even at the office, even every place, that if you are creative, you can do whatever you want to do. You have to discipline yourself, you have to see your purpose. If you apply this principle to all of your journeys, you will always be successful, and you will be the happiest one in the world.

READ MORE »
December 08, 2010

Motivators: Mali's Dr. Issa Berthe

John Donnelly

This is the fourth in a series of interviews with participants at the Ministerial Leadership Initiative for Global Health’s Learning Collaborative Forum in Addis Ababa on motivation – what motivates them and how do they motivate others. Dr. Issa Bara Berthe, 36, is the chief of statistics and information division at the Ministry of Health in Mali.

Q: What motivates you?

A: When I was at university, doing my thesis and looking at the data from Mali, I realized the data was all very old. It was mainly statistics from WHO or UNICEF from 1987, and this was data nearly 10 years old at the time. There wasn’t any fresh data. All the old data showed Mali as so far behind. I believed it wasn’t reflecting some of the advances we were making.

Pour lire la version française, voir ci-dessous

READ MORE »
December 07, 2010

Motivators: Sierra Leone's Aminata Kanu

John Donnelly

This is the third in a series of interviews with participants at the Ministerial Leadership Initiative for Global Health’s Learning Collaborative Forum in Addis Ababa on motivation – what motivates them and how do they motivate others. Aminata Kanu is the MLI country lead in Sierra Leone.

Q: What gets you motivated?

A: I grew up partly in Sierra Leone and partly in the UK and worked in a number of different countries. In 2008 – at the time I hadn’t been to Sierra Leone for about 18 years – my father died and I went back home for the funeral. When I arrived, I had some help from the military in the form of transportation to take us around. The chief of defense, a close friend of ours, let us use his vehicle.

READ MORE »
December 06, 2010

Forum wrap-up, Part 2: Rosann Wisman

John Donnelly

At the end of MLI’s Learning Collaborative Forum, Rosann Wisman, MLI’s director, reflected on highlights from the four days of discussions. She spoke with John Donnelly about what was important, one big surprise, and what needs to happen next. This is the second of two interviews that look at the forum’s outcomes. MLI is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

Starting Tuesday and running through this week, we also will start posting several more interviews in our Motivators series from the forum -- question-and-answer pieces about what motivates Ministry of Health leaders, and how they motivate others. Please check daily for updates.

Q: What are your main takeaways from the forum?

A: I’ve been thinking about why people seemed to connect and come together so well this week. There are a lot of opportunities for Ministry officials to go to conferences and to be with their peers, and yet I think there was a spirit, and a depth of communication and sharing, that went on that was quite unusual. Some of it was good facilitation, some of it could be the combination of people we brought together, but a big part was this wasn’t a random event. We’ve been building toward this kind of forum for the last two years, or more, and many of these individuals had met before in various settings. They have gotten to know the MLI headquarters team, and we’ve gotten to build credibility and trust with them. The combination of all of that made for this very intense learning experience.

Q: So is the lesson not to expect much in such situations until the people get to know each other well?

READ MORE »
December 06, 2010

Forum wrap-up, Part 1: Marty Makinen and Amanda Folsom

John Donnelly

At the end of MLI’s Learning Collaborative Forum, two of the organizers reflected on highlights from the four days of discussions. Marty Makinen, managing director of Results for Development Institute (R4D), and Amanda Folsom, senior program officer for R4D, spoke with John Donnelly about their impressions of the forum. This is the first of two interviews that look at the forum’s outcomes.

Q: Were your expectations met? 

Marty Makinen: When this started, I wrote that my expectation would be to `make connections,’ meaning I personally would make connections and I would help make connections for others. I’m very happy both were achieved. 

Amanda Folsom: I shared expectations of making connections, too. I was also curious to see how the country-led sessions in the mix of topics would go over. I was a little nervous we were covering too many topics. But I think overall it gave everyone a taste of what the countries were involved in and a showed a lot of breadth in their work. 

Q: How was this meeting different from past MLI gatherings? 

READ MORE »