MLI Newsletter - January 10, 2011

January 11, 2011

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Motivators: Transforming Vision to Action

    Khadka Bahadur Basyal Sarki, Nepal

The challenges are enormous and often the rewards are fleeting. What keeps leaders motivated in ministries of health around the world,and how do they in turn motivate others? In a series posted on the MLI blog, Journalist John Donnelly interviewed seven leaders from ministries in Ethiopia, Nepal, Mali, Sierra Leone, and Senegal, and they responded in ways that were both deeply personal and drawn from years of experience. Some grew up in slums, or in low castes, and some had no access to modern medicine. Senegal’s Dr. Bocar Mamadou Daff says his dedication as Director of Reproductive Health has its roots in a life-threatening illness to his sister.  Pride in one’s country motivates several, including Dr. Issa Berthe, Chief of Statistics and Information in Mali’s Ministry of Health, who first got involved to prove that old statistics didn’t reflect Mali’s progress. All leaders recognize that they cannot strengthen their country’s health care sector alone. Motivating others and sharing their passion are vital aspects to their work, so says Dr. Roman Tesfaye:  “If they [collegues] share the purpose, more can be done.”


Learning Collaborative Forum: Advancing Country-Driven Development

South to south peer learning is a distinctive element of MLI's approach to building capacity and fostering greater country ownership and leadership. Building on this approach, MLI hosted its first Learning Collaborative Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia that brought together twenty-four senior health ministry leaders from the five MLI countries. The Forum built upon previous MLI peer learning opportunities and allowed countries to highlight successful initiatives of mutual interest and strengthen relationships among MLI country delegates and global staff to help meet each country's MLI goals. The program also solidified learning partnerships that will last well beyond the lifetime of MLI. The week-long Forum featured MLI country presentations including: Moving towards Universal Health Coverage – the Mali case; Communicating a Major Health Reform - the Sierra Leone Free Care Case; Donor Harmonization and Alignment – the Senegal Case; and Negotiating with Development Partners – Lessons from Nepal.  The Forum concluded with a policy roundtable on Country Ownership and Strong Stewardship chaired by Dr. Francis Omaswa, MLI Senior Advisor and President of the African Center for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) which featured a keynote speech by Hon. Minister Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Minister of Health of Ethiopia. Two of the “take away” messages that emerged from the roundtable included a comment from a development partner representative, who stated “We [development partners/donors] want to be led” and concluding remarks from Dr. Francis Omaswa who emphasized that “This question of country ownership and strong stewardship is central. When a country is clear, country’s expectations can be addressed.”

The Forum was the first time that many of these senior ministry officials had such a focused and extended period of time together to share, discuss, collaborate, and learn from one another. One of the highlights of the Forum was the openness of country delegations to discuss not only their achievements, but also their challenges. The final program agenda is available in French and English on MLI’s website.

MLI to Present Multiple Papers at African Health Economy Conference

Dr. Ndack Ly, MLI Country Lead, Senegal


MLI is honored to announce that The African Health Economists and Policy Association (AfHEA)  has accepted multiple MLI abstracts for their March conference in Dakar, Senegal. AfHEA provides a forum for peer learning and information sharing for professionals in health economies in Africa.  This conference will bring together Africa’s top health economists and health policy analysts to review current trends and promising programs and policies for moving Africa’s health systems toward universal coverage for health care.  AfHEA has invited MLI to join the top African health economists in order to present a poster and three oral presentations, focusing on the technical programs of MLI. The following abstracts will be presented: “The Balanced Scorecard: A Tool for Developing the Health Sector Development Plan IV in Ethiopia”;  “Is Rwanda replicable? Mali’s quest to learn from Rwanda’s health insurance success and adapt its approach in a national strategy to extend mutuelles de santé”;  “Overcoming Financial Obstacles to Reproductive Health Care: Experiences with Free Care and Health Insurance,” a MLI policy brief published in 2010; and  “Situational Analysis on the Reform of the Criteria for Allocating Resources in the Health Sector in Senegal.”  Each abstract will be presented by the respective MLI country lead.

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