Conversations With America
Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator, USAID
David Lane, President and CEO, ONE
The Obama Administration’s Work Toward Achieving the Millennium Development Goals
Conversations With America
U.S. Department of State
Moderator: PJ Crowley, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs
September 16, 2010
On Thursday, September 16, 2010, David Lane, President and CEO of ONE, will hold a conversation with USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, on global development opportunities and challenges on the eve of the Millennium Development Goals summit.
The discussion will be moderated by PJ Crowley, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs. The event will be streamed live on this page and DipNote, the Department of State’s official blog, at 10:15 a.m. (EDT). You will have the opportunity to participate through the submission of questions, some of which will be selected for response during the live broadcast. Submit your questions now on DipNote.
This is the sixth in the Conversations with America video series recently launched by the Bureau of Public Affairs, in which the State Department’s senior leadership hold monthly conversations live, online, with leaders of prominent non-governmental organizations. Discussion topics include foreign policy and global issues, and provide a candid view of how leaders from civil society engage the Department on pressing foreign policy issues.
If you missed it, please click here.
As featured in Ministerial Leadership Initiative’s blog
Part two of the 8-part series In the Driver’s Seat: A Series on Country Ownership of Health Programs. Dr. Rajiv Shah was sworn in as the 16th Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on December 31, 2009. He spoke with John Donnelly earlier this month.
Q: What does country ownership mean?
A: I think it primarily means the country owning and defining the set of priorities in terms of what they want to accomplish in the health sector. It will vary country by country and vary based on disease, and it will vary on different country governments and their prioritization of health problems. It’s fundamentally about saying in the last decade that there’s been this huge growth in global health, with a lot of the work being done by NGOs, contract partners, and foundations that sometimes operate outside the dialogue and engagement with the host country. If we are going to achieve progress at a higher level, and ensure that countries sustain these achievements, then we need to make this whole system of donor-supported global health activities fit within a country’s own set of aspirations for global health. We’ve now seen a lot of different models for countries to express their priorities. The ones I prefer are inclusive of civil society and other groups within those countries.
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By Rear Adm. Tim Ziemer, U.S. Global Malaria Coordinator
This morning at the National Press Club, I joined the Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM) to launch the third report from the Progress & Impact Series “Saving Lives with Malaria Control: Counting Down to the Millennium Development Goals”. The report states that the lives of almost three quarters of a million children in 34 African countries are estimated to have been saved in the past 10 years through the use of insecticide treated mosquito nets, indoor residual spraying, and preventive treatment of malaria during pregnancy. The Lives Saved Tool (or LiST model) provides the first assessment of lives saved based on the level of coverage achieved with currently available malaria prevention tools. The report estimates that an additional 3 million lives could be saved by 2015 if the world continues to increase investment in tackling the disease.
Admiral Ziemer hands out a bednet at a distribution site. Photo Credit: USAID/Global Health
The results in global malaria prevention and control are encouraging, but, as we have seen before, this progress is fragile and can be easily reversed. As we expand and consolidate these gains, it is vitally important to ensure that our efforts not only maintain momentum, but also continue to adapt to emerging challenges such as drug and insecticide resistance. That’s why a key imperative in the United States’ Strategy for meeting the MDGs is to leverage innovation as a powerful catalyst for development.
The U.S. Government’s commitment to fight malaria is a key component of our nation’s foreign assistance strategy and the Administration’s Global Health Initiative to expand the promise of good health that is the foundation of stronger and more stable families, communities, and societies. On behalf of the American people, the U.S. Government has taken extraordinary steps to curb the spread of this preventable and curable disease. Working with national governments and other donors, the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), led by USAID and implemented together with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reached more than 50 million people in the past year with highly effective malaria prevention or treatment measures in 15 focus countries in Africa.
Administrator Shah will officially swear-in Alex Dickie to be the Mission Director-designate to Iraq and Mike Harvey to be the Mission Director-designate to West Bank Gaza.
Secretary Clinton gives a speech on the Global Health Initiative (GHI) at the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. The GHI is building on the Bush Administration’s successful record in global health, and taking these remarkable achievements to the next level by further accelerating progress and investing in sustainable health delivery systems.
Administrator Shah will join President Obama at the White House for a town hall during the Presidential Young African Leaders Forum. As a global leader in empowering and engaging youth, USAID works to ensure that young people have access to skills and opportunities to be active and effective citizens who contribute to their country’s overall stability and development.
Ambassador Garvelink, Deputy Coordinator of Feed the Future, will speak at two sessions during the International Food Aid and Development Conference in Kansas City. His keynote address will underscore the U.S. commitment to addressing global hunger and food security, highlighting the whole-of-government approach and goals of Feed the Future.
Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator for Management Drew Luten will testify before the Commission on Wartime Contracting on Subcontracting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Administrator Shah and Ambassador Richard Holbrooke will appear before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations for an oversight hearing on corruption in Afghanistan.
Chief Innovation Officer Maura O’Neill will participate in a briefing entitled: Innovation to Catalyze Development: Leveraging Research in Foreign Assistance, which is organized by the Global Health Technologies Coalition and the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network.
Administrator Shah will testify before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere about: The Crisis in Haiti: Are We Moving Fast Enough? He will also brief the Congressional Black Caucus about efforts in Haiti.
USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah is in Afghanistan and Pakistan to meet with USAID mission personnel, visit USAID projects and attend the Pakistan Strategic Dialogue and the Kabul Conference with Secretary Clinton. The Conference will reinforce the commitment of the Government of Afghanistan and the international community to work together to realize the goal of full Afghan ownership and responsibility for a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan.
Technical leaders from USAID’s office of HIV/AIDS are part of the U.S. delegation to the XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria. Notably, results from a USAID-funded microbicides trial will be released at the conference on Tuesday. The trial was conducted in South Africa in close partnership with the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA), the CONRAD Program, and Family Health International.
Dr. Raj Shah at the launch of the Pakistan Ministry of Health’s new Birthspacing Initiative to Improve Maternal, Newborn, Infant and Child Mortality. Photo by Amy Koler.
The U.S. and Pakistan have consulted closely on the shared objectives of addressing Pakistan’s National Health Policy, which outlines the priorities for the nation, which include family planning, maternal and child health, workforce development, and combating infectious diseases to meet the Millennium Development Goals.
On Sunday, Dr. Shah attended the launch of the Pakistan Ministry of Health’s new Birthspacing Initiative to Improve Maternal, Newborn, Infant and Child Mortality. “Overall, (the strategy) will help ensure that pregnancies occur at the healthiest times of women’s lives. Specifically, it will help reduce high risk pregnancies – those that occur at too late or too early an age, or too soon after a previous pregnancy – through greater use of birth spacing services,” he said.
The Obama administration recognizes that the key to improving health is to strengthen country and local ownership, especially at the community level. “ We know that strong national leadership and capacities are essential for development progress. Health systems can only thrive where there is wise leadership investing in people, institutions and infrastructure; particularly where governments are responsive and accountable to their citizens.
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PIRCOM has trained more than 21,000 religious leaders from a variety of faiths on malaria prevention and treatment.
Left unchecked, disease imperils the stability and prosperity of all; therefore, improving global health outcomes is a shared responsibility. This means reaching out to community elders, leaders, and religious groups to ensure the quality and reach of health services and messages.
Religious leaders, along with their well-established networks of volunteers and community groups, have the potential to promote and sustain positive changes in the social norms, attitudes, and behaviors of their communities, which can affect development outcomes. Thus the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) engages religious leaders to facilitate greater partnership in, as well as ownership of, a community’s development.
Over the past few years, malaria and other global health programs have increased support to grassroots health movements within faith communities. In addition to promoting health-seeking behaviors, these programs have helped bridge cultural and religious divides. One such initiative, the Together Against Malaria (TAM) program, arose in 2006 from the common vision of national leaders from 10 faith communities in Mozambique to use their religious organizations to disseminate malaria control messages and commodities.
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