Fighting disease with country ownership

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Photo by: Michael Gross / U.S. State Department

How is the United States promoting country ownership in its health programs around the world? Hillary Clinton cites a few examples.

“Each of our country teams now assess how they fit within a comprehensive vision and program, based upon a health plan established by the country where we are operating,” Clinton writes in an opinion piece for Global Health and Diplomacy.

The Secretary of State says U.S. health agencies often don’t coordinate enough with donors or partner countries, or build sustainable systems to help countries manage their own health needs, “unintentionally putting a ceiling on the number of lives we could save.”

The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, meanwhile, is starting to veer away from emergency response and shift to building local capacity and strengthening health systems, as in the case of South Africa. The move has been contentious, but Clinton said “we want to see more of our partner countries take a similar leading role when they’re ready.”

As for measuring success, the United States is pilot-testing a “scorecard” that will allow it to assess progress in building sustainable, country-owned health programs.

“We want our progress to be transparent and want our partners to ask us hard questions,” Clinton said. “They can expect that we will do the same.”

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About the author

  • Ravelo jennylei

    Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.