Shah: USAID Doing More for Pool Funding Schemes Benefiting Health Programs

For U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv Shah, country ownership of health initiatives involves an aid-recipient nation “owning and defining” the set of health priorities it intends to accomplish.

“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.” Shah told John Donnelly of the Ministerial Leadership Initiative’s blog.

National ownnership of development initiatives is one of the key concepts highlighted in the United Nations declaration for the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals, which is expected to be formally adopted in next week’s MDG summit.

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The U.S. aid chief said they have just initiated a new set of reforms to allow their teams to contribute more direct assistance and direct support to pool funding mechanisms for health projects.

“[O]ur goal is not going to be defined by the funding arrangement or the funding mechanism used,” Shah said.

Achieving the MDGs on health requires solutions that can reach many people at an affordable unit cost, Shah said.

“In order to reach the goal to reduce mortality among children by two-thirds, we know we are going to need (more distribution) of pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines. If we are going to achieve the MDGs in maternal health, we need a new way of training community health workers as well as introducing new mobile technologies into a more structured medical system that provides more service capability and saves more lives,” the USAID chief explained.

Devex News – live breaking news coverage of the Millennium Development Goals and the Sept. 20-22 U.N. MDG summit in New York.

About the author

  • Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.