We can’t replace local organizations

Volkan Cakir, RTI International’s regional director for its office in Nairobi, Kenya, shares how RTI works closely with its partners in South Sudan to improve health service delivery.

The Ebola crisis in West Africa has highlighted how crucial it is not just to have enough health professionals, but also how important it is to have an efficient logistics and health delivery system.

So how has this affected the way international development groups such as RTI International carry out their health programs?

In the case of RTI International’s HIV and AIDS program in South Sudan, the development research firm brought in its top experts to work with local partners — both from the government and the nonprofit sector — to ensure that they receive proper training and are well-equipped to deliver not just preventive services but also treatment and care.

“We cannot compete, replace [or] substitute local organizations,” Volkan Cakir, RTI’s regional director for its office in Nairobi, Kenya, told Devex Editor Rolf Rosenkranz on the sidelines of the Devex Partnerships and Career Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. “We should bring something that they don’t have, which essentially is expertise, know-how that has been built for many years in scientific environments.”

Want to learn more? Check out the Healthy Means campaign site and tweet us using #HealthyMeans.

Healthy Means is an online conversation hosted by Devex in partnership with Concern Worldwide, Gavi, GlaxoSmithKline, International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Johnson & Johnson and the United Nations Population Fund to showcase new ideas and ways we can work together to expand health care and live better lives.

About the author

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    Jacques Jimeno

    Jacques is a former copy editor at Devex’s news production team. Previously, he worked with the Philippine Department of Tourism and the World Wide Fund for Nature.