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December 10, 2010

Motivators: Sierra Leone's Amara Koroma and Dr. Samuel A.S. Kargbo

John Donnelly

This is the sixth in a series of interviews with participants at the Ministerial Leadership Initiative for Global Health’s Learning Collaborative Forum in Addis Ababa on motivation – what motivates them and how do they motivate others. This came from a conversation with two senior leaders at the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation: Amara Koroma, 49, director of financial services, and Dr. Samuel A.S. Kargbo, 48, director of reproductive health.

Q: What motivates you to do this work?

Amara Koroma: I will simply give you my story. I came from a very humble background. Things were very difficult, very, very difficult, especially because I had lost my mother early in life. I saw poverty all around me. I have always looked at my background and always hoped to God one day if I make it, I should be in position to help others. That has influenced me greatly. In my environment, secondly, living very close to the ghetto, and I said to myself, I need to break the cycle of poverty in my family. If I can break it, I believe others can.

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December 07, 2010

Motivators: Sierra Leone's Aminata Kanu

John Donnelly

This is the third in a series of interviews with participants at the Ministerial Leadership Initiative for Global Health’s Learning Collaborative Forum in Addis Ababa on motivation – what motivates them and how do they motivate others. Aminata Kanu is the MLI country lead in Sierra Leone.

Q: What gets you motivated?

A: I grew up partly in Sierra Leone and partly in the UK and worked in a number of different countries. In 2008 – at the time I hadn’t been to Sierra Leone for about 18 years – my father died and I went back home for the funeral. When I arrived, I had some help from the military in the form of transportation to take us around. The chief of defense, a close friend of ours, let us use his vehicle.

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December 06, 2010

Forum wrap-up, Part 2: Rosann Wisman

John Donnelly

At the end of MLI’s Learning Collaborative Forum, Rosann Wisman, MLI’s director, reflected on highlights from the four days of discussions. She spoke with John Donnelly about what was important, one big surprise, and what needs to happen next. This is the second of two interviews that look at the forum’s outcomes. MLI is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

Starting Tuesday and running through this week, we also will start posting several more interviews in our Motivators series from the forum -- question-and-answer pieces about what motivates Ministry of Health leaders, and how they motivate others. Please check daily for updates.

Q: What are your main takeaways from the forum?

A: I’ve been thinking about why people seemed to connect and come together so well this week. There are a lot of opportunities for Ministry officials to go to conferences and to be with their peers, and yet I think there was a spirit, and a depth of communication and sharing, that went on that was quite unusual. Some of it was good facilitation, some of it could be the combination of people we brought together, but a big part was this wasn’t a random event. We’ve been building toward this kind of forum for the last two years, or more, and many of these individuals had met before in various settings. They have gotten to know the MLI headquarters team, and we’ve gotten to build credibility and trust with them. The combination of all of that made for this very intense learning experience.

Q: So is the lesson not to expect much in such situations until the people get to know each other well?

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December 06, 2010

Forum wrap-up, Part 1: Marty Makinen and Amanda Folsom

John Donnelly

At the end of MLI’s Learning Collaborative Forum, two of the organizers reflected on highlights from the four days of discussions. Marty Makinen, managing director of Results for Development Institute (R4D), and Amanda Folsom, senior program officer for R4D, spoke with John Donnelly about their impressions of the forum. This is the first of two interviews that look at the forum’s outcomes.

Q: Were your expectations met? 

Marty Makinen: When this started, I wrote that my expectation would be to `make connections,’ meaning I personally would make connections and I would help make connections for others. I’m very happy both were achieved. 

Amanda Folsom: I shared expectations of making connections, too. I was also curious to see how the country-led sessions in the mix of topics would go over. I was a little nervous we were covering too many topics. But I think overall it gave everyone a taste of what the countries were involved in and a showed a lot of breadth in their work. 

Q: How was this meeting different from past MLI gatherings? 

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December 02, 2010

Gang of four: Table talk with reproductive health directors

John Donnelly

This is the ninth in a series of posts from the Ministerial Leadership Initiative's Learning Collaborative Forum in Ethiopia.

One has an army of women. 

Another has a president. A third a first lady, and a fourth "all the marbles in place."

Around a table today at the MLI’s Learning Collaborative Forum in Addis Ababa, four Health Ministry reproductive health directors from Ethiopia, Mali, Senegal, and Sierra Leone had a rare opportunity to talk about successes and challenges in their countries.

Pour lire la version française, voir ci-dessous

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