January 03, 2012

Less talk, more do on capacity building for development

David de Ferranti

As originally seen at Huffington Post

Imagine that a country is in fact in the driver's seat of a car, driving up the development road.

A country's capacity is its ability to drive along that road, navigating around bumps in its way, accelerating and stopping as necessary, and changing direction in the face of a roadblock. A country should always be in the driver's seat, making decisions as they arise -- no one knows a road like a local citizen. Helping countries as they learn to drive that road is the goal of capacity building, and one of many goals that were discussed at the recent Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan.

December 20, 2011

What we're reading

Sarah Lindsay

Leading Global Health will be on hiatus until the New Year. Until then, here’s what we’ve been keeping up with in the news.

The Economist: Miracle or Malthus

At the International Conference on Family Planning last month, a high level meeting was convened to discuss strategies for African countries to obtain the demographic dividend. This hot topic is continuing to garner international attention. The Economist recently published an article on the possible population outcomes for Africa: demographic disaster or demographic dividend.

December 14, 2011

Linking family planning and country ownership: Ethiopia shares five strategies for success

Rosann Wisman

It is great when all  the pieces come together. At the final plenary of the International Conference on Family Planning in Dakar earlier this month, I was struck by how State Minister Kesetebirhan Admassu of Ethiopia’s Federal Ministry of Health connected the importance of country ownership and aid effectiveness with access to reproductive health and family planning.

Ethiopia has made great progress on reproductive health in recent years, increasing contraceptive prevalence from 14 percent to 29 percent since 2005.   Minister Kesete (as he is known) shared the five strategies that he believes have led to their success.  They do not pertain to just family planning. Or even just the health sector. They are applicable to every sector in development and reflect a growing movement toward country ownership and good governance. And they are a constant theme in the work carried out in MLI countries

December 12, 2011

Busan: Strong leaders not taking a back seat

Sarah Lindsay

At the end of November, world leaders gathered in Busan, Korea to discuss progress on the implementation of the Paris Declaration and the integration of aid effectiveness into the development agenda.

The Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness resulted in a document describing the way forward called the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation, which was signed by ministers of developed and developing countries as well as civil society.

This document, however, was not agreed upon without debate. And leading the developing countries’ push for greater ownership of aid was Rwanda’s President, Paul Kagame.

December 02, 2011

At closing session, Ethiopian official calls for more country ownership of programs

Sarah Lindsay

At the closing plenary of the International Conference on Family Planning, State Health Minister Kesetebirhan Admassu of Ethiopia calls for more country ownership of health programs. One of the benefits, he said, was much stronger family planning programs. Sarah Lindsay reports.

State Minister Kesetebirhan Admassu, of Ethiopia’s Federal Ministry of Health, wanted to send a message to African governments at the closing plenary of the International Conference on Family Planning:

“We need to say ‘no’ to donors and projects that are not aligned with national plans,” Minister Keseste, as he is commonly known, said. “One of the problems in Africa is that governments do not show strong leadership and do not guide donors in their countries.”