The MLI Model for Advancing Country Ownership

A Legacy Document
Ministerial Leadership Initiative for Global Health
January 12, 2012


In the world of global aid and development, country ownership has become one of the most debated issues. But what does country ownership mean in practical terms to donors, development partners, civil society, and country governments? If the goal is to put each country into the driver’s seat, how can we get there? For nearly five years, the Ministerial Leadership Initiative for Global Health -MLI- has forged new pathways for advancing this critical development issue, working with five countries in Africa and Asia. What emerged is a distinctive MLI Model to advance country ownership.

MLI has developed and implemented an approach that translates the concept of country ownership into reality. MLI has helped its five partner countries – Ethiopia, Mali, Nepal, Senegal, and Sierra Leone – make major strides toward more ownership and enhanced leadership of their health programs by providing high-quality support in response to ministry priorities. While MLI specifically focused on the areas of health financing for equity, health systems strengthening, and reproductive health, the MLI Model can be applied to any area of development practice.

  • Covering issues affecting the ministries and the people they serve.

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    Even though I have worked in Sierra Leone in the past, the role of MLI Country Lead has given me the opportunity to build upon these previous experiences and to work closely with members of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS), to support the implementation of health policies and reforms that they have prioritized.


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