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.
Country ownership is viewed as an important step towards improving aid effectiveness for global health. Yet, country ownership is a debated issue, particularly what it means in practical terms to donors, development partners, civil society and country governments. MLI organized “Advancing Country Ownership for Greater Results”, a roundtable to share its lessons learned in working with health ministries and to give global health and development leaders a platform to address this issue. The discussion delved deeply into the structural and political challenges involved in trying to advance country ownership, as well as what it will take operationally to move beyond the rhetoric of country ownership to action. This series, written by journalist John Donnelly and posted on MLI’s Leading Global Health blog, shares the conversation and multiple perspectives on country ownership.
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.