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?
A partnership with Aspen Global Health and Development at the Aspen Institute, the Ministerial Leadership Initiative for Global Health is grounded in the theory that health policy reform and implementation can be brought to scale more rapidly when ministries of health identify and act on their own government’s priorities, build upon existing political will to advance those priorities, and mobilize national government support along with donor support when necessary to carry out their work.
The MLI Model: Working with Governments
- Country-led planning: Listen to ministry leaders, earn their trust, and work intimately with to identify their priorities with the support of jointly selected senior advisors (known in MLI as “country leads”). Learn about the challenges they face in implementing their strategy, identify specific objectives that advance country priorities, and move together with ministry leaders to meet definable goals.
- Demand-driven technical assistance: Help meet ministry leaders’ requests for technical expertise and fill those needs with the right person or team for the job – someone whom ministry officials have helped to select and supervise and can call upon in the future.
- South-South Exchange: Bring ministry leaders from different countries together through face-to-face and virtual exchanges so they can learn from one another, offer peer support, and address shared challenges. These opportunities foster ongoing relationships that benefit future work.
- Strategic Communications: Help ministry leaders tell their stories so that people in their communities and in communities around the world can learn about their work to improve health and save lives. Additionally, facilitate meetings between ministry leaders and government and development partner representatives in donor countries to give regular updates on progress and challenges. This opportunity for broader exchange promotes ministerial leadership on a global scale and collective advocacy for country ownership.