“As we listen to some of the most thoughtful voices around the world, over and over again we hear the need to be independent.”
These words from USAID Administrator Mark Green underpin all we do at MCSP as our work winds down. After five years and across 52 programs, we’re handing the reigns back to 32 countries that are now better equipped to continue their journey to self-reliance.
Countries with stalled – or even declining – health indicators are performing better and now gathering the data needed to make informed decisions and deliver high-quality care. They’re “ending the game of chance” with improved access to essential medicines, and shifting culturally in ways that bode well for the health of women and children thanks to gender transformative health strategies.
Over and over, in landscapes as diverse as Egypt and Guatemala, we see the same thing: communities don’t want a hand out, they want a hand up.
Private sector partnerships are helping countries achieve this independence. Since 2001, USAID has created more than 1,500 public-private partnerships across nearly every industry to expand its reach and capacity.
Through numerous Global Development Alliances – Survive & Thrive, Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action, mPowering Frontline Health Workers, and Saving Mothers, Giving Life – MCSP deepened our impact and accelerated countries’ abilities to own their own health goals.
We agree with Administrator Green: the future of development lies in “steering more than rowing.” Thankfully, the Sustainable Development Goals were designed to address some of the world’s most challenging problems in tandem with the communities they serve. As countries increasingly take the helm and steer, we will keep rowing with them to a brighter future.
Koki Agarwal, MD, MPH, DrPH