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The 114th Congress convened earlier this month and with it comes new committee assignments. With the Republicans now in the majority in the Senate, most of the shake up will be in that chamber. Notable changes include:

Senate Appropriations: Thad Cochran (R-MS) will be the Chairman and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) will be Ranking Member. The committee will have seven new members. The State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee will have several new members as well.

Senate Foreign Relations: Bob Corker (R-TN) will assume the Chairmanship and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) will become Ranking Member.

House Appropriations: Republicans will have four new members on the committee. Kay Granger (R-TX) was granted a waiver to continue to serve as Chairwoman of the State-Foreign Operations Subcommittee.

The appropriations process for Fiscal Year 2016 (FY16) will begin next month when President Obama sends his budget request to Congress in early February. Last year, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requested that federal departments and agencies submit two FY16 budget requests to OMB. One request reflects sequestration and is at flat funding and the other at 5% above current spending levels. It is expected that the Administration will propose a budget that reflects the latter request and increases discretionary spending above sequester levels with savings and revenue increases found elsewhere in the budget.

Read more about committee assignments and the FY16 budget process at U.S. Global Leadership Coalition.

Scaling Advocacy Where it is Needed Most: Reflections on 2014 and Aspirations for 2015 and Beyond

This guest blog was written by Kristy Kade, Country Advocacy Director at PATH.

The end of the year is a natural time to reflect on the past and aspirations for the year ahead.  The global health community achieved tremendous success in 2014.  The latest report on malaria showed that a decade-plus decline in new cases continues.  Progress has also continued against HIV – especially among children – and vaccines against polio and measles are saving millions of lives.

As we look at 2015 and beyond, I am struck by the ever increasing number of success stories that the global community– governments, international and national NGOs, socially responsible companies, faith communities, health advocates, health workers and citizens – can draw upon to move forward to create a better world where no one dies unnecessarily from preventable disease.

I believe there has been a common ingredient to our success.  And I believe that if it can be scaled up in countries of greatest need, our successes will become more frequent.  That ingredient is effective health advocacy.

The advocacy efforts that originally brought global health needs to the attention of the world, fought the rise of HIV-AIDS, and have helped bring essential vaccines to the most remote regions of the globe show the power of advocacy to improve health outcomes for communities and families everywhere.

PATH has been pleased to partner with colleagues in country on strengthening newborn care policies in Zambia and improving health access for women and children in other parts of the world.

Most recently, our colleagues’ advocacy work in India has paved the way for an emergency transportation system in Uttar Pradesh, which in 2014 became the largest public-sector ambulance service in the world.  Now, fewer women and children in UP are unnecessarily dying because they can’t reach skilled care. That is something the local state government, health advocates, and citizens can all celebrate.

These stories and more are part of our new online portal that outlines exciting work in this arena: partnering with local advocates and experts to develop and implement effective strategies for policy change. We’ve been meeting passionate and dedicated advocates in many countries in workshops that lay the foundation for advocacy success by strengthening the skills and knowledge that foster the positive change advocates can replicate time and again for long-term success.

We are seeing successes that we hope will inspire others in the global health community to join with us and invest in this work. Its efforts like this that give me hope in 2015 and beyond.  I encourage you to see how our tools can help you have greater health impact in the New Year.

Final GFF Consultation Report

This blog was cross-posted from Dr. Andres de Francisco, Executive Director, Partnership for Maternal Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH).

The Global Financing Facility (GFF) consultation process was convened by the PMNCH to gather views about the GFF following the World Bank’s request to the PMNCH in October. The consultation was done in the context of the larger process aimed at updating the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health in the course of 2015 and under the Every Woman Every Child banner. This is the first in what will be a number of consultation reports.

The report synthesizes the views of over 1,400 individuals and organizations who contributed to the consultation through a range of modalities including targeted discussions, side events at regional and global meetings, network hosted processes and direct participation through an online survey. Views were aggregated using quantitative and qualitative research methods. Input was received from across each of the seven PMNCH constituencies. The Consultation Advisory Group was convened to oversee and validate the consultation process, and to approve the final report. The CAG met several times and at each stage of the consultation process.

Hopes are that the report will be of value to the GFF business planning process specifically and more generally to support the updating of the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health, due to kick off in early 2015. PMNCH intends to remain engaged in the GFF process and, using its seat on the GFF Oversight Group, they plan to ensure that the recommendations of the report are given serious consideration in the GFF business planning process. The CAG will follow up at its next meeting on how the report will be considered and what kind of response they can expect from the GFF team.

December 2014: New Board of Directors Elected

Certification of the 2014 Global Health Council Board of Directors Ratification

For the ratification of candidates for the Global Health Council’s Board of Directors:

The published response deadline was December 12, 2014. At the close of the ratification, 47 ballots were received. All 47 ballots were received electronically via SurveyMonkey. There were 0 duplicate or invalid ballots.

The 47 valid ballots received exceeded the quorum of 10% of the January 1, 2014 voting member population of 297 organizational and individual members.

The following is the tally of responses for all candidates placed on the ballot to fill seats on the Board of Directors:

Ayo Ajayi
Karen Goraleski
Keith Martin
Nasserie Carew
Peter Donaldson 
Rachel Wilson
Robert Marten
Tracy Sims

*Boards terms expire December 31, 2018

Letter of Certification can be made available upon request. Please contact

A majority of valid ballots having been cast for the candidates listed, they are hereby certified as elected.

Certified by: Global Impact 12/17/2014