This post was written by Loyce Pace, MPH, Global Health Council President & Executive Director
In global health, we know benchmarks matter. They’re the difference between whether a child reaches his or her 5th birthday or dies of a vaccine-preventable illness. They signal how a health system would respond to the next pandemic or humanitarian crisis. What gets measured gets done, and saves lives.
That’s why Global Health Council has been paying attention these first 100 days of 2017. We looked at what we’ve done to serve our members, and opportunities to make the greatest impact.
Here’s where things stand:
In January, I wrapped up my introductory “listening tour,” which started on Day One for me at Global Health Council. In the end, I met with over 50 of our member and partner organizations to learn how we could best support them this year, given the changing global health landscape. I shared a number of takeaways then that continue to inform our engagements and resources.
In February, Global Health Council launched its biennial Global Health Briefing Book, a publication of consensus recommendations and stories authored by leaders across our community. We shared this series of briefs with key policymakers, and hosted an event on Capitol Hill that brought together stakeholders from multiple sectors to celebrate our collective progress to-date. This effort set the stage for how we responded to the initial budget released by the White House for fiscal year 2018 and demonstrated the power of coordinated advocacy.
In March, Global Health Council co-convened our largest-ever The Future of Global Health event (#TFGH17), with over 400 attendees. Participants huddled to discuss everything from global health leadership trends to novel uses for Big Data and technology. More than networking among experienced and new professionals, TFGH helps build a movement of champions committed to improving health and wellbeing worldwide. As I said then, our future is bright.
In April, we finalized our new strategic plan, GHC Roadmap 2020. First, it focuses on GHC’s core function as an advocacy organization. Our primary goal is to push for robust funding and policies that ensure the success of global health programs. Second, it focuses on you – our awesome community. Our voice would mean nothing without all of us joining the chorus so we emphasize the importance of community mobilization as central to our advocacy agenda. Finally, it focuses on our overarching battle cry – global health works – and using its most influential messengers.
This spring, we’ll be hosting yet another delegation of advocates at the upcoming World Health Assembly. It’s a pivotal moment, given the agenda will include a vote on the agency’s next leader. We are grateful to have met with two of the three candidates to share our priorities for civil society.
We also will continue to staunchly defend the U.S. global health budget and its institutions from drastic cuts and policies that serve to undermine decade-long gains. Now is not the time to roll back funding.
Thank you to all of our members who have supported these efforts and continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in solidarity with other advocates for global health. We need each and every one of you. It’s important that we all stay engaged at such a critical time. Every call or letter matters. Every dollar or subscription counts. Global Health Council is more than one organization. Just like global health, it’s about all of us. I, for one, am happy to have you all alongside me in this fight. Onward and upward…