Dr. Christine Sow, Global Health Council’s Executive Director, devoted much of her time over the past three months to conducting a listening tour which involved visits to seven cities in the United States, as well as the 67th World Health Assembly in Geneva. This listening tour allowed her to meet and consult with global health stakeholders nationally and internationally, while observing the similarities and differences among the different global health hubs around the U.S. in particular. She expressed that she was “really struck by the diversity and breadth of the global health community in the United States – it seems that practically all major urban centers in the U.S. have global health work taking place, whether its scientific research, academic training programs, faith-based medical missions, biotechnology, or global health work being carried out in the context of U.S. foreign assistance.” Some important points she noted from her tour include the following:
- Keeping global health at the forefront of U.S. government commitments and promoting its understanding throughout the U.S. general public is a strong desire for many and critical to maintaining U.S. leadership in this area
- The future of global health cuts across sectors – successful engagement will require multiplication and scaling up of multi-sector partnerships
- Interest and concern regarding the development of the post-2015 health agenda is widespread, but commitment to eliminating preventable maternal and child deaths and the as-yet unfinished MDG agenda continues and is actually growing stronger
- Concern around non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is growing worldwide but their positioning within the global health agenda is still uncertain
- More deliberate connections across the spectrum of engagement in global health are needed
- Different actors commit to making global health impact for different reasons based on shifts in the ODA funding environment and by the explosion of social media
- While U.S.-based global health actors have a wide presence outside of the United States, they expressed interest in and need for stronger networking and partnership opportunities with the global south.
Using the data and observations gathered during the listening tour, GHC is building out and strengthening its action plan for the future. The data from this tour has provided a clearer path for GHC’s advocacy and member engagement, which will be reflected in GHC’s future activities, events, and initiatives. More in depth information can be found in Dr. Sow’s Listening Tour Blog.
About Global Health Council
Established in 1972, Global Health Council (GHC) is the leading membership organization supporting and connecting advocates, implementers and stakeholders around global health priorities worldwide. The organization is the collaborative voice of the global health community on global health issues; it convenes stakeholders around key global health priorities and actively engages key decision makers to influence health policy. Currently, Global Impact serves as the Secretariat for GHC. Learn more at www.globalhealth.org.
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