African Health Initiative: Building Partnership-Based Philanthropy
December 10, 2019
Every African Health Initiative grantee program is built on a three-pronged partnership between national African government health ministries, U.S. and African universities, and global funding organizations. Each partner plays a special and complementary role in this equation to improve their health system. This collaborative approach allows the players to elevate the effectiveness of each other’s work toward the same end goals.
Local governments are the experts on their country’s own norms and cultural practices and are best positioned to carry the leadership of local service delivery as their population evolves; university and research institutions are critical for testing existing and new methods of implementing health care solutions; and global funders play a key role in supporting health systems in their earliest stages of development as they continue to grow more efficient and efficacious.
Often, globally funded health projects slip into leadership arrangements that are only “partnerships” in name but not in practice. In contrast, the African Health Initiative aims in its second phase to ensure that each country’s health system gains from the critical vantage points of each partner, and that partnerships of trust and commitment sustain the system over the long term.