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HIV/AIDS, population and reproductive health, women's health, social science methods and public health research, India, South and Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa
Nandini Oomman was director of the HIV/AIDS Monitor at the Center for Global Development from March 2006 until December 2011. As director, Oomman led three research teams in Uganda, Mozambique, and Zambia to track the effectiveness of the three main aid responses to the epidemic: the Global Fund, the HIV/AIDS Africa MAP program of the World Bank, and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). This collaborative initiative, the first of its kind at CGD, allowed country-based researchers to examine key issues in the design, delivery and management of these donor programs, and provided timely analyses to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of each initiative.
Oomman, N. & J. Gittelsohn. (2002) Qualitative Methods in Gynecological Morbidity Research, in Research Approaches to the Study of Reproductive tract Infections and Other Gynaecological Disorders (eds. Shireen J Jejeebhoy, Michael A Koenig and Christopher Elias). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK
Oomman, N. (2000) Gynecological Morbidity in India: A Decade of Research on Reproductive Tract Infections (RTIs) and other Gynaecological Morbidity in India: What we know and what we don’t know, In Readings in Women’s Reproductive Health in India, (eds. R. Ramasubban, & S. Jejeebhoy). Centre for Social and Technological Change, Rawat Publications, Mumbai, India.
Oomman N, & B. Ganatra. (2002) Sex Selection: The Systematic Elimination of Girls Reproductive Health Matters, 10 (19): 184-188
Nandini Oomman, director of CGD's HIV/AIDS Monitor, calls on President-elect Obama to push PEPFAR (the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief)to release official data on obligations to prime partners, subpartners, and program areas to improve transparency and accountability.
Today in Windhoek, Namibia, the AIDS Implementation Meeting kicked off, notably without the presence of a Global AIDS Coordinator to provide U.S. government leadership to the many attendees regarding the future direction of the PEPFAR program. In Washington yesterday, a confirmation hearing was held for Dr. Goosby, Obama’s nominee for Global AIDS Coordinator. At around 2:20, the room was almost full, largely with Washington-based advocates on issues related to HIV/AIDS. Many, like us, had submitted questions they hoped would be asked. At around 2:40 Dr. Goosby, Sen. Feingold, Sen. Lugar and a handful of staffers took their seats. The opening remarks ran longer than the questions, which totaled only eight.
In Dr. Goosby’s opening statement he made points concerning four of the five questions posted by Nandini Oomman:
PEPFAR needs to move towards a sustainable country-owned response (two-in-one),
Country health systems need to be strengthened, and
It’s important to address the particular needs of women and girls.
This is a joint post with Connie Veillette. It is cross-posted on the Global Health Policy blog.
The QDDR pre-release consultation document says the Global Health Initiative will eventually be managed by USAID. For a number of reasons, it makes complete sense for USAID to lead the GHI.
Health is a core development mission. Consider that the FY2010 budget for health programs totals $7.8 billion, or more than 20% of the entire foreign assistance budget. We use development assistance dollars for global health as part of a broader development mission. President Obama’s Global Development Policy identifies the GHI as a key development initiative, so our premier development agency should surely be given the charge to lead the administration’s largest development initiative.
Health is more than just health. Health is about treating and preventing disease and improving health systems but it is also much more. It’s about improved nutrition and equitable access to food, clean water and sanitation, education, and investments in research and technology. These are sectors in which USAID has long worked, and they need to be integrated into a strategy that supports the GHI.
The GHI needs one leader, not three, for better decision-making and results (see related blog posts here and here). The administration points to the GHI as a new way of doing business and as a leading edge of aid reform efforts, but the current inter-agency consensus style leadership doesn’t seem to be working efficiently. While all U.S.G. staff at HQ and in-country are working fast and furiously, the lack of a leader at the top seems to be slowing decision-making at the highest levels. Some visible expressions of this lack of efficiency include the absence, a full year and seven months since the GHI was announced, of a final strategy, country strategies, or even a GHI website. For this new and ambitious approach to take off, the U.S. needs one leader that is able to tap the strengths of different government agencies that make unique contributions to the GHI.