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Ruth Levine on Start with a Girl: A New Agenda for Global Health

The Wonkcast is taking a brief summer vacation. We’ve selected this show from our archives- it was originally posted on November 9, 2009. Since the show first aired, Ruth Levine, formerly a Senior Fellow and Vice President here at CGD, has moved to USAID to serve as Director of Evaluation, Policy Analysis & Learning.

What are the benefits of focusing specifically on girls when we invest in development? My guest this week is Ruth Levine, an expert on health and education who for the past two years has focused much of her work on adolescent girls. She's the co-author of a recently released CGD report titled Start with a Girl: A New Agenda for Global Health. In our Wonkcast, she outlines the agenda and explains why it's so critical.

"Women and girls in many senses really hold the key not only for their own health but for the health of their children and their broader communities," Ruth tells me. Recognizing that fact and directing our investments accordingly, she says, can lead to better solutions for a wide range of problems—everything from economic development to HIV/AIDS.