03 Nov HRH2030 Director’s Digest: November 2020
November 2020: Being Grateful
When November comes, my mind begins shifting into gratitude mode. Partly because we celebrate Thanksgiving this month in the U.S., and partly because this month begins the whole holiday season, when we celebrate the end of one year and prepare for the next.
The season of gratitude began early this year for the HRH2030 team, when we were honored with a USAID Digital Development Award for our work in Indonesia. The “Digis,” as the awards are known, recognize USAID missions, bureaus, and implementing partners that are using digital tools and technology to support their programmatic goals. Along with USAID Indonesia, our team was recognized for their efforts to increase the availability and use of quality, real-time data to respond to health workforce challenges. And if you’ll allow me a moment to “humble brag”—our project was the only health project recognized! I want to celebrate and commend our small but mighty Indonesia team—this award is a testament to their commitment and collaboration with USAID and Indonesia’s HRH Directorate in the MOH to empower health workers and decision-makers with the data they need to take action. Bravo! Read more about the award and our work here.
Our data work will be in the spotlight again when the Sixth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research begins next week. I’m grateful that international events like this one are still taking place, despite the pandemic, because it is crucial for all of us to continue sharing lessons learned and plan for the future. HRH2030 colleagues from Mali, Indonesia, the Philippines, and the U.S. will be sharing what we’ve learned in a session on Building a resilient health system by improving data-driven health workforce decisions: Evidence and approaches from Asia and West Africa.
And finally, especially during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m grateful for all those leading the global health community—for their expertise, their insights, and their ability to pivot to respond to health workers’ needs. During September’s UN General Assembly, I took part in a virtual event on the policies and investments needed to support health workers. Organized by Frontline Health Workers Coalition and members Chemonics, IntraHealth International, Living Goods, Management Sciences for Health, and Pathfinder International, the event highlighted how countries, donors, and others can protect and support our most precious resource, frontline health workers. See what recommendations were made by health workforce experts in this new blog.
We still have a long road ahead of us as we look toward the end of the pandemic. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t be grateful for what we have now—and we should be. We know so much more about this virus than we did when it first appeared. And we have better ideas on what health workers need and are finding new ways to provide those things—as shown, for example, by this initiative from our colleagues at the Community Health Impact Coalition.
Like most of you, I’ll be glad to wrap up 2020. But until we do, I’m thankful for my global public health colleagues near and far who continue to make a difference.
Project Director, HRH2030