On the Ground with the Global Health Initiative
March 8, 2011
In December 2010, the Global Health Policy Center at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) organized a trip to Kenya to examine progress in implementing the U.S. government’s Global Health Initiative (GHI). This trip followed an earlier mission to Kenya in August 2009 that had helped inform the recommendations of the CSIS Commission on Smart Global Health Policy. The December trip grew from a strong sense of the importance of examining how GHI was evolving on the ground in key partner countries, especially as debate sharpens in Washington around whether and how to preserve U.S. gains in global health, expand on them, and win continued support across partisan lines, from congressional and executive decisionmakers and from American citizens. These questions have intensified in the midst of a protracted U.S. economic downturn, acute budget pressures, and following the November 2010 elections, split power in government. It was our view that a close analysis of GHI’s evolution since 2009, through the prism of how it is unfolding in Kenya, would be highly valuable and timely to broader discussions in Washington on GHI’s future in this era of austerity.