Since 2015, Global Health Council has been convening members of its network in Washington, DC for an annual symposium to discuss current trends and calls to action in global health. Over the years, we have acknowledged a “new normal” in global health policy and our responsibility as a community to pursue communication, collaboration, or campaign practices that facilitate meaningful change and shared progress. Those events have led to calls for new narratives and partnerships for USG programs as well as commitments to integrated, country-based investments or plans, in pursuit of UHC and a broader 2030 agenda. Nothing has made these conversations more relevant than the game-changing events of 2020.
Enter this year’s symposium, less a singular forum and more a series of events hosted with a range of global and regional stakeholders. Our virtual 2020 summit this November will take place over two days with a focus on Pandemics, Politics, and Privilege: The Good, Bad, & Ugly U.S. Legacy in Global Health.
We know that we don’t have all the answers as an organization or subset of actors but we want to be part of driving the solution to longstanding challenges and push us all to do better by those we serve. This means taking a hard look with and hearing more from those directly affected by U.S. policies and programs to discuss where those efforts have succeeded and failed, and how we approach investments or initiatives with a stronger focus on equity, justice, and humility. We want to walk away from this time together with a deeper commitment to shifting the power dynamics and structural barriers not only to respective goals but also our ideal method of reaching those such as shared plans and resources or local leadership and decision-making. The current system isn’t built to make these dreams we have a reality.