Arthur, the Regional Chairman for an organization that coordinates the work of 400 health NGOs in Ghana, is not speaking about a team of hired guns or paid consultants, but rather a group of employees from PwC, PIMCO, and the Dow Chemical Company working with the organization on a pro bono project. Last month, employees came to Accra, Ghana from throughout the US and Europe to take part in the Global Health Corporate Champions, an activity of U.S. Agency for International Development’s Global Health Fellows Program (GHFP) II. They spent one ambitious and demanding month embedded in the Coalition and other powerhouse NGOs including HealthKeepers Network. Working side-by-side with leaders from these organizations, they delivered projects including a business plan, charting one organization’s strategic direction for the next five years, and a communications strategy for another, complete with new materials and processes. Some of these participants included Aubrey Annan, Director of PwC’s Health Industries Advisory, Austin Cazort who manages content marketing at PIMCO, and Darrell Boverhof, who is ordinarily immersed in world material science, from Dow. They probed their host to better understand its strengths, limitations, and areas of opportunity.“I expected that funding would be tight, mostly because Ghana was recently upgraded to middle-income status and would soon lose much of the funding that had been available to it as a low-income country,” said Austin. “Once in Accra, however, I was shocked by the additional hurdles that non-profits face in an emerging market setting. Most of the issues have to do with access—access to funding, internet, roads, healthcare supplies, and training. I found that the individuals working in these organizations were passionate and highly educated, but were hindered in their effectiveness because of the infrastructure barriers that influenced business on all levels.”
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