Global Health Corporate Champions

The Global Health Corporate Champions was an example of a multi-company approach to Global Pro Bono with teams of 5 to 15 corporate professionals from multiple disciplines and companies across several industries who came together for a one-month intensive, immersive experience to address global health problems. This diverse group of leaders leveraged their business and operational expertise to improve the effectiveness of local organizations, leaving in place longer term, sustainable capacity. They worked on specific projects related to clean water and sanitation, food and nutrition security, health system strengthening, and/or gender inclusion and empowerment in Ghana, Rwanda, and Senegal.

Program Benefits

Participant Impact

Participants gain critical global leadership skills in a program which accelerates both intellectual understanding and emotional intelligence through action.

Business Impact

Businesses gain insights into key emerging markets, develop their own leaders, and earn a positive reputation for social responsibility by addressing critical human needs.

Host Client Impact

Host organizations benefit from pro bono expertise that would otherwise be inaccessible to improve their ability to address public health issues in their communities.

Focus Areas

Water & Sanitation
Health Systems Strengthening
Food & Nutrition
Gender Empowerment

2016 Ghana

During the month of June, eight professionals from PricewaterhouseCoopers, PIMCO, and The Dow Chemical Company provided strategic and consultative support to three key health organizations in Ghana: HealthKeepers Network, Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG), and Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health. Due to the changing landscape of health delivery in Ghana, focus on long term strategies, adjusting financial and business models, and clear communications were among the pressing issues successfully addressed by the pro bono participants.

2017 Ghana

Thirteen professionals from SAP, The Dow Chemical Company, PIMCO and WE Communications spent four consecutive weeks during February and March in Accra, Ghana, providing pro bono support to four local clients, focused on key public health issues: Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS), the Nneka Youth FoundationHope for Future Generations (HFFG), and the Ghana Registered Midwives Association (GRMA). Teams of 3-4 participants worked with host clients to develop long-term strategic plans, alternative sources of funding, integrated communications and sound information technology approaches.  The U.S. Ambassador to Ghana attended the closing ceremony, and commented, “The Global Health Corporate Champions program exemplifies the U.S. government’s approach to development.  Partnerships are central to everything we do, in Ghana and around the world.” (Click here for the Ambassador’s full comments).

2018 Rwanda

In GHCC’s first engagement in Rwanda, nine corporate professionals representing The Dow Chemical Company, SAP, GSK, and WE Communications spent four weeks in Kigali, from February-March 2018, applying their expertise to increase the capability of organizations working in underserved communities, at no financial cost to the organization. A sub-team of three pro bono consultants worked with the Rwanda Womens Network leadership to help restructure the organization for a hopeful, successful, and profitable future. Another sub-team worked with CARITAS Rwanda leadership to determine the most appropriate way to leverage digital resources to alleviate a core limitation to the successful delivery of quality healthcare. A third sub-team working with Health Development Initiative (HDI), a local health organization located on the outskirts of Kigali, whose mission is to tend to the critical and often taboo health needs of underrepresented Rwandans including the poor and LGBTQ communities. During their immersive experience on the ground, the pro bono consultants used their extensive expertise and skills ranging from business, information technology, and project management to communications and public affairs to strengthen the organizations, in order to enable them to better serve their constituencies.

2018 Senegal

For the third year in a row, The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) sent top professionals into the field as Global Health Corporate Champions (GHCC), to work with local organizations to improve health in Africa. The five highly skilled professionals, which include a physician, attorney, country manager, manufacturing manager, and supply chain director, served  as pro bono consultants to two key public health organizations in Dakar, Senegal: Amref West Africa and Association Sénégalaise pour le Bien-Étre Familial (ASBEF) from July-August 2018.

Unique Tri-Sector Partnership

 The Global Health Corporate Champions is an activity of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Global Health Fellows Program II, which is implemented by the Public Health Institute and addresses immediate and emerging human capital needs in the global health sphere. This innovative collaborative approach brings together the diverse perspective and talent of the public, private, and social sectors to address high priority health issues.

Meet the Champions

Champion Spotlights

Project Updates

Global Health Corporate Champions FAQ

What is Global Pro Bono?

Global Pro Bono (GPB) initiatives are an increasingly popular trend with companies around the world and include programs that provide opportunities for employees to leverage their professional skills in communities where they do not normally live or work. Through a GPB assignment, participants provide services to host client organizations (often local non-profit organizations, social enterprises, local government or educational institutions) based on the skills they utilize in their daily jobs. Projects are intended to provide economic and social benefit to the host organization and community while building leadership behaviors, creating market insights, and spurring innovative thinking. Programs have been designed to address a variety of corporate objectives, including providing experiential learning opportunities for high potential employees, directly engaging employees in the company’s corporate social responsibility strategy in critical growth markets, developing employees’ global perspectives, and addressing vital design and innovation challenges for new or growing markets.

How many corporations have Global Pro Bono Programs?

There are more than 27 corporations implementing various GPB program models including executive programs, virtual programs, fellowships, and locally based team programs. These corporations include JPMC, Merck, Dow Chemical, SAP, IBM, Medtronic, FedEx, GSK, and PepsiCo, among others.

Why contribute expertise?

Traditional corporate social responsibility contributes to global development with dollars, while Global Pro Bono contributes with expertise—transferring critical skills and knowledge that is often unattainable in the local market.

How does the company benefit from sending employees?

Companies primarily benefit in three ways. First, companies gain insights into rapid growth economies through their employees. Secondly, employees develop global leadership capabilities that they carry with them back to their jobs and throughout their careers. This four-week immersion experience has served as an unparalleled leadership development experience for hundreds of corporate leaders, accelerating both their intellectual understanding of needs and opportunities as well as their emotional intelligence to appropriately convert it to value at a fraction of the cost of an expatriate assignment. Finally, companies earn reputations for authentic corporate social responsibility by putting their most important resources to work on critical community challenges.

What is the objective of the program?

The objective of the program is to bring together 5-15 professionals from private sector corporations to use their diverse perspective and skillsets to build the capacity of organizations that are addressing global health issues specifically with regards to Water and Sanitation; Nutrition and Food Security; Gender Equality, Empowerment, and Protection; and Health Systems Strengthening.

What are the dates of the assignment in Senegal?

It is expected that, unless a specific exception is provided, all participants will arrive on Saturday, July 21, 2018, and remain in Senegal until departure on Saturday, August 18, 2018. Participants will deploy to Senegal for a four-week assignment to work with selected local host clients on a negotiated scope of work. During this time, participants will be 100% focused on the defined and agreed upon project scopes. They are required to attend all team meetings including, but not limited to, a team-building meeting and orientation session at the beginning of the deployment phase, a launch event with local host organizations, weekly team meetings, and a close-out event at the end of the assignment, which includes presentations and a debriefing.

How do we assure the safety of our employees?

PYXERA Global’s commitment to safety and security is a top priority. We have a well-developed safety and security protocol, which will be included in the customized Global Health Corporate Champions Logistics Guide for Rwanda. The team will be supported by a local manager in Rwanda, who will be available to the team for the duration of their stay, especially in an emergency or health-related situation.   All participants must be covered by an employer-provided health insurance policy. In addition, we do require emergency travel assistance programs, like SOS (most companies already provide this for their employees, but we can provide guidance and recommendations if your company does not currently have such coverage). Our pre-work will include at least one session (1-2 hour webinar) on living and working in Rwanda which will cover security and safety tips. In addition, during the weekend of the arrival, the entire group will spend a day in orientation for their new environment, and the participants will be briefed by a security professional on site.

How is the Global Health Corporate Champions different from other Global Pro Bono Programs?

Most GPB programs are staffed and funded by a single corporation. The Global Health Corporate Champions is designed to have multiple companies represented on the cohort and is an opportunity for companies to send single individuals (up to five), paying only the direct costs of the expenses to place the individual participants in the assignment. This provides an affordable way for small and medium companies to participate, as well as an economical way for large companies to pilot an approach and determine whether a corporate pro bono program would meet their strategic needs.

How many corporations will be involved in this project?

We expect to field a team of between 5-15 participants on this innovative project. Each participating company may send up to five participants; the final approval of candidates is made by PYXERA Global.

What does the $15,000 fee cover?

The $15,000 (per participant) fee covers the direct expenses of the participating company’s employees to be deployed in-field for a four-week immersion experience, including coach airfare, project-related ground travel, hotels, local mobile communications, and a modest per diem for food, laundry, and other incidental expenses. Companies pay PYXERA Global, and PYXERA Global takes care of all logistics, arrangements, and the appropriate support to assure that participants are oriented, safe and secure while in-field. In general, employees continue to receive their salaries and benefits during their assignment, but that is the decision of each individual company. The Global Health Corporate Champions is an activity of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Global Health Fellows Program (GHFP) II (which is implemented by the Public Health Institute). GHFP-II covers the program development and project implementation costs.

How do I know that our company candidates will be chosen? What are the requirements for individuals to participate?

We are looking for high performing, highly skilled, corporate professionals willing and able to spend four consecutive weeks in Rwanda, working pro bono, to build the capacity of local organizations to address public health issues. No specific experience in either global health or the region is required or expected.. Applicants must have at least two years’ tenure with the sponsoring company, with at least three to five years of professional experience, and be in high standing, ideally with potential for leadership.

We are looking for individuals who have professional skills in at least one of the following areas: communications, finance/accounting, human resources, information technology, marketing/sales, project management, organization strategy and development, operations management, business process development, logistics, supply chain, quality management, or general consulting. In addition to the professional skills, we are looking for people who are willing to embrace the unknown and work in an environment that is safe and secure, but not necessarily comfortable. Curiosity, flexibility, creativity, good humor, and an abiding interest in serving others are personal qualities that we have found to be important in pro bono assignments as well.

What are the benefits to participants?

Participants gain critical global leadership skills through an experience that accelerates both intellectual understanding and emotional intelligence. Participants will learn new information and skills about working in emerging markets, including learning to work in complex environments with limited resources, providing them with insights to create value, which they can take back to their workplace. The experience enhances their career while also offering high-impact expertise to organizations that would not otherwise have access to the skills and expertise that they bring.

Through the Global Health Corporate Champions, participants also have the opportunity to work with employees from other private sector corporations, which can lead to appropriate collaborations lasting well beyond the timeframe of the assignment.

What is the application process?

The application process will vary according to the needs of corporate clients. Companies may run an internal application and interview process themselves, sending up to 10 nominee applications to PYXERA Global for final selection. Alternatively, companies may send one to five pre-selected candidates depending on how many employees they want to field. PYXERA Global has developed a standard application form that companies can use to guide their internal application process. Participants will be selected and assigned to a team based on a range of criteria, including skills, experience, language, and other considerations. The final participants must be approved by PYXERA Global.

Business and operations skills of all kinds are needed with regards to building capability and capacity in organizations to improve global health. These include accounting, consulting, marketing, sales, business process development, human resources, operations management, supply chain, logistics, strategy and planning, communications, information technology, project management, quality management, and finance and investment.

What is the time commitment from an employee participating in the program?

  • Pre-work: Participants will undertake one to two hours of work each week for eight weeks before the assignment, during which time the participants will join weekly phone calls with their team and occasional calls with their clients.
  • On-location: Participants will be on assignment (in ) for four consecutive weeks (February 24 to March 24, 2018). Participants will be featured in communications while on assignment (which could include press, social media, photography, videography, podcasts, etc.) and will be encouraged to communicate about their experience, ideally weekly.
  • Post-assignment: Participants will be expected to participate in a modest level of communications activities and respond to immediate and long-term surveys. Participants will also attend a one- hour virtual reintegration session during the first month upon return.

Why do participants need to do pre-work and what does it entail?

The Global Health Corporate Champion Project consists of an eight week preparatory phase prior to deployment. Pre-work helps to set the stage for the assignment so that participants are as prepared as possible to make an impact on their host organization from day one. Virtual pre-work will be conducted via conference call and consists of a series of modules covering Rwandan culture, program objectives, global health issues, fundamental consulting skills, logistics, security, and communications, among other relevant topics. Participants are also introduced to their assignment during the pre-work phase and are encouraged to begin working in their sub-teams to develop a work plan and approach prior to their arrival at their project site.

What type of organizations will we work with in Senegal?

Participants will be assigned to a specific project team to work in a non-profit, social enterprise, local government, or educational institution to increase the organization’s capacity to better meet the needs of its stakeholders and improve public health in the local community. For this program, the team will work with organizations that focus on global health issues, aligned with the mission of USAID, which will include at least one of the following: water and sanitation; nutrition and food security; gender equality and empowerment; and/or health system strengthening.

Why was Senegal selected as the location?

Senegal was selected for three reasons. First, it is a country where USAID—the contributing funder of the program through the Global Health Fellows Program II (implemented by the Public Health Institute)—has a strong focus and robust health initiatives. Secondly, Senegal is a country of interest to many multi-national companies expanding their businesses in Africa due to its growing economy and stable political environment. Finally, PYXERA Global has experience in Senegal.

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