Webcast Playback: Diversity, Innovation, and Tri-Sector Partnership in Global Public Health

Today’s most pressing global public health challenges require truly global collaboration. What can the public, private, and social sectors do to ensure the most dynamic leaders are working together? Why is diversity vitally important in the workforce development and hiring process of global public health professionals? What competencies does the next generation need to help address these challenges? How can higher education institutions best prepare the next generation of public health advocates for the road ahead?

PYXERA Global & Global Health Fellows Program II (GHFP-II) were excited to bring together leading voices in global public health to discuss these important issues. Thought leaders with unique experiences across the public, private, and social sectors discussed how their commitment to tri-sector partnership is making an impact in bolstering diversity within the global health workforce. In collaboration with PYXERA Global, GHFP-II has deployed 68 corporate employees to date. Also known as “Global Health Champions,” these professionals weave business and operational expertise into projects that align with USAID’s global health objectives in order to address complex global health challenges.

Watch a recording of the webcast here.

Laura Asiala (@LauraAsialaCSR), Vice President of Client Relations & Public Affairs at PYXERA Global, sat down with these leaders to discuss how their commitment to partnership makes their work in bolstering diversity in global public health possible.

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JuanCarlos Hunt is the Director of the Office for Civil Rights and Diversity at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) (@USAID). In this role, Director Hunt works to advance USAID’s policy of diversity, inclusion, and transparency, ensuring the Agency maintains the highest standards in promoting equal opportunity and prohibiting discrimination. Laura asked JuanCarlos what impact tri-sector partnerships can have on bolstering unique perspectives in global public health and how diversity inclusion has become a vital part of development around the world.

“USAID has seen the benefits of bringing the public, private, and NGO sectors together—there’s been an emphasis on including all of those stakeholders—and we’ve seen in the diversity inclusion world that we also need to adopt that approach. We are getting the different perspectives from the private sector, the federal sector, and NGOs—getting them all involved in the diversity inclusion discussion is critical. It’s how we get creative and innovative solutions. Diversity inclusion is not just a ‘good’ thing, not just the ‘right’ thing. It’s about making the business case for why diversity inclusion is so critical to solving problems. Diverse groups solve problems better and faster than homogenous groups.”

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Sharon Rudy is Director of the Global Health Fellows Program II (@GHFPII) at the Public Health Institute (@PHIGlobalHealth). GHFP-II helps USAID address its immediate and emerging human capital needs by developing a diverse group of global health professionals to support and sustain the effectiveness of the Agency’s current and future health programs. Laura asked Sharon about one component of GHFP-II’s work in cultivating Global Health Champions, private sector employees with expertise outside of the public health field who lend their skills to short-term pro bono consulting projects. Sharon discussed how these Global Health Champions build the capacity of global health organizations around the world, and also return to their home countries and careers as informed advocates for effective public health programs.

“These corporate participants in global pro bono projects expand the universe and the diversity of our participant group in a very significant way. What we see with them is that you can take a mid- or senior-level corporate professional and you put them into an NGO or other setting in an emerging market, and it’s an experience of total cultural immersion. The research on the impact of that is very significant—it can be a transformational experience. We really enjoying seeing these accomplished, high-performing professionals go back to their corporate world, slightly different than the way they left. Since they’ve had this community experience, they understand who that end-user is—of that product or service—and they become an informed voice for that end-user.”

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John Crockett is the Senior Program Manager for the Biosecurity Engagement Program (BEP) at CRDF Global (@crdfglobal), a non-profit organization that promotes international scientific and technical collaboration through grants, technical resources, training, and services. Laura asked John why diversity is vital to the work his teams do around the world, and how different perspectives add to programs’ success.

“The problems we deal with in global health are very personal, and they’re deeply cultural. To be able to approach those issues with solutions that are going to push the ball forward, you need people who have diversity both in skill sets and in the ways they see the world. It’s absolutely essential that we go out into the field to solve some of the big problems that we’re all talking about today—Ebola, anthrax, Avian flu—that we’re working with local partners on the ground who deeply understand the culture that this is occurring in and have the personal connection and have the ability to be innovative around these problems.”

It was a pleasure for us to convene these thought leaders and explore ways that tri-sector partnerships are vital to their work. Watch a recoding of the 30-minute webcast here, and join the discussion on Twitter using @PYXERAglobal and #PYXERAglobal25 or @GHFPII and #GlobalHealth.

Also browse Storify for the social media recap the team at GHFPII put together, along with photos on Flickr.

This webcast is part of a series PYXERA Global is hosting throughout 2015 in celebration of our 25th anniversary. As the United Nations prepares to launch its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) this fall, we are exploring ways that public, private, and social sector entities are uniting to move the needle on work related to the SDGs from aspiration to achievement.

SDG #17 (as currently drafted by the UN) is to, “Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.” This goal—regarding partnerships for sustainable development—is, for PYXERA Global, a methodology at the core of our approach and is key to making progress toward the worthy aspirations of the other SDGs.

Please join us for more online discussions throughout the year as we take a look at other Sustainable Development Goals and the multifaceted ways the public, private, and social sectors are driving real progress toward them. Leave comments below about SDG #17 and your thoughts on how tri-sector partnership can advance our shared vision, including in bolstering diversity in global public health.

Please also take our quick survey on Purposeful Global Engagement. We value your input in crafting a set of principles that guide our collective work.

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