Report: Obama’s Global Health Initiative lacks initiative, clear strategy

A new report by the Center for Global Development‘s Nandini Oomman and Rachel Silverman says that the Obama Administration’s once much-celebrated (though always vague) Global Health Initiative appears to suffer from a severe case of bureaucratic anemia:

At its launch, the GHI was met with great excitement and showed much promise as a coordinating mechanism to streamline U.S. global health funding and improve aid effectiveness. Thus far, however, the initiative has been plagued by problems with transparency, leadership, coordination, funding, and implementation, leading to deep skepticism both within and outside the U.S. government.

You can read their short, incisive report here as a PDF.

Oomman and Silverman don’t just whine about it. They present options to help GHI ‘regain the promise it held’ beginning with getting past vague generalities to clarify what it is and how it is supposed to work .

CGD colleague Connie Veillette also weighs in with Where Oh Where has the GHI Gone? The Whole of Government Approach Hangs in the Balance.

Veillette partly blames the lack of initiative and confusion at GHI on the political jockeying now plaguing our approach to foreign aid due to infighting between Sec. Hillary Clinton’s folks at the U.S. State Department and Raj Shah’s gang at the U.S. Agency for International Aid over ‘reforming’ foreign aid. Here’s my own, semi-serious, look at the tussle back when it started in early 2010.

Also see Global Post’s series on the Global Health Initiative over the past year.


About Author

Tom Paulson

Tom Paulson is founder and lead journalist at Humanosphere. Prior to operating this online news site, he reported on science,  medicine, health policy, aid and development for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Contact him at tom[at] or follow him on Twitter @tompaulson.