Thursday, January 17, 2008

How PEPFAR is adapting to the Aid Effectiveness Challenge

Featured Speaker: Ambassador Mark R. Dybul, US Global AIDS Coordinator

Date:Monday January 14, 2008

Time:12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Location:The German Marshall Fund of the United States

UNDP-USA Representative: Saphonia Foster

The German Marshall Fund of the United States hosted an engaging discussion concerning the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Ambassador Mark Dybul, the U.S. Global Coordinator for PEPFAR, presented his thoughts concerning the ideological foundations that this humanitarian program rests on and addressed various issues related to its effectiveness.

Before sparking a discussion on how PEPFAR and other HIV/AIDS prevention programs can be more efficient, Dybul provided a theoretical framework guided by the philosophical principles of the Monetary Consensus and of the Paris Declaration. These documents, he stated, launched principals that direct PEPFAR’s view of how to make humanitarian programs more effective. He touted the new plan and its reflection of these documents ideals which include maintaining good governance in beneficiary nations, having result based program evaluations, encouraging multi-sector cooperation, and ensuring reliable financial support.

During the discussion, the Coordinator encouraged development and health organizations to veer from semantic arguments which often stunt program progress and cost lives as cumbersome debates undermine success. Ironically, this sparked somewhat heated questions about development jargon. Yet despite the contentious definitions, Dybul’s goal of shifting the focus to increasing program efficiency was well received.

Before his audience, which included many ambassadors and embassy delegates from Africa, as well as various representatives from Washington non-profit organizations and think tanks, Dybul made clear the need to change approaches to AIDS relief programs. He encouraged those of PEPFAR and others to pursue relationships of mutual respect with those that health projects target. He suggested that public health officials take a more team-oriented approach to aid programs and to drop the assumption that binary divisions exist in the relationship between the "helpers" and the "helped." This change of perception and a clear vision of what successful progress entails, he claims, are pivotal steps in making AIDS prevention programs more effective.

Date: Monday January 14, 2008

Time: 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Location: The German Marshall Fund of the United States, 1744 R St., NW

UNDP-USA Representative: Saphonia Foster

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