I have just had the most enjoyable two days in Oslo. I’ve been to Norway once before but it was in the winter and so I did not get the benefit of the amazing views from the plane as I flew in. It is absolutely beautiful.
I’m here for the New African Connections Conference which was about public-private partnerships and innovation in public health so ColaLife is a pretty good case study and we’d been spotted! The conference was backed up by a report entitled ‘Harnessing innovation to the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health‘. ColaLife is the second of 10 case studies featured in the report. Our case study was written by Jane, ColaLife’s resident wordsmith.
Anyway the conference was attended by the Who’s Who of international development and this is because of Norway’s huge reputation for commitment to this. It felt good to be British there too given David Cameron’s recent robust defence of our own commitment to international development – and GAVI in particular – which several delegates mentioned in very positive terms.
Among the contributors were:
- Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations
- Gro Harlem Brundtland, three times Prime Minister of Norway
- Ted Turner, the billion dollar donor behind the UN Foundation
- Helene Gayle, President and CEO of CARE USA
- Richard Klausner, the former Executive Director for Global Health of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He gave a totally brilliant presentation on ‘demand led’ as opposed to ‘supply led’ development. I was able to start a conversation with Ricahrd about ColaLife (and our funding needs) which I hope will continue
- Nkosana Moyo, Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, African Development Bank. Nkosana gave a powerful presentation stressing that respect and trust are the key foundation for partnership. He also talked about the ‘legitimacy of being different’ which was really interesting. If we were ater a loan I would definitely be trying hard to talk to Nkosana!
And there were many others.
I had a 10 minute slot on ColaLife where I was asked to focus on the public-private partnership aspects. I will put my presentation up on Slideshare and feature it here as soon as I get a moment to do this.
The other 10 minute slots included:
All of these provided insights into the way the international development landscape is changing and becoming more business and results focussed.
I am hugely grateful to Daniel Altman of Dalberg, the author of the above mentioned report for finding us and featuring us in the report and to Norad for inviting me to present and for funding my travel and accommodation costs.