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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

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MAY 2017

35

themwith different aspects of reporting and accountability,

involving civil society and working with local institutions. Elected

officials learned to connect back to their constituencies.”

All development programs can lead to improved relationships

among countries, but there is something about work in global

health that makes it especially true in this sphere. Global health

focuses on saving and improving lives; it is a sector where num-

bers are straightforward and telling.

“In health we are able to show that our programs work

because we can measure success more easily than in other

sectors, and many of our interventions are data-driven,” says

Richard Green, a Foreign Service officer who served in Sudan,

Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Bangladesh before returning to

Washington, D.C., and serving in various senior positions. “We

also have low-cost modern technology that can save and trans-

form lives.”

A good example comes from Afghanistan, where USAID

funded a significant portion of the country’s primary health

care services from 2004 through 2010. Despite a complex and

challenging setting, Pelzman says that the cooperation there

was “one of the U.S. government’s true success stories. We had

a direct impact on building a cadre of community midwives,

reducing maternal morbidity and mortality, and contributing to

other important health outcomes. We also advanced changes to

gender norms. Our commitment to public health and our close

engagement with the Ministry of Health was consistently hailed

as a positive aspect of our bilateral relationship.”

“In health we are able to show

that our programs work because

we canmeasure success more

easily than in other sectors, and

many of our interventions are

data-driven.”

—FSO Richard Green