Working together at AMREF and learning from the greater public health community
This past week, AMREF USA Program staff spent a lot of time learning from others, discussing new ideas, generating best practices, and strategizing about the path ahead for program and grants management at AMREF. In order to strengthen the collaboration among Program teams from different AMREF offices, staff conducted two full days of strategy and planning meetings, followed by attending the two-day CORE Group Fall Meeting in Washington, DC.
AMREF USA’s Director of Programs William Yaggy, Grants Manager David Chase and Associate Grants Manager Beth Oppenheim were joined in our offices in New York by Dawn Betteridge from AMREF Netherlands, Paola Magni from AMREF Italy, and Anne-Marie Kamanye from AMREF Canada.
Each national office presented information about their country’s experience in fundraising for AMREF programs in Africa, analyzed best practices, and addressed concerns and possible solutions for potential future obstacles. Being able to compare and contrast experiences was incredibly helpful for all of the participants. It was a wonderful opportunity for us to not only generate thoughtful discussion and support for each other in our work, but also to develop even deeper face-to-face relationships that will continue to strengthen as our offices place an even larger focus on collaboration.
Capitalizing on the opportunity to have national offices here in the U.S., Dawn and Paola were able to join the rest of the AMREF USA Program staff at the CORE Group Fall Meeting. The CORE Group is an umbrella organization that encourages learning and collaboration among organizations working on community health worldwide. AMREF USA regularly attends these meetings in both the fall and spring, and this time was able to bring our international colleagues along.
The theme of this year’s meeting was “Windows of Opportunity for Health & Well-Being,” allowing each of us to explore whichever area of community health was most relevant for us and our work. Topics discussed incorporated many that were of great interest to AMREF, including maternal and newborn health, child survival programs, and discussing the CORE Group Polio Project, of which AMREF Ethiopia is a partner organization. We were also able to listen to a presentation by The White Ribbon Alliance, of which AMREF is a member. The presentation focused on generating increased awareness of safe motherhood in all organizations working on community health.
Being able to share this type of experience with our international counterparts – both in a global context as well as in an AMREF one – has been invaluable. Through exchanging ideas, AMREF USA and other national offices will be able to grow and pursue more comprehensive institutional fundraising opportunities – ultimately allowing AMREF to strengthen our programs - worldwide. As we move toward a more unified structure, these opportunities will become more and more important for our success in a competitive fundraising environment, and have been an interesting way to learn about working together more effectively in support of better health for Africa.