Advocacy International advises a consortium led by OPTIONS UK on an advocacy campaign – MamaYe! – to increase maternal and newborn survival in Ghana. The MamaYe coalition in Ghana is led by Prof Adanu of the School of Public Health, and Vicky Okine of the Alliance of Reproductive Health Rights. Recently the MamaYe coalition appealed to Ghanaian MPs for an increase in spending on maternal and newborn health.
What chances are there of success for this campaign?
First, it is important to note that Ghana has halved levels of poverty since 1992. In that year, nearly 52% of Ghanaians lived in poverty. By 2006 Ghanians living in poverty had been halved to 28%, according to the World Bank.
Reframing the issue away from failure, despair and mortality – and towards solutions, success and survival.
As part of our work advising a UKAid- funded consortium whose aim is to reduce maternal and newborn mortality in five African countries, Ai had to think of ways of engaging Africa’s men and women in the complex issue of maternal and newborn health. This is an issue that requires a spectrum of care – from the time that young girls reach reproductive age right through to maturity; and from conception to well after a child is born.
Ai’s team has invaluable experience of engaging the public in complex issues – engagement which results in positive policy change at the highest levels.
Below is an outline of how the public were engaged in the complex issue of sovereign debt between 1994 and 2000 – and the impact of this public mobilisation on the policies of governments and international institutions. And in the next blog, we will explain how Ai has advised the British government on engaging the public in five of Africa’s poorest countries in the complex issue of maternal and newborn survival.
Ai’s Creative Adviser Maz Kessler has just launched Catapult, a crowdfunding website for girls. Maz designed and developed Catapult as a way to help address the huge global problem of gender inequality. As part of the launch, she penned this article introducing the project and its potential impact:
Our director, Ann Pettifor and project manager, Georgia Lee have just returned from extended visits to Sierra Leone and Ethiopia, as part of a DFID-funded project to reduce maternal and newborn mortality. Ai is part of a consortium that includes the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University College London, IMMPACT in Aberdeen and the White Ribbon Alliance.
All of the team at Ai are deeply saddened to hear of the death of friend, colleague and great leader Wangari Maathai.
Ann Pettifor especially remembered the privilege of working closely with Wangari on the Jubilee 2000 campaign. Earlier today she said:
“Wangaari stands shoulder to shoulder with Nelson Mandela and Julius Nyerere as one of Africa’s – and the world’s – wisest and most effective leaders.
“I was privileged to know her as a friend; and as a colleague. But above all I was privileged to work closely with her during the Jubilee 2000 campaign. Not only was she Jubilee 2000′s representative in Kenya, but she helped lead the Jubilee 2000 Africa campaign. Continue Reading
Last Sunday Ann Pettifor went on the Sunday Morning show with Ricky Ross to talk about Jubilee 2000, the fight to cancel the debt of the world’s poorest countries, and how the campaign on issues of international finance, sovereign debt and social justice continue. Continue Reading
The African Foundation for Development UK (AFFORD) invited Ann Pettifor to give the keynote speech at its Africa-UK Diplomatic Engagement Evening Monday evening, in the presence of the High Commissioners of Sierra Leone and Cote d’Ivoire.
Speaking on the theme of “Enterprise, Workforce and Institution Building in Post-Conflict States” Ann emphasized the vital importance of post-conflict African states building sound monetary systems. She argued that such systems should be designed to give African politicians the policy autonomy needed to formulate and execute their own monetary policy – and with it the domestic economic policies that will protect the interests of their people, and support their country’s advance. Continue Reading
The BBC Radio 4′s ‘World Tonight’ yesterday devoted the whole of their news programme to the question of global food security, and invited Ann Pettifor to comment throughout. She focussed on Goldman Sachs’s Global Commodity Index – (about which you can read more here in Foreign Policy) not very different from the ‘Collateralised Debt Obligations’ (CDOs) that had been used during the property bubble to ‘slice and dice’ assets, and make them available for speculative purposes.
The programming was in response to a recent statement by President Sarkozy to the World Farmers Union. He was speaking in his role as convenor of the upcoming G20 Summit in Cannes on 3-4 November, 2011, and called for greater regulation of financial markets: Continue Reading
In March, Ann Pettifor was honoured to be invited by Ms Zarinah Anwar CEO of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Malaysia, and Dr Farhan Nizami of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies to attend a conference at Ditchley Park on “Shariah, Finance and the Public Good”.
But before the hard work of deliberation, delegates attended a splendid dinner at the Banqueting House, Whitehall, where they were welcomed by His Royal Highness, Dr Raja Nazrin Shah, Crown Prince of Perak, Malaysia.
In an opening address HRH asked the group to consider whether transfers of ‘artificial wealth’ served the public good; and whether Islamic finance could be distinguished from conventional finance? Prince Nazrin Shah suggested that trust in financial services has all but evaporated, and that such trust would not be restored until finance could demonstrate its concern with the public good. Continue Reading