Archive for July 7th, 2018

First assignment

I completed the first part of my first consulting assignment, two days in Chapel Hill (NC) with more trips to follow. It was a fast paced schedule that required an early rise like the old commuting days, followed by a flight to Raleigh/Durham, a full day of work, transcribing notes in the evening after a boring dinner in a boring restaurant of a boring hotel. Welcome to consulting, I hear Axel say.

But it was an interesting assignment that is right up my alley – a discovery trip to get at people’s perceptions of what is happening and what needs to happen as an organizational transformation unfolds. I get to draw on all my training  and relationships that have led me to this place and this assignment at this time. 

One person I interviewed I had last seen when I came in for a debriefing at USAID in Burkina Faso, more than two and a half decades ago. Others were more recent (ex) colleagues from MSH. 

We are all twirling around in one big pot – when fortunes are up in one part of this ecosystem people drift over there, away from the less fortunate elements but the balance tilts and people drift elsewhere again, or back – I am sure that is MSH’s hope as new projects are added to the portfolio and more hands are needed on deck.

I interviewed some people who had done the rounds and served with many of the key actors in the global health space. Having worked for s long with one organization it was interesting, and not surprising, how much we have all in common and how much we are all struggling with some of the same issues, including our over dependence on the US government. Although stable as governments go, it is always influenced by the prevailing political winds. The current winds are not blowing in the same direction as the global health priorities the rest of the world deems important. May be, in some paradoxical way, I a both a casualty and a beneficiary of this circumstance.


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