“Not everyone thinks like you because we’re not all the same”
It’s a quote that’s obvious when hearing it but to put it into use is another thing. How often do we take this quote into practice? Especially within our own line of work, how often do we consider using projects and methods used in one setting and adapt it to another, even though the settings are different but the problems are the same?
As the post-2015 agenda continues to be a focal point of discussion as we near the end of the MDG’s, it has been stressed continuously that developed countries will be included in the post-developmental plans along with under-developed regions in efforts to highlight the need for a global collaboration in ending common world issues. For years, the work of UN branches such as UNICEF, UNDP, and UNFPA have been focusing on under privileged world regions, but with these new discussions at hand, will there be a need for collaborations to be made in efforts to bring this work to developed regions as well?
Will the focus on global partnerships mean more equitable and meaningful collaboration on development goals among developed and developing countries? And amongadvantaged and disadvantaged groups at the national level?
All nations suffer from levels of health issues for example (i.e.: AIDS, maternal mortality, etc), despite the variations from country to country. Such as the case with child mortality – while 4 in 1,000 newborns die from preventable anomalies and diseases in Sweden, it’s 260 in 1,000 in Sub-Saharan Africa. With this, it’s clear to see that a united effort would be needed, as well as a partnership, in effort to change these outcomes in both countries to make a change regardless of the scale in each country.
One example of a united effort being done within a first world context is in Australia, where despite the development of the nation and its first world status, it suffers from inequality among its aboriginal population. From education to health services, these people have been driven to the remote states of Australia and have fewer opportunities presented to them to change their circumstances. One concern is the lack of ultrasound scanning being done by mid-wives in the aboriginal communities.A main cause is lack of education. Recently, the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology (ISUOG), a part of the Partnership for Maternal, Child, and Newborn Health division of WHO, have begun conducting workshops in basic ultrasound in OB/GYN training in these aboriginal regions. For the project, ISUOG partnered with ASUM (the Australian Society of Ultrasound in Medicine) who have previously worked in Papua New Guinea to provide humanitarian outreach, for the first time in a developed region.
The effort is to train these midwives so they can properly conduct scans and detect fetal anomalies so as to take preventive measures to increase the child’s chances for life upon birth. Before then, the aboriginal community had never been exposed to such technology, which led to the deaths of many babies – deaths caused by something that was easily treatable.
This one partnership is an example of how collaboration can be done to bring work even to developed regions and collaborate to achieve developmental goals – in this case, MDG goals number 4 and 5.
Will this be just an isolatedexample, or will the focus on global partnerships mean growth in more equitable and meaningful collaboration on development goals among developed and developing countries?