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Day 1: Briefings, Briefings, and More Briefings

While other conference attendees ventured off to see Copenhagen’s sites, the delegates went on an adventure of their own as they immersed themselves in conversations around women’s and girls’ health and development.

Women Deliver’s Jill Sheffield set the stage for the day with a briefing on Women Deliver’s history and how the conference brings together key players from all sectors (government, non-profit, private, media, grassroots, health practitioners, and more) and all areas affecting women’s and girls’ health and development (reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health; nutrition; education; gender; human rights; and more).

The delegates with Women Deliver's Jill Sheffield and MSH's Jono Quick.

The delegates with Women Deliver’s Jill Sheffield and MSH’s Jono Quick.

Following Jill, MSH President and CEO Jono Quick led a discussion on the global state of women’s and girls’ health and development with USAID’s Lily Kak, the SIAPS Program’s Maheen Malik, and the Mikolo Project’s John Yanulis. As these speakers highlighted how newborn health, family planning, and maternal health needs are met through successful projects and initiatives like Helping Babies Breathe, Mikolo, and SIAPS Program, the delegates gained insight into the current successes and challenges for providing and supporting health services for women and girls around the world.

The day’s conversations then looked towards financing: with the introduction of the Sustainable Development Goals last September, the delegates wanted to know about the funding sources for women’s and girls’ development. Thankfully, Amy Boldosser-Boesch from the FCI Program of MSH, USAID/Tanzania’s Ráz Stevenson, and Johnson & Johnson’s Jami Taylor were up to the challenge of covering such a complex topic as they briefed the delegates on the Global Financing Facility, domestic financing, and the role of the private sector.

IntraHealth International’s Pape Gaye led the day’s final briefing on the impact of country ownership with Haiti’s Former Minister of Health Dr. Florence Duperval Guillaume, the FCI Program of MSH’s Melissa Wanda Kirowo, and the United Nations Foundation’s Daniela Ligiero. As these speakers stressed the importance of coordination, trust, and a level playing field between all parties – from donors to the local level – the delegates learned that the future and success of international development lies in strong country leadership, common objectives, and good governance and accountability.

After a whirlwind day of briefings, the delegates are now ready for the main event: the 2016 Women Deliver Conference.