Decolonization of global health is not a future event. This journey started decades ago, before use of the term was common or the development sector saw the concept as disruptive. The goals of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) have been a major catalyst for the shift, with new voices and local viewpoints being elevated to create sustainable change and accomplish many of the targets we have set for global development. While host country nationals are now taking on greater responsibility in their organizations, more can be done to take full advantage of the benefits of diversity and the potential of decolonization.
As I take the helm at FHI 360, I find myself reflecting on John Norris’ authoritative history of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), The Enduring Struggle. It points to the many accomplishments made possible through the funding and genius of USAID and its countless partners around the world. FHI 360 has contributed greatly to many of these successes, most notably in health, where we have helped combat deadly diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV and made modern contraceptives widely accessible.