Earlier this summer, the Center for Global Development hosted a guest lecture by the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia Dr.Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus with a panel of experts from Zambia, Mozambique and Uganda and representatives from United States Government (USG) agencies to discuss one of the most challenging concepts to define right now - Country Ownership.
For the last two years, the USG has tried to find a way to partner with developing country governments while they balance their accountability to Congress. In recent development reform plans like the Global Health Initiative and Feed the Future, there are numerous references to country ownership, country driven, country-led, and country guided but neither actually come out and define the term “country ownership.”
So, what is country ownership? How will we know when we achieve it? It is an end in itself or the best way to ensure long-term sustainability?