The End of the Silo: What It Means for Today’s Global Health Worker
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
From large corporations and foundations to the newest of startups, global health players focused on development are finding that success lies with shared values, aligned purpose and mutually reinforcing efforts. Meanwhile, NGOs are seeking new skills in their global health workforce and field partners, which require workers to think beyond established relationships.
Here are three ways the end of the silo will likely play out in 2015 for both our local partners and in our home offices — and what it means for today’s global health worker.
1. The end of the silo: In the field
The number one trend in global health is the end of the sole actor and the embracing of collective impact. Last year, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and InterAction released “The Narrative Project,” encouraging NGOs to collectively refine and execute global health public messaging.
This type of industry coherence will be key in not only how we tell our global health story, but in who tells the story and where the story is told.
In 2013, a multi-specialty medical training trip at Simon Bolivar Hospital in Bogota, Colombia, focused on burn care for acid attack victims. Led by London-based Dr. Mohammad Ali Jawad, the training happened with surgeons in the operating rooms, on the unit floor with nurses and with technicians in post-hospital treatment facilities.
This initial training — and multiple training trips that followed — created greater interdepartmental functioning and weakened departmental silos at Simon Bolivar. Three of the surgeons then took their training experiences outside of the hospital, reaching out to a trade publication and submitting an article on what they had learned. The article was published in the Colombian Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and subsequently posted on social media, further expanding the training’s collective impact.