Seeking to clear the air regarding allegations that it was trying to influence policies in India, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has said it rarely initiates programs from scratch and instead partners with leaders and communities striving to add value as they take on big health and development challenges.
“Over the years, the Gates Foundation has learned a lot about how to be an effective partner. We understand India’s scale and diversity and know that we don’t have the resources to support multiple programs here on our own. We also recognize India’s complexity and know that the most reliable and sustainable solutions are best provided by local champions who have spent their careers working in India,’’ the second edition of the India Country Office Letter of the BMGF, released here said. The letter is authored by Nachiket Mor, India Country Director of the Foundation.
“Sometimes the Gates Foundation contributes expertise. We know the issues and key players and can help connect the right people and resources. At other times we contribute data. We quickly set up pilot projects to test and refine a strategy, and provide decision-makers with examples and evidence,’’ the letter added.
The Foundation said it also helps facilitate important relationships across traditional boundaries so that governments, non-governmental organizations and private sector companies can collaborate to deliver innovations faster to those in need. The investments they make fill gaps and help good ideas become lifesaving solutions.
The letter highlights progress in India’s development through investments in scientific and technological advances, as India moves forward to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. Specifically, the letter focuses on successful interventions in sanitation, women and child development, vaccination and lymphatic filariasis, and demonstrates how thoughtful application of innovation and technology can contribute to transforming health and development outcomes.
Speaking on the launch of the second edition of the India Country Office Letter, Mr Mor said, “The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is partner to the Government of India in their efforts to address inequities that affect the most vulnerable populations, so that everyone can lead healthy, productive lives. This letter demonstrates through some examples of how science and technology can advance and transform India’s health and development outcomes.” He further added, “We admire the scale and scope of the country’s ambitions related to its development and are optimistic of the country’s progress across key development indicators.”
India is applying new-age thinking and cutting-edge technologies that can contribute to progress on the most challenging issues facing the poor. As the country strives to attain the Sustainable Development Goals, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is optimistic about India’s future, the letter says.