M-RCBG Senior Fellow-Led Study Group: Scott Ratzan

Session 1: Overview 
September 12, 4:00-5:30 M-RCBG Conference Room, Belfer 503

Session 2: With guest Dr. Andrea Feigl, HSPH Visiting Scientist
September 14, 2:00-3:30 M-RCBG Conference Room, Belfer 503

Session 3: Inspiring smart choices and building confidence in vaccines for sustainable health
With guest Dr. Heidi Larson, Director, The Vaccine Confidence Project, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
September 26, 4-5:30 M-RCBG Conference Room, Belfer 503

Session 4: [in NYC]  Unlocking Synergies in Global Health: Developing a Framework for Galvanizing Multisectoral Action and Financing for SDG3 
September 28, 10:30am-12:30pm  McCann Global Health, 622 Third Avenue (41st and Third Ave), New York, NY

Session 5: Inspiring Smart Choices with Health Diplomacy (click here for details)
With guest speaker Jimmy Kolker MPA '83, Former Ambassador and Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs, HHS
November 26, 4:00-5:30pm M-RCBG Conference Room, Belfer 503

Session 6: Truth or Consequences: Reversing vaccine hesitancy and misinformation threats to our future 
With guest speaker Yvonne MacPherson, US Director of BBC Media Action; Fellow, Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society 
(click here for details)
May 9, 4:00-5:30pm M-RCBG Conference Room, Belfer 503

Join Senior Fellow, Dr. Scott Ratzan, of the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business & Government, for a presentation and interactive discussion on strategic diplomacy for health progress. This dialogue includes proposals to create a platform for programmatic and policy interventions to address the global call for Action on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These seventeen SDGs, otherwise known as the Global Goals, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. Goal 17 calls for a "stronger commitment to partnership and cooperation with coherent policies, an enabling environment for sustainable development at all levels and by all actors."

This Study Group will explore ideas to advance Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages. Health determinants cut across sectors, and a sustainable, sufficiently financed prevention-oriented health agenda needs to build on multisector platforms and a common understanding of causes and goals. Later in September, the U.N General Assembly will likely ratify the following items as part of an effort to advance global health through a focus on Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs):

  • Scale up the implementation of the commitments made in 2011 and 2014 for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases through ambitious multisectoral national responses and thereby contribute to the overall implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including by integrating, across the life-course, action on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases and promotion of mental health and well-being;
  • Establish or strengthen national multi-stakeholder dialogue mechanisms, as appropriate, for the implementation of the national multisectoral action plans for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases in order to attain the national targets;
  • Scale up efforts to use information and communications technologies, including e-health and m-health and other innovative solutions, through, inter alia, promotion of public-private partnership to accelerate ambitious action towards the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases

To date, few multisector platforms to achieve SDG3 exist. Those that do exist have failed to break down conventional public-private sector silos, and have not (yet) delivered on the promise to substantially fill the financing gap for SDG3. This is particularly true for non-communicable diseases (SDG target 3.4), constituting two thirds of the global burden of disease, yet receiving < 3% of overseas development aid, despite ongoing calls for action.
The global political stalemate regarding proven-effective policies to address SDG 3 have fallen short of expectations to deliver on multisector partnerships and global financial commitments, further highlighting the urgent need for action.

This Study Group will provide additional background on how strategic diplomacy, communication, innovative financing, and partnerships might provide the first set of answers to these difficult challenges, and will open an initial discussion of a framework for a multisector engagement platform for SDG 3, as well as related work streams. Past successes and failures, governance structures along with potential mechanisms/platforms that could galvanize multisectoral engagement in achieving health and well-being will be explored.

Potential workstreams to be discussed in the September study groups with research assistant support:

1. A Framework for developing successful multisectoral engagement for health (principles/rules/etc.)

2. Strategic Diplomacy approaches fostering innovative progress: Launching an Innovation Working Group for NCDs.

Participants in the Study Groups can attend one or several sessions.

Session One, on September 12th will introduce the concept of strategic diplomacy and its theoretical/conceptual underpinning, provide examples with first hand knowledge with domestic activities the US government on Women and Children's Health (White House and State Dept.), tobacco control (HHS), experiences with the the United Nations Innovative Working Group for Every Woman Every Child, and the formation of an Private Sector coalition for Road Safety.

In Session Two, on September 14th, Dr. Ratzan will be joined by HSPH Visiting Scientist, Dr. Andrea Feigl, presenting on the economic burden of non-communicable diseases, and the challenges of global health financing, particularly relating to SDG target 3.4.

For Session Three on September 26, "Inspiring smart choices and building confidence in vaccines for sustainable health." Dr. Ratzan's guest speaker will be Dr. Heidi Larson, Director, The Vaccine Confidence Project, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Given the ongoing threats to vaccine coverage globally, we will discuss the opportunities and challenges of global governance and decision-making for immunizations threaten the health of society. Dr. Larson has developed the vaccine confidence index that serves as a gauge for societal acceptance and vaccine coverage.  Senior Fellow Dr. Scott Ratzan will lead a discussion with Dr. Larson exploring the ideals of multisectoral strategic diplomacy and effective communication to enhance prudent policies with health and non-health actors, including business, government, foundations, international organizations and others.  The discussion includes integration into development of a framework to help foster prudent public policy in health and other areas. 

Session Four, on September 28, will be a roundtable discussion in NYC:
We are pleased to invite you to a select roundtable on fostering partnerships and multisector engagement to advance SDG3. As a satellite meeting of a Harvard Kennedy School study group, this meeting aims to frame and catalyze multisector follow-up action on the UN declaration on non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which is calling for a "stronger commitment to partnership and cooperation with coherent policies, an enabling environment for sustainable development at all levels and by all actors." (ratified on Sept 27) 
The main goal of the roundtable will be to contribute to the development of a framework for action to support and galvanize multisectoral engagement for SDG3. This framework will be integrated in a Harvard Working Paper, laying out novel ideas for catalyzing SDG3 financing, evidence-based policies, and partnerships.  
Envisioned as a highly interactive session, the roundtable will be kicked off by highlighting strategic diplomacy approaches to advance health initiatives with presentations by Scott Ratzan, MD, MPA, Senior Fellow at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government (M-RCBG) at Harvard Kennedy School and former co-chair of the UN Secretary General’s Innovation Working Group in support of Every Woman Every Child. He will be joined by Andrea Feigl, PhD, MPH, Harvard Visiting Scientist and Health Economist at the OECD, who will share a decade’s worth of economic and policy evidence on NCDs and health systems financing. Myriam Sidibe, DrPH, also Senior Fellow at the M-RCBG at Harvard Kennedy School will offer insight from significant in-country experiences of building business models around specific health issues, mainly WASH and Nutrition.  
Together, this will provide the motivation on why multisector action needs to be scaled if SDG3 and associated financing gaps were to be met.  
Please RSVP for this event by registering here or by confirming your attendance to anf403@mail.harvard.edu by September 27th

Session Five: Inspiring Smart Choices with Health Diplomacy
With Guest Speaker Jimmy Kolker MPA '83, Former Ambassador and Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs, HHS
November 26, 4:00-5:30pm M-RCBG Conference Room, Belfer 503

Jimmy J. Kolker is the former ambassador to Burkina Faso from 1999 to 2002 and Uganda from 2002 to 2005, Chief of the HIV/AIDS Section at UNICEF's New York headquarters 2007-2011 and most recently [2011-2017]Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, DC. He will speak about his experiences practicing "Health Diplomacy."
Ambassador Kolker was the Department's chief health diplomat, representing the United States at World Health Organization meetings and as alternate Board Member of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Now retired, Amb. Kolker serves on the boards of the ABInBev Foundation (Chair) and Firelight Foundation. He is a visiting scholar at American Association for the Advancement of Science.

In each study group session, a succinct presentation will be followed by an open discussion on next steps and potential approaches to foster multisector collaboration for SDG 3 and how to advance progress on the most wicked global health challenges, such as sustainable blended financing, investment in prevention and ageing research (including dementia), endemic infectious diseases, the under/overnutrition challenges, immunizations, and many more.

Session 6: Truth or Consequences: Reversing vaccine hesitancy and misinformation threats to our future 
With guest speaker Yvonne MacPherson, US Director of BBC Media Action; Fellow, Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society

May 9, 4:00-5:30pm M-RCBG Conference Room, Belfer 503

Since January, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported over 700 measles cases in 22 States, with the prospect of many more to come. It’s the worst measles outbreak in 25 years. 
Measles outbreaks are occurring globally as well as a vaccine hesitancy on an number of vaccines protecting all of us from children to adults from a myriad of diseases. 
Nationally, we have forgotten how serious measles, and other childhood diseases like mumps, rubella and pertussis can be. Community protection against measles requires a 95% vaccination rate, with a national average well below that level.
This Study Group will present a brief backdrop of how we arrived at a new risk factor of misinformation for vaccination  creating vaccine hesitancy that has contributed to these outbreaks that threaten us all.  The main thrust of the presenters and participants will be to help chart a course forward - from communication to policy measures - to reverse the challenging trend that could be termed political and media malpractice. 

Scott C. Ratzan headshot.Scott C. Ratzan MD, MPA, has three decades of pioneering accomplishments in the U.S. and globally in health communication, health literacy and strategic diplomacy. He is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives, established in 1995. Over the last five years at Anheuser-Busch InBev, he was the architect of a ground-breaking approach to help reduce harmful drinking. Termed the “Global Smart Drinking Goals,” the program is a ten-year, $1 billion multisectoral initiative, which included the creation of a Foundation with an independently led Board of which Dr. Ratzan was founding President. Prior to joining ABInBev, Dr. Ratzan was Vice President of Global Health at Johnson & Johnson for eleven years including time in Brussels as VP Government Affairs. Before his private sector engagement, he worked at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in Washington DC, designing the framework for the Bureau of Global Health communication efforts. He launched his career in Boston spending a decade in academia as a professor and Founding Director of the Emerson-Tufts Masters Program in Health Communication. In addition to a number of publications in the health field, he is the co-author of the definition of health literacy adopted by the US Government and incorporated in the Affordable Care Act. Recently, he has served as Co-Chair of the UN Secretary General’s Every Woman Every Child Innovation Working Group, as Vice Chair of the Business Industry Advisory Council's Health Committee to the OECD, on the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Well-Being and Mental Health, and on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Board of Scientific Counselors, Office of Infectious Disease. Dr. Ratzan has an M.D. from the University of Southern California, an M.P.A. from the Harvard Kennedy School, and an M.A. in Communication from Emerson College. His academic appointments include Adjunct Professor at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, Tufts University School of Medicine, and George Washington University School of Public Health. As Senior Fellow, his research project is titled “Advancing health sustainably: ‘Inspiring Smart Choices’ to achieve societal well-being.” His faculty sponsor is Joseph Newhouse, John D. MacArthur Professor of Health Policy and Management at Harvard Kennedy School.

Andrea B. Feigl is an OECD health economist, a Visiting Scientist at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, and Senior Health Economist at Microclinic International. She also serves as Scientific Advisor to the Lancet Commission on Non-Communicable Diseases, Injuries, and Poverty. Her work focuses on health systems financing and governance, universal healthcare, and cost-effectiveness of chronic disease interventions in developing and high-income countries. At the OECD, she is in charge of a multi-risk factor platform to model the direct and indirect economic burden of chronic diseases and the effectiveness of policy interventions. Previously, she led a worldwide longitudinal analysis of the political, social, and economic determinants of universal healthcare in 196 countries (published in Health Policy), leading the impact evaluation of a nationwide anti-smoking legislation in Chile (published in WHO Bulletin), and led the impact study of the award-winning intervention program for obesity/diabetes prevention in Amman, Jordan (project awarded Global Health Project of the Year from Consortium of Universities for Global Health).

She was also notably the innovator of the Evidenced Formal Coverage Index for comparative health economics of achieving universal healthcare, and a primary author of the NCD reframing initiative, published in Lancet Global Health. In addition to health systems analysis in Timor-Leste and Bangladesh, she previously conducted policy research at WHO-PAHO, evaluated projects in Ecuador, Paraguay, and Peru, and worked for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. She has further authored several high level reports, including Development Aid Flows for Chronic Diseases for the Center for Global Development, a background paper on the political economy of universal healthcare for WHO, and a leading World Economic Forum/Harvard report on the global economic burden of chronic diseases, featured at the UN High Level Summit on NCDs in 2011. She was a Harvard Graduate Leadership Initiative Fellow and former President of the Harvard Club of Austria. A native of Austria, she received her PhD in global health from Harvard University.