Pandemic Underscores Importance of Effective Political Leadership

African government Ministers gathered in-person at Harvard for this first time since 2019 last September, more acutely aware than ever that their leadership skills are on the line as they strive to balance their response to the public health, social and economic repercussions of the pandemic, while still keeping focus on their main political goals. “The ongoing pandemic crisis has graphically demonstrated the central importance of good government and effective…

Background on H.E. President Julius Maada Bio

His Excellency Julius Maada Bio was elected President of Sierra Leone in 2018, winning 51.8% of he vote. He ran on a five-pillar platform focused on transforming the country’s economy, human development, improving governance, improving infrastructure, and overhauling financing of the public sector. Prior to being elected President, H.E. was a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bradford in the U.K. pursuing a Doctorate in Peace Studies. H.E. has…

Sierra Leone President Headlines Ministerial Forum at Harvard

His Excellency Julius Maada Bio called on government Ministers from across Africa to keep focus on human development even while managing the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Opening the first in-person Harvard Ministerial Forum since the start of the pandemic, President Bio told Ministers invited to the annual Forum that one of the most important traits of effective leadership is the ability to adapt to changing circumstances without losing direction.…

Kenya’s Sicily Kariuki Recognized with Ministerial Medal of Achievement

When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Kenya in early 2020, Sicily Kariuki was initially relieved the President just weeks before had switched her from leading the health ministry to take charge of water and sanitation. Her sense of relief was short-lived as she realized that hand washing, long recognized as a basic public health measure, was now of life and death importance in helping combat COVID. Her challenge on the…

Customizing Human Development Data for Ministerial Decision-making

Today more than ever, Ministers are challenged to maintain progress in health, education and economic growth in the face of severely depleted fiscal reserves. Data is critical to guiding ministerial decision-making as they try to optimize available budget. With the help of a group of current and former Ministers, the Harvard Ministerial Leadership Program last October launched a Dashboard on Human Development for Economic Progress, whose primary aim is to…

Harvard Student Policy Research Supports Ministerial Planning

What are the factors affecting gender equity in higher education in Zambia? Which districts should pilot a stay-in-school program for girls in Sierra Leone? What have been the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Ethiopia’s essential health services? These are pressing issues that Harvard Ministerial alumni Ministers are currently facing. Over the past year, 44 Harvard graduate students from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Graduate School of…

Preparing for COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout in Africa

Ramping up the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in Africa is essential not only to stemming the pandemic, but also to alleviating loss of income, increased poverty and growing food insecurity, as well as to more rapidly regenerate economic activity. Although the severity of the pandemic in Africa has seemingly not reached the same intensity as other parts of the world, the social and economic impact has been profound for the…

2021 Tessa Jowell Doctoral Fellowship Will Support Education Reforms in Ghana

Charles Gale, a Ph.D. candidate in the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) is the 2021 recipient of the Tessa Jowell Doctoral Research Fellowship.  Charles’ research will build on education reforms in Ghana by identifying measurable factors that can predict the performance of early career teachers. The Harvard Ministerial Leadership Program annually awards the Tessa Jowell Fellowship through an open application process available to support doctoral research which aligns with…

Harvard Ministerial Webinar: Preparing for Vaccine Delivery in Africa

On February 17 the Harvard Ministerial Leadership Program and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa co-hosted a webinar with some of Africa’s most experienced leaders on what practical steps governments should be taking now to organize across government and in communities to meet public expectations that vaccines will be equitably distributed and accessible. Panelists include: H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia; Hon. Awa Marie Coll-Seck, Minister of…

Apply Now: Tessa Jowell Student Research Fellowship

The Harvard Ministerial Leadership Program established the Tessa Jowell Student Research Fellowship providing up to $15,000 in support of doctoral or post-doctoral level research.  Research must focus on health, education or other human capital development-related sectors with the goal of informing government policy, programs, and priority setting in countries participating in the Harvard Ministerial Leadership Program. To apply, please submit a CV and a one-page research proposal outlining the principal…