Partnerships, Policy and Progress

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Sofitel Montreal Golden Mile

1155 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest

Montréal, QC H3A 2N3


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Partnerships, Policy and Progress: Healthy Lives for Women, Children and Adolescents Worldwide will bring together representatives from government, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and academia to inform evidence-based policymaking for improving global women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health and rights. Partnerships, Policy, and Progress is a multisectoral conference co-sponsored by McGill University’s Public Policy and Population Health Observatory (3po), McGill’s Institute for Health and Social Policy, and the Canadian Network for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health, with additional support from the McGill Faculty of Medicine, Global Health Programs, and Institute for the Study of International Development. The conference will take place in Montreal, Canada, on November 3rd and 4th, 2016.

Partnerships, Policy, and Progress will be packed with presentations, panel discussions and great speakers. You can read more about the conference, including our program and exciting group of speakers on the conference website.

For information about directions and accommodations, including our special hotel rate, please visit the conference website.

For support with the registration process, or to advise us of accessibility needs or severe allergies, please contact Cindy Kozlowsky.  

Already registered? Download our free conference app to get the most out of your experience at the conference, including in-app attendee profiles and messaging, live polling, speaker bios, and more.

La conférence Partenariats, politiques et progrès : une vie saine pour les femmes, les enfants et les adolescents du monde entier réunira des représentants du secteur public, d’organisations internationales, d’organisations non gouvernementales et du secteur universitaire dans le but de fournir des données probantes à l’appui de l’élaboration de politiques pour l’amélioration de la santé et des droits des femmes, des enfants et des adolescents dans le monde. La conférence multisectorielle Partenariats, politique et progrès est organisée en partenariat avec l’Observatoire des politiques publiques et de la santé de la population de l’Université McGill (3po), l’Institut des politiques sociales et de la santé de l’Université McGill, et le Réseau canadien pour la santé des mères, des nouveau-nés et des enfants, avec le concours des Programmes de santé mondiale de la Faculté de médecine et de l’Institut d’étude du développement international de l’Université McGill. La conférence aura lieu à Montréal, au Canada, les 3 et 4 novembre 2016.

La conférence Partenariats, politiques et progrès offrira un large éventail d’allocutions, de présentations et de discussions entre experts. Pour tout savoir sur le contenu de la conférence, veuillez consulter le programme et la liste des conférenciers

Detailed Program:


7:30 am – Registration table opens

8:30 am to 8:45 am – Welcoming Remarks

Dr. Daniel Weinstock. Director, Institute for Health and Social Policy, McGill University

8:45 am to 9:30 am – Session 1. What is the Global Strategy?

This keynote address will provide a foundation for the conference by describing how the Every Woman Every Child campaign and the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s, and Adolescents’ Health willtogether with the Sustainable Development Agenda, lay a foundation for the realization of rights for women, children and adolescents. We will discuss the targets of the Global Strategy, the potential for evidence to inform policy change for achieving these goals, the financing approaches being taken to achieve the Strategy and the roles of different actors, including national governments and health ministries, NGOs, and researchers.

Dr. Ari Nandi. Associate Professor, Institute for Health and Social Policy, McGill University

Dr. Helen Scott. Executive Director, CAN-MNCH

9:30 am to 10:00 am – Refreshments and Networking

10:00 am to 12:00 pm – Session 2. Theorization: a role for public policies in achieving the Global Strategy

The expanded coverage of existing technologies and health services, together with action to address the social determinants of health, has the potential to prevent the majority of premature deaths among women and children by 2030. With the guidance of tools like the Lives Saved Tool (LiST), it is possible to prioritize specific, evidence-based health interventions. However, there are challenges to bringing these interventions to scale. Policy reforms have the potential to facilitate the implementation of successful interventions, and to create an environment that benefits maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health more generally. This session will discuss the potential benefits of existing health services for achieving the Global Strategy, the challenges and strategies to expanded coverage, and the role of health and social policies in particular.

Dr. Neff Walker. Senior Scientist, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Winifride Mwebesa. Senior Director, Maternal and Reproductive Health, Save the Children

Dr. Kumanan Rasanathan. Senior Health Specialist, UNICEF

Dr. Daniel Weinstock. Director, McGill University IHSP

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm – Lunch and Networking

Lunch provided on site, included with registration.

1:00 pm to 2:45 pm – Session 3. Reflection: successes (and failures) from the field

Canadian organizations working internationally will join with their international partners in this session to share successes, failures and policy implications from their programming to improve women’s, children’s, and adolescents’ health. Panel presentations will be on the topics of Adolescent Health, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, and Measuring Results. In addition to sharing reflections from the field, panelists will also reflect on the following questions in order to make links to the broader global context of health and rights: (1) how transferable are initiatives to other contexts? (2) what challenges are faced when scaling-up successful programs? (3) what barriers to effective implementation were faced and how were they managed? and, (4) how can the lessons learned from the program affect national health policies or by extension, donor aid policies?

This session will feature 3 sequential (non-concurrent) sessions:

Adolescent Health – “The Ongoing HIV Epidemic In Adolescents: Strategies from the Field to Combat The Leading Cause of Adolescent Death in Africa”

Dr. Sumeet Sodhi-Helou. Senior Scientist, Dignitas International

Dalitso Midani. PMTCT Officer, Dept of HIV and AIDS, Malawi Ministry of Health

Jacqueline Rose Chinkonde. HIV and AIDS Specialist, UNICEF Malawi

Brave Nyirenda. Teen Club Coordinator, Dignitas International

Innocencia Mpinda. Teen Club Participant and Peer Mentor

Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights – “Integrating a sexual and reproductive rights approach to emergency obstetric training worldwide”

Dr. Jennifer Blake. CEO & President, The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC)

Dr. Donna Cherniak. SOGC member and emergency obstetrics trainer

Dr. Yves Girard Pierre Louis. Director of Programs, Organisation Haïtienne de Marketing Social pour la Santé (OHMaSS), Haiti

Measuring Results – “Measuring Results of Maternal and Child Health Initiatives in Remote Areas”

Dr. Peter Berti. Nutrition Adviser and Deputy Director, HealthBridge Foundation of Canada

Sian FitzGerald. Executive Director, HealthBridge Foundation of Canada

Dr. Tran Hung Minh. Centre for Creative Initiatives in Health and Population (CCIHP), Vietnam

Dr. Bwire Chirangi. Medical Director, Shirati KMT Council Designated Hospital, Tanzania

2:45 pm to 3:15 pm – Refreshments and Networking

3:15 pm to  4:30 pm – Session 4. Partnerships and influencing policy

This session will feature a multi-sector conversation to unpack how partnerships can achieve programming results and inform policy. It will specifically explore how partnerships between multilaterals, governments, the private sector and NGOs can leverage strengths to improve policies and programming and deliver results.

Panel Discussion

Moderator: Elissa Golberg. Assistant Deputy Minister, Partnerships for Development Innovation, Global Affairs Canada

Michael Messenger. President and CEO, World Vision Canada

Dr. Fatiha Terki. Senior Program Policy Officer, World Food Program Nutrition Division

Dr. Summet Sodhi-Helou. Senior Scientist, Dignitas International


Ramesh Ferris. Global Poverty Eradication Initiative 

4:30 pm to 6:30 pm – Poster Presentations and Reception

CAN-MNCH Partners and McGill graduate students will make poster presentations during networking reception. Sponsored by Medicines for Malaria Venture.



7:30 am – Registration and light breakfast

8:00 am to 9:30 am – CAN-MNCH Annual General Meeting

9:30 am to 10:00 am – Refreshments and Networking

10:00 am to 10:15 am – Message from the Government of Canada

Karina Gould. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development and MP for Burlington

10:15 to 10:30 am – Message from CAN-MNCH

David Morley. President and CEO of UNICEF Canada and Chair of CAN-MNCH Board of Directors

Dr. Helen Scott. Executive Director, CAN-MNCH

10:30 am to 12:00 pm – Session 5. Prescription: policy solutions for achieving the Global Strategy

In this session, leaders from the academic, non-profit, and government sectors will be tasked with providing public policy advice on how they would intervene to influence specific targets of the Global Strategy. We will highlight several health and social policy areas with implications for global reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and ask which specific policy levers should be pulled and what are the implications for health inequality? Topics include:

a. Health policy interventions, including universal healthcare coverage, for improving access to care for women and children

Dr. Alison Comfort. Assistant Researcher at the University of California, San Francisco

Marnie Davidson. Senior Manager, Global Health, CARE Canada

b. Policies for promoting gender equity and access to sexual and reproductive health

Sarah Kennell. Public Affairs Officer, Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights 

Shirley Owino. Africa Regional Manager, Ipas

c. Social protection policies for women’s and children’s health and development

Dr. John Frank, Director of the Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy, University of Edinburgh

Caroline Riseboro. President and CEO, Plan International Canada

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm – Lunch and Networking

Lunch provided on site, included with registration.

1:00 pm to 1:30 pm – Session 5, continued

d. The role of good governance for effective implementation of public policies for achieving the Global Strategy

Rachel Kiddell-Monroe. Special Advisor, Universities Allied for Essential Medicines

Dr. Steven Hoffman. Director of the Global Strategy Lab, and Associate Professor of Law, Medicine and Public & International Affairs at the University of Ottawa

1:30 pm to 2:00 pm – Session 6. Policy Solutions for Health and Rights in Fragile Contexts

People living in vulnerable contexts remain more likely to die of preventable causes than their counterparts in more stable contexts: 60% of preventable maternal deaths, 53% of deaths in children younger than five years and 45% of neonatal deaths take place in contexts affected by conflict, displacement, and natural disasters. By 2030, over two-thirds of the world’s extreme poor will be living in fragility, through a combination of poor governance, violence, poverty, inequality, corruption, injustice and environmental vulnerability. Continuing the conversation on policy prescriptions, this session looks specifically at improving health outcomes and realizing all health related rights among populations living in fragile contexts.

Susan Johnson. Vice President and Director General International Operations and Movement Relations, Canadian Red Cross

Dr. Ahmad Fawad Akbari. Senior Program Manager, Health and Humanitarian Response, Aga Khan Foundation Canada

2:00 pm to 3:00 pm – Session 7. Summation: what have we learned and where are we going?

This concluding session will articulate an agenda, for both researchers and different decision-makers, to promote evidence-based health and social policy solutions for improving health and achieving the Every Woman Every Child Global Strategy. Key questions include: (1) which health and social policy levers should, or shouldn’t, be a part of national plans for achieving the targets of the Global Strategy? (2) how has research been used (or not used) effectively in decision-making processes? (3) where is the evidence lacking and how can academic and non-academic actors fill the gaps? (4) what do we know about the costs of health and social policy interventions in relation to their effectiveness? and, (5) what opportunities are on the horizon for promoting evidence-based policies for improving the health of women, children and adolescents globally?

Nathanael Goldberg, Program Director, Social Protection Program, Innovations for Poverty Action

Dr. Karlee Silver, Vice President of Programs, Grand Challenges Canada

Julia Sanchez. President and CEO, Canadian Council for International Cooperation

3:00 pm to 3:45 pm – Session 8. Keynote address and closing remarks

Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda will deliver a keynote address. Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, a human rights lawyer, was General Secretary of the World YWCA from 2007 to 2016. She has over 10 years of experience with the United Nations, where she served as regional director for the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), now UN Women, and as a human rights officer with UNICEF in Liberia and Zimbabwe. She served as member of the United Nations Commission on Information and Accountability on Women and Children’s Health.

She is the founder and Chief Executive of Rozaria Memorial Trust, an organisation based in Zimbabwe focusing on adolescent health and education. She is the Chairperson of ActionAid International, and Goodwill Ambassador for Ending Child Marriage for the African Union. Under her leadership, the World YWCA strengthened the analysis of the linkages between women’s rights, violence against women, sexual and reproductive health and HIV for effective interventions, programs and services.

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Sofitel Montreal Golden Mile

1155 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest

Montréal, QC H3A 2N3


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