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Darian Stibbe

Darian Stibbe, Ph.D.

Executive Director – The Partnering Initiative endorses Dr David Nabarro as next Director-General of the World Health Organization

We are at the beginning of a new era in international development. Traditional, top-down, siloed development methods have long reached their limits of applicability. Not only will there never be enough funding and resources for such methods to deliver benefits for all, but such approaches become ineffective as they look to address the root cause and not just treat the symptoms of what are complex societal challenges.

The new development era requires far more holistic, systemic and transformational approaches to solidify and accelerate the progress that has been made to date. It means working across development silos (in health, for example, working with food security and agriculture, education, water and energy). It means working with, and leveraging the resources of, all societal sectors – business, NGOs, academia, media. And it means being far more catalytic in approach – encouraging local agency and leadership, building on existing systems and available resources, developing capacity, incentivising and coordinating locally-driven action and, essentially, facilitating far more cohesion and collaboration across stakeholders.

David Nabarro knows this more than anyone. He has dedicated his professional life to successfully pioneering such catalytic, collaborative and systemic approaches to tackling complex global challenges. Among many other roles, David founded the Scaling Up Nutrition initiative, which is now operating in 59 countries to drive collective, systematic action from all societal sectors against malnutrition. He coordinated the global response and the regional and country-level coherent action that stopped the 2015 Ebola outbreak. And now he is driving the UN’s global partnerships for the SDGs.

David’s exceptional leadership and ability to deliver transformational change is precisely what WHO needs right now. The development landscape – particularly in health – has changed greatly over the last ten years. WHO must reinvent itself within this new landscape both to remain relevant and to scale up its impact to deliver sustainable change. David’s vision of WHO as a far more innovative, outward-looking, collaborative, catalytic and transformational organisation is exactly what is required and will set the standard for other international organisations to follow.

David has the right approach, the experience, the reputation and the outstanding leadership to reorient the WHO for the new development era and I am delighted to endorse his candidacy for Director-General.

Darian Stibbe, Ph.D., Executive Director, The Partnering Initiative

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