The world has experienced decades of human development progress. But climate change, conflict, and now a global pandemic are taking a dramatic toll on international efforts to improve and save lives through these initiatives.
To discuss the pressing challenges that lie ahead, QF-partner Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q), in partnership with the Education Above All Foundation (EAA), hosted Joe Cerrell, Managing Director of Global Policy and Advocacy for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, for a public talk on “Working Together During COVID-19: A Global Approach to Development,” held virtually on Tuesday, October 20, 2020.
Joe Cerrell drew on his experience overseeing the Gates Foundation’s relationships with donor governments, corporations, foundations, and other non-governmental organizations in Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East.
He discussed how his team seeks to expand the foundation’s partnerships with these governments, but also corporations, foundations and other non-governmental organizations, to support increased global engagement and progress on global health and agriculture.
The public talk was part of the EAA/GU-Q Series, the result of a new multi-project collaboration aimed at raising awareness about the two institutions’ shared commitment to equitable access to education as a path to peace and sustainable development.
Remarking on the importance of pursuing collaborative efforts to address global issues, the dean of GU-Q, Dr. Ahmad Dallal, said: “Institutional partnerships allow us to learn from each other and share resources and best practices, and to focus on developing real solutions that address the needs of underserved or unserved communities.”
Before the event, Dean Dallal stressed the role of universities in global development, and the need for direct engagement with private sector humanitarian organizations, saying “We look forward to learning the perspectives of a key leader from the Gates Foundation, to hear how the development landscape is changing, and what it will take to close the gaps we are aware of, and to anticipate those that we will soon be facing.”
Mubarak Al-Thani, Communication Manager and Head of Advocacy at EAA, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly pushed us to rethink our approach to global collaboration as the backbone of human capital and development. We have a shared responsibility, and this important dialogue reflects our commitment to finding tangible solutions that address the challenges of our world. Through timely knowledge-exchange, we can co-develop and build a safer future for our children. We are proud to be part of this initiative and look forward to taking another step towards joint sustainable development.” The EAA/GU-Q Series is part of the GU-Q Virtual Hub for Global Dialogue: Engaging Communities, Finding Solutions initiative, an online platform that comprises the university’s broad efforts to bring the community together for engaging discussions on a wide variety of issues.