Introducing a New Series: Cross-Sector Collaboration in Accra, Ghana

Accra, Ghana

Do you ever feel frustrated—or sad—that your collaborations don’t work out the way you thought they would? You’re not the only one. I spent decades experiencing and observing this challenge in development and international health, so I decided to work to create better evidence so that collaborations could become more effective.

I started with a systematic review of cross-sector collaboration around public health in developing countries. What a shock! 20,000 articles mentioned collaboration-related topics in their titles or abstracts, yet there were only 6 rigorous articles about cross-sector collaboration.

The worst case was an international HIV/AIDS partnership where the partners patted themselves on the back for a job well done. But the anthropologists who came behind uncovered another story: the project leader came from the outside and lacked cultural competence. The developing country partners felt like “servants.”

With better evidence on how to implement cross-sector collaboration, we can do better than that! I am thrilled to partner with the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to conduct academic research on this important issue. Because my career began in law and dispute resolution, and has evolved to conflict resolution in health, I combine a number of research methodologies to build policy change in developing countries.

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My experience with cross-sector collaboration and multi-disciplinary perspective helped to create the current stakeholder driven project that seeks to improve sanitation in the urban slum Old Fadama in Accra, Ghana, by building latrines. I use grounded theory to understand the stakeholders’ actions, and use that evidence to support government policy change. The model incorporates stakeholder and community engagement to achieve local sustainability. For more information on my background and details on the cross-sector collaboration, please go to the project website, https://www.jessicakritz.com/.

For related reading, please see these other articles published in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice*:

*Articles may require a subscription to JPHMP or purchase.


Jessica Kritz

Jessica Kritz, the Principal Investigator, is a lawyer by training and specializes in cross-sector collaboration at the intersection of global health and conflict. Her career began in dispute resolution and evolved to conflict resolution in health, with an emphasis on policy change in developing countries. Jessica’s experience with cross-sector collaboration and multi-disciplinary perspective helped her to create the current project, which focuses on stakeholders and involves policy change in local communities. For more information on Jessica’s background and details on the cross-sector collaboration please go to the project website, https://www.jessicakritz.com/.

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