I am sharing my draft essay on career plan. I would appreciate your feedback and comments!
Chevening Career Plan essay
Chevening is looking for individuals who have a clear post-study career plan. Please outline your immediate plans ...
One of the key reasons I am pursuing a Master's degree is to transition from an epidemiologist to a Health Policy Analyst and Advocate. Bangladesh's urban health system (UHS) is rather complex due to the bifurcation of governance mandate from two different ministries- the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ministry of Local Government, poor coordination between them, and a prevalence of the private health sector that goes largely unregulated. Despite multiple donor led projects, the country still has not devised a viable urban health policy and a model urban primary health care (UPHC). There is a lack of civil servants trained in health policy who can guide the financing and strengthening of the UPHC with national resources. And as is widely known about low-and-middle-income-country policy makers, there is little appetite for research backed evidence. My intention is to build my expertise in health policy, planning, and financing to bridge the translation of knowledge from research to action by working closely with the Ministry of Health in Bangladesh in the design and implementation of an accountable and equitable UPHC system.
DFID-UK implements several multi-year projects that directly or indirectly addresses the development of the health sector such as Better Health in Bangladesh and Excluded People's Rights in Bangladesh. My immediate plan on returning to Bangladesh is to find employment with international development consultancy organizations such as Options-UK that work with the MoH to manage the DFID funded projects. This will not only place me as an expert in health policy to enrich these projects and guide the MoH's policy to be more equitable for the urban poor and the disabled but also bolster my network within the MoH itself. This will enable me to pursue my longer-term plan of joining the MoH as an in-house policy analyst and eventually become a policy maker. As an insider, I can leverage my position to emphasize the role of evidence-based policy and its implementation. I envision re-engineering the national health policy with a conviction towards Universal Health Coverage and formulating a context appropriate health insurance system which is non-existent in Bangladesh.
As I establish my commitment to strengthening the health systems and gain trust within the government wing, my ultimate aim is to collaborate with other sectors such as ministries of environment, food, housing, primary education, youth and sports, and road transport to integrate health as a determining factor in their policy decisions. This is crucial for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals that are ratified by most countries, including the UK, and forge a path toward living with dignity for the general people in the face of multi-faceted challenges such as aging, climate change, and forced migration. As Chevening provides scholarships to applicants from a diverse background, I expect to encounter some of them with strategic positions in these ministries and to gain their support in this endeavor through my Chevening network.