LSTM’s Senior Lecturer in Global Health and Social science, Dr Webster Mavhu, has been awarded a 2020 New Voices Fellowship at the Aspen Institute – a ground breaking programme which equips experts from developing countries to play a more powerful role as advocates and policymakers in the global development discussion. The 2020 Class of New Voices Fellows includes 25 Fellows from 16 African, Asian and Latin American countries.
The programme helps Fellows sharpen their messages, elevate their stories, focus their media targets, and communicate their insights across a variety of media platforms, illuminating crucial perspectives for a broad worldwide audience in order to champion policy change.
Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Open Societies Foundations, the New Voices Fellowship was established in 2013 to bring the essential perspectives of development experts from Africa and other parts of the developing world into the global development conversation.
Dr. Mavhu will undertake a year-long programme of intensive media and advocacy training and mentorship to reach a broader global audience through both traditional and new media. With guidance from mentors, he will write Op-Eds and blogs as well as participate in speaking engagements. Dr Mavhu will specifically advocate for the effective inclusion of men in sexual and reproductive health (SRH) programming in sub-Saharan Africa.
“Sexual and reproductive health and rights are central to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and these Fellows bring new ideas that can transform discussions and shape real-world actions,” said Fellowship Associate Director Emily Kaiser.
A linguist-turned-social scientist and public health practitioner, Dr Mavhu conducts evidence-based research to inform effective implementation of SRH programmes in Southern and Eastern Africa. He also advocates for initiatives to improve the health of disadvantaged, vulnerable and marginalised adolescents.
Dr. Mavhu explained that “The fellowship will enable me to strengthen my position within the global health community and increase my visibility on issues related to masculinity and healthcare access”.
Frances Cowan, Professor of Global Health at LSTM commented: “Webster’s New Voices Fellowship will enable him to harness his extensive experience and knowledge to inform how policy can translate into progress on the ground.”
Dr. Mavhu is also Deputy Director of Centre for Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Research (CeSHHAR) Zimbabwe who LSTM collaborates closely with on a number of large research programmes.
Follow Dr. Mavhu on twitter @webstermavhu