Selina Defor

Selina Defor is a multilingual administrative and research assistant at the Research and Development Division of the Ghana Health Service. She is an emerging leader in health policy and systems research and is particularly interested in South-South cooperation. She is currently working on a project to develop partnerships, networks and capacity to strengthen health systems and policy and improve health outcomes for mothers and children in West and Central Africa. In a recent study she identified and mapped individuals and institutions undertaking health policy and systems research in West Africa with the aim of promoting South-South collaboration to strengthen health systems and health outcomes in the sub-region. She is also involved in establishing a multidisciplinary community of practice in health policy and systems to promote evidence-based decision making about health in West Africa. Selina has advocated for the rights of women and girls in various capacities at regional and national levels. She led the first-ever gender audit of the Social and Human Development and Governance Cluster of the United Nations Africa Regional Coordination Mechanism, and promoted the mainstreaming of gender equality within the programmes and activities of partner agencies. She conducted gender research on one of the African Union/NEPAD flagship regional development policy frameworks, the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme, and developed concrete recommendations for a gender-sensitive framework for agricultural development and food security in Africa. Selina recently launched a young women mentorship initiative to mobilize resources and support for the education of girls from very deprived families, and organizes career counselling workshops for these young women.