Last month I spent an afternoon with a group of new mothers in Machava, a small town close to Maputo, Mozambique's capital city. We sat under a tree, sheltered from the hot sun, and talked about their experience giving birth and the joy that their new babies were bringing them. It was an inspiring experience for me - as the parent of a young child, I know what an overwhelming yet rewarding experience new motherhood is. These women had faced an extra hurdle to deliver their babies safely into the world: they are all HIV-positive.
A plethora of actors and multiple forms of financing are emerging in the development ecosystem. While donor agencies and international NGOs are still powerful, agenda-setting actors and aid remains crucial, the development landscape today is far more complex and multi-faceted than when the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) were officially adopted in 2000.
The Zambian sun is burning fiercely in the bright blue sky. Mothers and children, queuing at a clinic on the outskirts of Lusaka, receive little relief from the thatched gazebos meant to protect them from the heat. Many have walked long distances to be here, carrying babies on their backs and holding small children tightly by the hand. They came at dawn, hoping to be seen quickly but prepared to wait patiently for their turn. The women chatter quietly among themselves.