5 Questions with Putri Herliana
Our monthly check-in with staff from around the world. Learn more about the people who work at CHAI.
Please tell us a bit about your background and what brought you to CHAI.
I studied dental medicine at Universitas Indonesia and during my undergraduate years, I volunteered in underserved communities in Indonesia. The experience of working as a pre-med in rural communities such as Madura with limited access to healthcare shaped my desire as a doctor to have a wider impact on public health. I went on to work at public and private facilities for a couple of years after graduating, where I learned about addressing community needs with limited resources. I decided to pursue a master’s in public health to equip myself with relevant knowledge and skills so that I can effectively serve communities. Afterward, I applied to CHAI and started to work as a vaccines associate in 2017.
1. What does a typical day at CHAI look like for you?
My job involves mainly three things these days: working closely with country teams and global technical staff to implement our vaccines strategy and activities, prioritizing, and coordinating the global support, and managing our various grants. A typical workday includes having problem-solving calls with country teams, providing guidance on our global strategy via emails, developing parts of concept notes or reviewing grant reports, as well as engaging donors for fundraising.
2. In your experience, what skills are the most crucial to succeeding at CHAI?
I believe political awareness and advocacy skills are critical. CHAI works at the service of governments and in partnership with a diverse range of stakeholders to drive country-wide health policies and strategies that bring lasting change to the communities we serve. Having the sensitivity to understand different viewpoints and agendas, and the ability to influence stakeholders effectively, really goes a long way toward helping country programs achieve their health goals.
3. What is your favorite thing about your career?
My career with CHAI gives me the opportunity to work with people from different backgrounds and help those in need. There are many rewarding moments I can think of from my five years at CHAI, but one stands out; we had a regional colocation pre-Covid where I got to meet colleagues from Southeast Asia and Pacific countries and discussed the challenges to the country programs. The various insights from team members with financing, supply chain, business, and even communication backgrounds, among others, were fascinating and affirmed we are working towards the same goal of saving lives.
4. What is a goal you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year?
My husband and I recently welcomed our first child, so my goals are to connect with her and find a healthy balance as a working mom. I am grateful that CHAI has been really supportive of this.
5. If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?
I would bring together vaccines team members for a picnic in-person and mask-free. While we’re at this, can I also manipulate the weather, please? It must be warm and sunny, with free-flowing good food. I just want to give everyone a hug.