Working Group Paper

Project: Centre on Global Health Security

Jon Lidén
  • The decade 1998-2008 was a period of rapid growth in the resources devoted to global health problems and of unprecedented innovation in the way these resources were delivered.
  • The innovation was principally manifested in new forms of partnerships which included in their governance the private sector, foundations and civil society alongside governments.
  • This institutional innovation was driven forward by dynamic new leadership at the World Health Organization under Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland and by political leaders in the G8 countries seeking to give globalization a human face, who were themselves heavily influenced by the moral and political force of AIDS activists and protestors. 
  • The biggest new institutions exhibiting these new governance features were the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), stimulated by a $750 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which moved from conception to creation in record time during the course of 2001.
  • Many other such partnerships were created for drug development (e.g. the Medicines for Malaria Venture), for funding (e.g. UNITAID, the international drug purchase facility) and for fighting particular diseases (e.g. the Stop TB Partnership). 
  • These innovations have aroused controversy for various reasons but are an important step forward in improving the effectiveness of efforts to combat global health problems. 
This is the second paper in a series related to the Centre on Global Health Security Working Groups, which are aimed at improving global health security.