The common norms and rules-based order on which international cooperation has been based for seven decades are increasingly being challenged. The rise of new economic powers since the post-1945 creation of the Bretton Woods institutions – including the establishment of the World Bank in 1944 and World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1948 – has caused a paradigm shift in global health. There are growing calls to reform global governance structures to better reflect global realities. What implications do the changing nature of global governance arrangements have for global health diplomacy?
In this post, I reflect on the need to strengthen existing national health information systems in LMICs to collect data on two vital events i.e., birth and death, or in Mark Twain’s words, ‘the two most important days of our life’.
“What if governments had a proven, cost-effective way to save babies’ lives, reduce rates of malnutrition, support children’s health, increase educational attainment and grow productivity? They do: It’s called breastfeeding. And it is one of the best investments nations can make in the lives and futures of their youngest members – and in the long-term strength of their societies.”
The leading voices of global health policy are primarily drawn from a small, closely connected network of mostly Western, mostly male perspectives. In fact, in the last four issues of the Lancet (May 26- June 16, 2018) the authors of commentaries were predominantly male, white, trained and working in a European or American institution, and in a senior position. We see a similar pattern amongst experts quoted in media articles related to health security.[i],[ii] These experts have distinguished careers, and shape ongoing debates, dialogues and policies. While respecting these voices and experiences, we must also make room in ongoing debates for a more diverse community of scholars and practitioners…
The high-level meeting “Health Systems for Prosperity and Solidarity: leaving no one behind” has a theme – include, invest, innovate. “Include” means improving coverage, access and financial protection for everyone, “invest” refers to making the case for investing in health systems, and, lastly, “innovate” is about harnessing innovations and systems to meet people’s needs
What is human capital? According to a World Bank publication promoted at its recent Spring Meeting, human capital is “measured as the discounted value of earnings over a person’s lifetime” (Lange et al. 2018: 4). In its explicitly economistic nature, “human capital” is not the same as “human development”…
“Between a high, solid wall and an egg that breaks against it, I will always stand on the side of the egg… Each of us is, more or less, an egg. Each of us is a unique, irreplaceable soul enclosed in a fragile shell. This is true of me, and it is true of each of you. And each of us, to a greater or lesser degree, is confronting a high, solid wall. The wall has a name: It is The System. The System is supposed to protect us, but sometimes it takes on a life of its own…”
How do we measure the impact of health interventions and how does the measurement of health or of health’s absence impact global health discourse and funding? How is the measuring of health co-constructive of ideas about what health is and what kinds of negotiations are underway in health development in Senegal as the country works towards universal health coverage?