Design of a Policy Initiative to Advance Equitable Global Health Governance Systems

Kudzai Makomva
Kudzai Makomva
July 20, 2022
 Design of a Policy Initiative to Advance Equitable Global Health Governance Systems

Our healthy policy program advanced a more equitable global health governance system

Our partner is a rapidly growing forum for collective action to tackle global problems and strengthen multilateral cooperation. Its annual convening brings together more than 25,000 participants, including 125 heads of state, leaders of multilateral organizations, CEOs, foundations and civil society organizations. In its first few years, the organization convened critical actors in the global COVID-19 response, which led to significant financial commitments and discussions at the G7 and G20 around how to expand levels of immunization across the globe.

Following its initial success as a convener, the organization recognized the need to develop policy analysis to advance the novel ideas and solutions that surface during the dialogues at their convenings with global governance actors. 

The Problem

Effective pandemic management requires a coherent global response. While science has rapidly delivered technical solutions, political governance of the COVID-19 pandemic response strained multilateral engagement and trust. This caused significant erosion of multilateralism and the architecture of bilateral and multilateral mechanisms of partnership in global health governance. The mistrust is felt acutely between the lowest income countries (the majority of which are in Africa) and the highest income countries, many of which are highly influential in the global governance of health, due to their role as bilateral and multilateral funders. Described variously as “vaccine nationalism”, “vaccine inequity” and “vaccine apartheid”, the failure of multilateral policies brought into question the commitment to global equity of the various global health governance mechanisms and institutions, and whether these are appropriately positioned to drive reform.

The Solution

The organization brought in a policy experts from Market Access Africa to support the establishment of its health policy program. This program was designed to build on the organizations success and unique position as a convener; the program would provide a platform for different actors, particularly those from the global south, to contribute to the establishment of a more robust and enduring global health governance architecture that could minimize the risk of future pandemics.

We engaged in a comprehensive consultation exercise to complement our own insights on the topic, which surfaced important perspectives to inform the design of the health policy program. We synthesized these inputs to support the organization in designing the strategy and launching a policy program that would help generate and disseminate ideas to inform the post-Covid governance of pandemic preparedness and global health. It was integral that this program was built around lessons learned from the pandemic, to forge a more effective, predictable and equitable global health system for the future.

The Outcome

Our support has allowed the organization to better define its contribution to global health through global governance policy responses, thus bringing added value to the work of a myriad of technical health agencies.

Today, the organization is using its convening and influencing abilities to generate political momentum that is inclusive of the global south, and drives relevant non-state actors towards the implementation of bold, transformative ideas.

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