Global Health

The health sector has replaced environment at the forefront of global partnerships in terms of resource mobilization. A combination of factors has put global health issues, especially communicable diseases, on a "war footing." These include increased awareness of cross-border spillovers from globalization; the technological, communication and transport revolutions; the ethical imperative of alleviating the socio-economic effects of a heavy disease burden in developing countries; and the perceived failure of traditional international organizations to address health challenges effectively. Additional factors include the growing importance of private philanthropy, the necessity of mobilizing additional public resources, the need for better harmonization of aid among donors and international organizations, and the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) because global collective action and global partnerships are increasingly viewed as the way to address these multiple global challenges and opportunities that no single actor can address alone, and global health partnerships have increased in number and scope.


This paper is a collaborative effort by Uma Lele, Ronald Ridker, and Jagadish Upadhyay. Major substantive inputs were also provided by Richard Skolnik and many others. Uma Lele is Senior Advisor to the World Bank’s Operations Evaluation Department, and the other co-authors are consultants to the Secretariat of the International Task Force on Global Public Goods. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the World Bank, its Operations Evaluation Department, or the International Task Force on Global Public Goods.