Trade, foreign policy, diplomacy and health

9. Global Public Goods for Health: Use and Limitations

Richard D Smith, David Woodward


Research agenda

  • Framework for systematic and appropriate identification of possible GPGH
  • Agreed system for measurement/valuation of potential costs and benefits of GPGH
  • Appropriate role and status of ‘access goods’
  • Systematic analysis of relationship between health and non-health GPGs
  • Relationship between GPGH framework and other frameworks (e.g. equity, rights)
  • Appropriate financing systems for GPGH
  • Political opportunities and constraints
  • More work is needed to establish a framework for the systematic and appropriate identification of possible GPGH. Without an accepted and accurate classification system, the ad hoc or opportunistic classification of patently non-GPGs as GPGs will merely lead to the concept devalued.
  • An agreed system for measurement/valuation of potential costs and benefits of the GPGH needs to be identified consistent with the agreed framework.
  • Establish the appropriate role and status of 'access goods' in the production of GPGH - whether, as we have suggested, they can legitimately be treated as if they were GPGs, or whether they are better viewed as a prequisite for GPGH production, or as synergetic with a GPG approach.
  • Systematic analysis of relationship between health and non-health GPGs. It is likely that a combined approach may make the production and/or finance of each GPG (health & non-health) more effective than pursuing each alone.
  • There is need for further work on the conceptual and practical relationship between the GPGH framework and other frameworks for international development, such as equity, human rights and 'communitarian claims’ to ensure that it is complementary to these other frameworks.
  • There is little systematic evidence concerning the appropriate financing systems for GPGH provision in different contexts. Progress could be made here through the construction of an economic/policy model of GPGH provision and finance, using the research suggested in point 2 above.
  • Research on political opportunities for, and constraints to, effective collective action in the collective interest at the international level, in terms both of formal political structures and processes, and the political dynamics of interactions between countries within such processes.
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