Trade, foreign policy, diplomacy and health

9. Global Public Goods for Health: Use and Limitations

Richard D Smith, David Woodward


1. The GPGH ‘champion’

  • A GPGH needs a ‘champion’ - a person and/or institution who will be the driving force behind the GPGH
  • Production of GPGH will not be spontaneous - some ‘body’ needs to:
    • coordinate efforts to achieve production
    • persuade relevant parties to cooperate
    • act as a ‘clearing house’ for coordination and information management
    • lobby for funding

First and foremost, a GPG, such as polio eradication or tuberculosis (TB) control, needs a 'champion' - that is, a person and/or institution who will be the driving force behind the GPG in question. Given the potential inherent for a country to 'free-ride' on the efforts of others to produce a GPG, production of a GPG will not be spontaneous or achieved through the 'invisible hand' of the market. Rather, someone - a group or institution - needs to be the focus for the coordination of efforts to achieve the production of the GPG, to persuade relevant parties to cooperate, to act as a 'clearing house' for coordination and information management (to avoid the 'prisoners dilemma') and to lobby for funding. This was dramatically illustrated in the case of polio eradication, but also emerged as key in TB control.

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