Despite extraordinary successive increases in international aid, we have not achieved desired gains in health equity. There has been a tendency to focus on vertical programmes and specific diseases, rather than supporting countries to develop sustainable health financing systems that would lead to universal coverage. Despite the statements agreed to in the Paris and Accra declarations aid has in many cases reinforced the organizational and institutional health care divide between developed and developing countries.
The premise of international aid has recently changed, with the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation statement calling for greater ownership of development priorities, greater cooperation between various stakeholders for development, greater accountability for development efforts and more support for South-South and triangular cooperation. Within this framework, supporting health financing and health systems should be an important component of sustainable development. Achieving the right to health – a central goal for global health outlined in the WHO constitution – is intertwined with social, economic and environmental development.
Health equity is not the only goal, as access to processes of participation in agenda setting and cross-sectoral policy mechanisms, along with transparency and accountability are crucial. In our modern globalised system, we need to ensure that citizen’s right to participate is not undermined and that social inclusion is a primary goal.
Global Health Europe, together with World Vision International, have developed this resource based on World Health Summit sessions held in October 2011, in order to highlight key recommendations on global health governance and financing mechanisms made at this forum. Through a range of mechanisms, we are advocating for stronger multi-stakeholder and citizen engagement in policy processes for global health, and fairer and more sustainable health financing mechanisms for universal coverage. See the working paper here.