Research on Global Health Diplomacy in east and southern Africa

In 2012 EQUINET is initiating a three year policy research programme to implement case study research on global health diplomacy in east and southern Africa (ESA). Working with government officials in health and diplomacy, with technical institutions, civil society and other stakeholders in ESA countries, we are examining the role of health diplomacy in addressing selected challenges to health and equitable health systems and use the learning and evidence to inform African policy actors and stakeholders. We will feed into regional processes, including the Strategic Initiative of Global Health Diplomacy co-ordinated by the East Central and Southern Africa Health Community. The programme has issued an open call, reviewed protocols with an advisory group and provided grants for investigations in three case study areas that were defined as priorities in global health diplomacy (GHD) by senior officials and Ministers in 2011 for the region, to identify the manner in which African interests around equitable health systems are being advanced through GHD, and the lessons learned for effective GHD. A review meeting on the case study design was held in Johannesburg, South Africa in June 2012.

The lead institutions in EQUINET for the work are Training and Research Support Centre, working with Southern and East African Trade information and Negotiations Institute . We are working with the Centre for Trade Policy and Law, the secretariat and information lead for the Global Health Diplomacy Network (GHD-NET). The programme is supported by IDRC (Canada).

The three case study areas are:
1. Implementation of the WHO Code on international Recruitment of health personnel: The case study will explore the issues motivating the code in SSA, their negotiation and expression in the global code, and the manner in which processes for implementation are being used to raise and advance SSA interests. How far were the policy interests of African countries carried into the Code in the diplomacy around it and what affected this? How far are countries in east and southern Africa using the code as an instrument for negotiating foreign policy interests on health workers? How are countries using the monitoring of the Code to engage in the diplomatic environment on African policy interests on health workers?
2. Collaborating on access to essential drugs through south- south relationships with China, Brazil and India : This case study will explore the dimensions of collaboration on drug production, distribution and regulation across countries within the region, and with China, Brazil and India. What are the identified bottlenecks to local medicine production in the region? How have joint activities in trade and production of essential medicines between ESA countries and Brazil, India and China addressed the bottlenecks? What are the implications for national and regional policies and agreements on medicines and for global negotiations, including on research and development?
3. The involvement of African actors in global health governance on universal access to prevention and treatment for HIV and AIDS: This case study will focus on the participation, issues raised, outcomes and thus influence of African state and non-state actors on the decision making processes in global institutions resourcing universal access to prevention, treatment and care for HIV and AIDS. It will explore the spaces the Global Fund and World Bank provide for African participation in global health decision making on performance based financing, and the extent to which African actors nationally and regionally extend their agency within these participatory spaces. The work will also explore the role that WHO plays in the interface between African actors and the Global Fund and World Bank.
We will share the evidence through policy dialogue forums, and draw strategic advice on and peer review of the work. We will use innovative strategies that make timely links between policy, technical and other personnel, to support preparations for negotiations or global discussions underway within the domain of the case study. Public information will be disseminated through the websites and newsletters of EQUINET, the GHD-Net and partners, and through policy briefs and reports.

For further information please contact the EQUINET Secretariatadmin [at] ( admin [at] )