Donor investments in global health

Donor investments in global health remain as critical as ever. Achieving a grand convergence in global health, and the targets set out in the Sustainable Development Goal for health, requires increased donor support of key global functions of health, such as pandemic preparedness and global health research and development, as well as for targeted interventions in the poorest countries. The Commission on Investing in Health's (CIH) Global Health 2035 report identifies important opportunities for international collection action and shows why investments in health are amongst the best aid investments donors can make.

Policy analyses of development assistance for health

Commissioners and the CIH Secretariat work in partnership with donor agencies to help inform decision-making on health aid and other forms of international collective action in global health. Activities include in-depth analysis of DAH portfolios as well as customized briefings with policymakers in donor countries. For example:

  • Sweden: Analyses and briefings on future opportunities for Sweden to help achieve Global Health 2035 goals, commissioned by the Swedish independent Expert Group for Aid Studies (EBA).
  • Germany and the G7: Policy reports and engagements during Germany's chair of the G7 on opportunities to achieve dramatic gains in global health.
  • Briefings with the European Commission and members of European Parliament, the UAE's Ministry of International Cooperation, and Chinese academic leaders and government officials.

Estimates of support for global functions

As domestic health investments increase, the CIH called on donors to increase support of the core functions of health: ensuring provision of global public goods, management of externalities, and fostering leadership and stewardship.

A Lancet study published in July 2015, How much donor financing for health is channelled to global versus country-specific aid functions?, provides initial estimates of how much donor support is directed towards these key global functions. Led by Marco Schaferhoff with Lawrence Summers, Dean Jamison, and colleagues, this study introduces a new definition of global health financing – one that includes additional public R&D spending for neglected diseases – and finds that the key global functions of health are dramatically underfunded.

In October 2015, Lawrence Summers and Dean Jamison presented these findings at a Center for Global Development seminar, Investing in Health: What is the role of health aid?, moderated by Amanda Glassman. DSW (Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevoelkerung) features an interview with Marco Schaferhoff on their blog.

For questions on the CIH Secretariat's work on donor investments in global health, please contact: Sara Fewer, Policy Program Manager.