From conceptual pluralism to practical agreement on policy: global responsibility for global health

Jennifer Prah Ruger, Rachel Hammonds, Gorik Ooms, Donna Barry, Audrey Chapman, Wim Van Damme

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review

23 Downloads (Pure)


BACKGROUND: As the human cost of the global economic crisis becomes apparent the ongoing discussions surrounding the post-2015 global development framework continue at a frenzied pace. Given the scale and scope of increased globalization moving forward in a post-Millennium Development Goals era, to protect and realize health equity for all people, has never been more challenging or more important. The unprecedented nature of global interdependence underscores the importance of proposing policy solutions that advance realizing global responsibility for global health.

DISCUSSION: This article argues for advancing global responsibility for global health through the creation of a Global Fund for Health. It suggests harnessing the power of the exceptional response to the combined epidemics of AIDS, TB and Malaria, embodied in the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, to realize an expanded, reconceptualized Global Fund for Health. However this proposal creates both an analytical quandary embedded in conceptual pluralism and a practical dilemma for the scope and raison d'etre of a new Global Fund for Health. To address these issues we offer a logical framework for moving from conceptual pluralism in the theories supporting global responsibility for health to practical agreement on policy to realize this end. We examine how the innovations flowing from this exceptional response can be coupled with recent ideas and concepts, for example a global social protection floor, a Global Health Constitution or a Framework Convention for Global Health, that share the global responsibility logic that underpins a Global Fund for Health.

CONCLUSIONS: The 2014 Lancet Commission on Global Governance for Health Report asks whether a single global health protection fund would be better for global health than the current patchwork of global and national social transfers. We concur with this suggestion and argue that there is much room for practical agreement on a Global Fund for Health that moves from the conceptual level into policies and practice that advance global health. The issues of shared responsibility and mutual accountability feature widely in the post-2015 discussions and need to be addressed in a coherent manner. Our article argues why and how a Global Fund for Health effectuates this, thus advancing global responsibility for global health.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC International Health and Human Rights
Pages (from-to)30
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Communicable Disease Control
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Financing, Organized
  • Global Health
  • HIV Infections
  • Health Policy
  • Human Rights
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation
  • Malaria
  • Social Responsibility
  • Tuberculosis
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


Dive into the research topics of 'From conceptual pluralism to practical agreement on policy: global responsibility for global health'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this