December 2020

Global health philanthropy

Volume 25 , Number 4

PDF - £10.00 Hard copy (£15.00)


December 2020

Global health philanthropy

Volume 25 , Number 4

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Alliance magazine is pleased to offer free access to this issue thanks to the Open Society Foundations.

At $46 billion each year – almost a quarter of all grantmaking – philanthropy spends more on health-related causes than anything else. As the Covid-19 pandemic intensifies, philanthropy has provided critical funding for vaccine development, medical equipment, mutual aid, social welfare, and global health infrastructure.

But there is intense debate about how the largest foundations interact with governments, international bodies and pharmaceutical companies and who should hold them accountable.

This special issue of Alliance considers new directions for global health philanthropy and explores whether health funding is going where its most needed, and asks who gets to decide.

The centrepiece of this issue is an Alliance magazine exclusive with the Director-General of the World Health Organisation, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in conversation with Prof Senait Fisseha, Director of Global programs at the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation.

The issue has been guest edited by Julia Greenberg in the Open Society Foundations and Aggrey Aluso from the Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa, They make the case for a more citizen centred approach to health care infrastructure and offer a trenchant critique of over-reliance on private sector solutions and partnerships.

Other stellar contributors include:

Ban Ki-moon Former UN Secretary General and vice chair of The Elders, discussing the role of philanthropy in building publicly funded and democratically accountable universal health coverage

Dr Charlie Weller Head of Vaccines at the Wellcome Trust on Wellcome’s role in the search for a Covid vaccine drawing on lessons from Ebola

The Children Investment Fund Foundation on the funding agenda for sexual and reproductive health and rights

Lawyer and advocate Steven Allen of the Validity Foundation on mental health and why human rights needs to be centre of work in this area

And much more…

Special feature

Funding for global health: too much and not enough

1 December 2020
Julia Greenberg and Aggrey Aluso

Investments made by governmental and philanthropic donors in healthcare systems around the world too often reinforce arrangements that favour private interests over public provision In March, Indian author and activist Arundhati Roy observed that, ‘historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.’ For those of us working in philanthropy, the pandemic …


Foundations should answer Dr Tedros’s call

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organisation, uses this issue of Alliance magazine to urge foundations to take action in response to the challenges of our times. In his poignant dialogue with Professor Senait Fisseha of the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation – a leading health funder – he calls on Foundations to do several things: First, they should redouble their efforts to ensure that all funding and partnerships are in alignment with a country’s priorities. That means listening to the voices of affected communities and countries and putting them in the driver’s seat. Second, Dr Tedros implores …


The real impact of impact investing

Volker Then

The basic structure of the neo-liberal capitalist system is the problematic structure, and not impact investing. In Germany, the basic …

One credible weapon among the continuum

Gregory Ratliff

In their interview, the Hewlett Foundation’s Larry Kramer and Ana Marshall raise critical issues for all impact investors. The lack …

Help! I’m the only woman invited to speak on a panel


All your confidential philanthropic queries answered Philanthropy confidential is your space to safely and anonymously get advice on ethical dilemmas …

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