Understanding the roles of partners in partnerships funded by the global fund

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Mallipeddi, Ravi Kanth
public private partnerships; International development; international aid; state; civil society
book description
The field of international development has always been intertwined with the economic thought dominant in the West. Even before its conception with the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe, it carried a strong Keynesian preference for the state. The neoliberal assault on the welfare state in the 80s, followed by the partnership era that brought both the public and the private sector together to work for a common cause have been the focus of attention by development scholars and others alike. The present study focuses on a multilateral development aid agency, the Global Fund, which funds public-private partnerships in the field of health care in developing countries. Drawing on the debates surrounding the welfare state and the civil society, as well as the debates surrounding the public-privates partnerships, the present study poses three questions in relation to the Global Fund: (1) how are the diseases framed in the partnership framework, (2) what are the roles of the private sector in partnership, and (3) what are the roles of the public sector in partnerships. Based on the textual analysis of fifteen proposals approved by the Global Fund in the sixth round of funding, this dissertation tries to situate the working of the Global Fund, and the proposals it funds, within the larger debates surrounding development and partnerships. The findings of the present study are: (1) the diseases are framed largely in socio-economic terms, (2) the private (for-profit) sector is marginalized in the discussion and implementation of proposals, (3) the civil society participation is seen as essential to the success of the proposals, and (3) the state is seen as important in the discussion of the diseases, although there is a great deal of ambiguity surrounding the roles of the public sector in partnerships. It is hypothesized in the concluding chapter that the reason Global Fund is able to attract a great deal of funds and support from actors across the political spectrum could be because the organization funds programs that foreground civil society, liked by people of different political inclinations, and backgrounds the discussion of the state, the epicenter of controversies surrounding development. By being ?strategically ambiguous? about the role of the state in the development of the people, the proposals are made apolitical and appealing to people both on the left and the right.