Volume 102, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Two decades of growing resource availability from agencies and foundations in wealthy countries has transformed approaches to health in poorly resourced nations. This progress looks increasingly unstable as climate change, social unrest, and, now, disruptive pandemics present threats not only to health but also to the mechanisms that manage it, and to funding itself. The growth in “global health” schools, technology development laboratories, nongovernmental organizations and multilateral institutions in donor countries has delivered not only successes but also disappointment, and reflect a paradigm that is in many ways contrary to the principles of population-based ownership that they espouse. Although the COVID-19 crisis has underlined the importance of health access and health service capacity, we may have a limited window of opportunity in which to rethink the current model and improve both efficiency and effectiveness. With a dose of humility, we may all benefit from studying our own rhetoric on human-centered design and applying these principles across global health to ensure that our approach is effective, efficient, and defensible.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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  • Received : 30 Jan 2020
  • Accepted : 12 Apr 2020
  • Published online : 17 Apr 2020
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