Defining and Measuring the 'Global Health Agenda'
23 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 3 Sep 2010
Date Written: August 26, 2010
Scholars and policy-makers frequently use the term ‘global health agenda’ or some variant, usually because they are expressing a concern that an issue is neglected. Rarely do they define what they mean by the concept, making it unclear what they are referring to. We offer a working definition: ‘the list of health issues that a set of elite organizations involved in global health are paying attention to at any given point in time.’ We then offer some recommendations on how the agenda status of any given health issue might be measured and draw some initial findings from these measures, examining which issues get attention, whether attention corresponds to burden, and how different dimensions of agenda status such as media attention and donor funding relate to one another. The aim of offering definitional clarity and a means of indicating agenda status is to advance the study of agenda-setting in global health, so that we might move beyond impressionistic statements and toward empirical measures of what issues are and are not receiving attention in global health, and in which arenas that attention is appearing.
Keywords: Agenda setting; global health
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