International Collective Action in Health: Objectives, Functions, and Rationale

Jamison D, Frenk J, Knaul F. (1998). "International Collective Action in Health: Objectives, Functions and Rationale". The Lancet, February; 351(9101).

Posted: 17 May 2012

See all articles by Felicia Knaul

Felicia Knaul

Mexican Health Foundation; Harvard Global Equity Initiative

Dean T. Jamison

University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)

Julio Frenk

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Date Written: 1998

Abstract

To improve the performance of international health organisations, their essential functions must be agreed. This paper develops a framework to discuss these essential functions. Two groups are identified: core functions and supportive functions. Core functions transcend the sovereignty of any one nation state, and include promotion of international public goods (eg., research and development), and surveillance and control of international externalities (eg., environmental risks and spread of pathogens). Supportive functions deal with problems that take place within individual countries, but which may justify collective action at international level owing to shortcomings in national health systems — such as helping the dispossessed (eg., victims of human rights violations) and technical cooperation and development financing. Core functions serve all countries, whereas supportive functions assist countries with greater needs. Focus on essential functions appropriate to their mandate will better prepare international health organisations to define their roles, eg. for WHO to focus on core functions and for the World Bank to focus on supportive ones.

Suggested Citation

Knaul, Felicia and Jamison, Dean T. and Frenk, Julio, International Collective Action in Health: Objectives, Functions, and Rationale (1998). Jamison D, Frenk J, Knaul F. (1998). "International Collective Action in Health: Objectives, Functions and Rationale". The Lancet, February; 351(9101)., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2061377

Felicia Knaul (Contact Author)

Mexican Health Foundation ( email )

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Harvard Global Equity Initiative ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k62597&pageid=icb.page268594

Dean T. Jamison

University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) ( email )

Third Avenue and Parnassus
San Francisco, CA 94143
United States

Julio Frenk

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ( email )

P.O. Box 23350
Seattle, WA 98102
United States

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