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Civil society organisations and global health initiatives: Problems of legitimacy

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  • Doyle, Cathal
  • Patel, Preeti

Abstract

Civil society organisations (CSOs) have a prominent role in global health initiatives such as The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) and, in the United States, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). They are increasingly consulted by international organisations and, in some cases like the Global Fund, are involved in decision-making. They are also increasingly seen as crucial agents in delivering health interventions on the ground. Some donors prefer to channel funds through CSOs in developing countries than through perceived to be corrupt or inefficient government agencies. This paper examines this growing role and the arguments put forward to justify their increasing influence, particularly in HIV/AIDS initiatives. It analyses the main challenges to CSOs' legitimacy and outlines key responses to these challenges. It concludes by suggesting a number of research priorities that might help to evaluate the impact of CSOs in global health initiatives.

Suggested Citation

  • Doyle, Cathal & Patel, Preeti, 2008. "Civil society organisations and global health initiatives: Problems of legitimacy," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(9), pages 1928-1938, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:66:y:2008:i:9:p:1928-1938
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Pfeiffer, James, 2003. "International NGOs and primary health care in Mozambique: the need for a new model of collaboration," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 725-738, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Olafsdottir, Sigrun & Bakhtiari, Elyas & Barman, Emily, 2014. "Public or private? The role of the state and civil society in health and health inequalities across nations," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 174-181.
    2. London, Leslie & Schneider, Helen, 2012. "Globalisation and health inequalities: Can a human rights paradigm create space for civil society action?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 6-13.
    3. Borzaga, Carlo & Fazzi, Luca, 2014. "Civil society, third sector, and healthcare: The case of social cooperatives in Italy," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 234-241.
    4. Spicer, Neil & Harmer, Andrew & Aleshkina, Julia & Bogdan, Daryna & Chkhatarashvili, Ketevan & Murzalieva, Gulgun & Rukhadze, Natia & Samiev, Arnol & Walt, Gill, 2011. "Circus monkeys or change agents? Civil society advocacy for HIV/AIDS in adverse policy environments," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(12), pages 1748-1755.
    5. Dickson-Gomez, Julia & Corbett, A. Michelle & Bodnar, Gloria & Rodriguez, Karla & Guevara, Carmen E., 2010. "Resources and obstacles to developing and implementing a structural intervention to prevent HIV in San Salvador, El Salvador," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 351-359, February.

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