Ilona Kickbusch

"We are in transition from what seemed a relatively reliable state defined and structured world of international health to a diffuse political space of global health in which new forms of distributed power and new patterns of power sharing emerge….even the most cursory analysis of global health governance shows that existing mechanisms of governance and resource flows are insufficient to address the problems at stake and to generate the political will necessary for action."

Global Health Governance

A new governance space
Exploring the expanded responsibility for health within society has always
been at the core of Ilona Kickbusch´s work and she has pushed the agenda both in her academic work and her work at the WHO. She was one of the first to apply concepts of global governance to the global health arena. She is now exploring the health governance challenges arising from the digital transformation.

Her most recent contribution on Global Health Governance (with Austin Liu) with a view to the major changes that global health is presently undergoing can be found in the Governance Report 2019  “HealthGovernance” by the Hertie School of Governance, Berlin.

The major disruptors ofglobal health governance are analysed in a special edition of the BMJ editedwith Andrew Cassels.

Ilona Kickbusch has proposed to analyse this space along three dimensions:

  • Global health governance: which refers mainly to those institutions and processes of governance which are related to an explicit health mandate, such as the World Health Organization
  • Global governance for health: which refers mainly to those institutions and processes of global governance which have a direct and indirect health impact, such as the World Trade Organisation – many of these are related to the social determinants of health
  • Governance for global health: this refers to the institutions and mechanisms established at the national and regional level to contribute to global health governance and/or to governance for global health – such as national global health strategies or regional strategies for global health.

These three dimensions are described in more detail in A New Governance Space for Health with Martina Marianna Cassar Szabo in: Special issue / Supplement of Global Health Action. Editors: Tewabech Bishaw, Thomas Krafft, Ulrich Laaser Associate Editors: Helmut Brand, Christoph Aluttis in: Glob Health Action 2014, 7: 23507



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