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Kevany S.,University of California at San Francisco | Jaf P.,The Global Fund | Workneh N.G.,The Global Fund | Dalo M.A.,KPMG | And 2 more authors.
Medicine, Conflict and Survival | Year: 2014

Background: International development programmes, including global health interventions, have the capacity to make important implicit and explicit benefits to diplomatic and international relations outcomes. Conversely, in the absence of awareness of these implications, such programmes may generate associated threats. Due to heightened international tensions in conflict and post-conflict settings, greater attention to diplomatic outcomes may therefore be necessary. We examine related 'collateral' effects of Global Fund-supported tuberculosis programmes in Iraq. Methods: During site visits to Iraq conducted during 2012 and 2013 on behalf of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, on-site service delivery evaluations, unstructured interviews with clinical and operational staff, and programme documentary review of Global Fund-supported tuberculosis treatment and care programmes were conducted. During this process, a range of possible external or collateral international relations and diplomatic effects of global health programmes were assessed according to predetermined criteria. Results: A range of positive diplomatic and international relations effects of Global Fund-supported programmes were observed in the Iraq setting. These included (1) geo-strategic accessibility and coverage; (2) provisions for programme sustainability and alignment; (3) contributions to nation-building and peace-keeping initiatives; (4) consistent observation of social, cultural and religious norms in intervention selection; and (5) selection of the most effective and cost-effective tuberculosis treatment and care interventions. Conclusions: Investments in global health programmes have valuable diplomatic, as well as health-related, outcomes, associated with their potential to prevent, mitigate or reverse international tension and hostility in conflict and post-conflict settings, provided that they adhere to appropriate criteria. The associated international presence in such regions may also contribute to peace-keeping efforts. Global health programmes may frequently produce a wider range of 'collateral benefits' that conventional monitoring and evaluation systems should be expanded to assess, in keeping with contemporary efforts to leverage development programmes from a 'global health diplomacy' perspective. © 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

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