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Preventable and treatable injuries and diseases are overwhelming sub-Saharan Africa, the Indian subcontinent, and other impoverished areas of the world. Why are health outcomes among the world’s poor so dire after the first decade of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and despite a quadrupling of international health assistance over the past two decades? We believe that this dynamic can change by establishing clearer understandings of, and forging consensus around and governance structures to support, national and global responsibilities to improve global health.

With the goal of a new post-MDG global health paradigm, we are establishing the Joint Action and Learning Initiative on National and Global Health Responsibilities for Health. The JALI will articulate an overarching, coherent, framework for shared responsibility for health, forging an international consensus around broadly imagined solutions to four critical challenges: defining a core package of essential health services and goods; clarifying states’ duties toward their own inhabitants; exploring all states’ responsibilities toward the world’s poor; and proposing a global architecture to improve health as a matter of social justice.

With the human right to health as its foundation, JALI will use a broad, inclusive, participatory process to develop shared understandings, and the political will required to transform global governance for health. Social movements have driven recent transformations in global health, such as to fight HIV/AIDS and ban landmines. Similarly, the JALI’s success requires a civil society movement with the right to health as its focal point. Readers are invited to join the global coalition.

Publication Citation

88 Bull. World Health Org. 719 (2010)