The role of regional health diplomacy on data sharing

The SADC and UNASUR cases

in Regions and Cohesion
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Ana B. Amaya Assistant Professor, Pace University, USA aamaya@pace.edu

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Stephen Kingah Associate Research Fellow, UNU-CRIS, Bruges, Belgium skingah@gmail.com

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Philippe De Lombaerde Associate Professor, NEOMA Business School (Rouen), France philippe.de-lombaerde@neoma-bs.fr

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Abstract

Health governance has become multi-layered as the combined result of decentralization, regional integration and the emergence of new actors nationally and internationally. Whereas this has enhanced the installed capacity for health response worldwide, this complexity also poses serious challenges for health governance, health diplomacy and health policy-making. This article focuses on one of these challenges, namely the organization of statistical information flows at and between governance levels, and the emerging role that regional organizations play therein. Regional to national-level data flows are analyzed with the use of two case studies focusing on UNASUR (Bolivia and Paraguay) and SADC (Swaziland and Zambia). The results of the analysis lead to several policy recommendations at the regional and national levels.

Resumen

La gobernanza de la salud se ha convertido en una gobernanza multi-nivel, resultado de la descentralización, integración regional y aparición de nuevos actores nacionales e internacionales. Aunque esto ha mejorado la capacidad de respuesta en materia de salud mundialmente, esta complejidad plantea desafíos para la gobernanza de la salud, diplomacia en salud y elaboración de políticas. Este artículo se centra en uno de estos retos: la organización de flujos de información estadística en y entre los niveles de gobernanza, y el papel emergente de las organizaciones regionales en este ámbito. Se analizan los flujos de datos entre regiones y países mediante dos estudios de casos en UNASUR (Bolivia y Paraguay) y SADC (Suazilandia y Zambia). Los resultados del análisis arrojan recomendaciones de política regional y nacional.

Résumé

La gouvernance en matière de santé est devenue multi-niveaux comme résultat combiné de la décentralisation, de l'intégration régionale et de l’émergence de nouveaux acteurs nationaux et internationaux. Bien que cela ait renforcé la capacité d'intervention sanitaire dans le monde entier, cette complexité pose également de sérieux défis pour la gouvernance de la santé, la diplomatie et l’élaboration des politiques. L'article se concentre sur l'un de ces défis, à savoir l'organisation des flux d'informations statistiques à l'intérieur et entre les niveaux de gouvernance, et sur le rôle émergent des organisations régionales. Les flux de données régionales et nationales sont analysés à l'aide de deux études de cas portant sur l'UNASUR (Bolivie et Paraguay) et la SADC (Swaziland et Zambie). Les résultats de l'analyse ont conduit à plusieurs recommandations de politiques.

Contributor Notes

ANA B. AMAYA is assistant professor at Pace University and associate research fellow with the United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS). Her research interests relate to global health governance and diplomacy; sustainability of donor aid; and the role of regional organizations in health policy. She has worked and consulted for several international organizations and universities, among these UNU-CRIS where she previously worked as senior research fellow. Email: aamaya@pace.edu

STEPHEN KINGAH (PhD Law) is associate research fellow at UNU-CRIS, Bruges. He has also been visiting professor at the Pan African University's Institute of Governance in Yaoundé. Stephen studied at the University of Yaoundé II, the Free University of Brussels (VUB), the University of Texas School of Law and the University of Oxford. Email: skingah@gmail.com

PHILIPPE DE LOMBAERDE (PhD) is associate professor of international economics at NEOMA Business School (Rouen) and associate senior research fellow at UNU-CRIS, Bruges. Previously he was associate director at UNU-CRIS and associate professor of international economics at Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota, among other appointments. Email: philippe.de-lombaerde@neoma-bs.fr

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