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Development

Section Editor: Divya Parmar, City, University of London, UK
Deputy Section Editor: Arne Ruckert, University of Ottawa, Canada

Development theories and development assistance have been fixtures on the global health landscape for decades. Although health was originally given low development priority, its rise in the Millennium Development Goals and position in the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) draws attention to the many controversies surrounding health development assistance, including the complex forms it takes (vertical, diagonal, horizontal), the lack of consistency over time, disbursements driven by donor interests rather than need, high transaction costs of poor donor coordination, a ‘charity’ rather than ‘entitlement’ approach, the rise of global philanthropies, and the lack of coherence between donors’ aid and their international trade/macroeconomic policies. In recent years, the role of micro-financing has been advanced as a key development strategy, although it remains controversial; and ‘social impact investing’ (where private speculators invest for global social/public good with the expectation of profit) is inserting a market logic into previously humanitarian notions of assistance or obligation. Papers submitted under this topic will focus on all forms and underlying theories of financial transfers from richer to poorer nations, and how these affect health outcomes, health systems and progress towards the SDH goals and targets.

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