The Case for Strategic Health Diplomacy: A Study of PEPFAR

January 2016 - Reports, Guidelines, and Tools

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Bipartisan Policy Center (November 2015).

This report focused on the impact of the U.S. President's Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) on goodwill toward the United States and public well-being in partner countries. After controlling for regional variance, the authors compared high-prevalence PEPFAR and non-PEPFAR countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The results demonstrated that PEPFAR has contributed to a positive opinion of the United States in target countries—a finding that holds true across all 12 countries in sub-Saharan Africa that received PEPFAR funds since 2003. According to Gallup poll data on public opinion of U.S. leadership from 2007 to 2011, PEPFAR countries have had an average approval rating of 68 percent, compared with the global average of 46 percent. PEPFAR has also played a role in security, stability, and governance. According to World Bank data, since 2004, PEPFAR countries in sub-Saharan Africa reduced political instability and violent activity by 40 percent, compared to only 3 percent among non-PEPFAR countries in the region. Moreover, PEPFAR offers important lessons about successful oversight and transparency. One cited study found that a key factor of PEPFAR’s success was strong accountability, which reinforced monitoring and evaluation of health systems and facilitated development overall. The authors concluded that PEPFAR has dramatically improved health around the world, with continuing benefits expected until at least 2018: a testament to PEPFAR's long-term pledge to stem the global HIV epidemic.

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