247069 Global and National Political Attention for Newborn Survival

Monday, October 31, 2011: 3:30 PM

Jeremy Shiffman, PhD , Public Administration and Policy, American University, Washington, DC
Over the past decade dozens of global health policy networks have formed, linking actors across organizations that share an aim in reducing mortality and morbidity from particular health conditions such as pneumonia and maternal conditions. We know little about why and how these networks form, and why they vary in their effectiveness. This paper uses a case study of global and national newborn survival efforts to examine the determinants of network formation and effectiveness. We draw on political science theory to ground the analysis.

Each year nearly four million babies die in their first month of life, 99% of them in the developing world, and neonatal mortality now constitutes more than 40% of under-five mortality globally. Using a process-tracing methodology, we conducted studies of the influence of networks on political attention for newborn survival globally and in four countries with high newborn mortality: Bangladesh, Bolivia, Malawi and Nepal. Data include in-depth interviews with 133 actors involved in newborn survival efforts nationally and globally, as well as analysis of approximately 350 documents drawn from archival research. Results suggest considerable effectiveness in placing the issue on global health agendas, but circumscribed progress in generating meaningful national efforts to reduce neonatal mortality. Limitations in progress may stem in part from the top-down nature of the process driven more by well-positioned global actors rather than pressure from grassroots institutions. We explore the nature of the linkages between global and national networks, with particular attention to how these promote and hinder advocacy efforts.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Learners will be able to the state of political attention for newborn survival globally and in low-income countries, and factors that shape whether an issue gets on national policy agendas

Keywords: Children, Advocacy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I contributed to the research and write-up of results
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.