CFS: Global Health (Social Science & Medicine)


SPECIAL ISSUE: Global Health Assistance: Qualitative Evidence on What Works and Why (Guest Editors: Devi Sridhar and David Craig)

For the above Special Issue, Social Science & Medicine invites submissions that address the critical question of whether global health assistance works. A paradox of our time is that despite all the activity and resources concentrated in this area, health is not improving as dramatically as it should in emerging and developing countries. Explanations for this paradox may lie in the institutionalised nature of health assistance, or more broadly, in the efforts of global health institutions to address these disparities. The field is made up of a patchwork of donors, UN agencies, governments, philanthropic organisations, civil society organisations, private companies, and various partnerships among these actors. It is the codes and regularised practices of these organisations that this Special Issue seeks to shed some light on, both in terms of description, and in terms of what a critical, institutional ethnographic engagement might offer. Contributions should examine not only how policies have been developed at the global level, but also the impact of these policies on the communities at which they are aimed. Particular attention should be paid to the structures, discourses and agencies through which policy operates. Areas of consideration might include:

• the massive monies being disbursed and the benefits – or lack thereof –produced,

• how global health institutions create policy, and the models and political considerations that enter into the policy-process,

• the effects of different policies/approaches on developing countries, and

• lessons that emerge for what works and what doesn’t in global health assistance.

The articles in the Special Issue will combine various analyses within the disciplines of anthropology, sociology, political science, public health and development studies. They will include located analysis, comparative or complementary multi-site analysis, and critical review papers. Priority will be given to field data obtained through ethnography and qualitative enquiries, within a comprehensive theoretical frame for analysis.

Authors who feel their work addresses the above aims should submit their full manuscripts for consideration to Social Science & Medicine at by 31 October 2009. When asked to choose article type, authors should stipulate “Special Issue Article”, and in the “Enter Comments” box the title of the Special Issue should be inserted, plus any further acknowledgements. All submissions should meet Social Science & Medicine author guidelines, also available at


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