In February, the New York Times Editorial Board announced: “Foreign Aid is Having a Reckoning.” This reckoning based on the Black Lives Matter movement is not just isolated to foreign aid. It extends to the entire global health field which has been in a self-reflection mode since this summer. And yet, not even a year after organizations put out statements that committed to better achieve racial health equity by consulting with and deferring to communities most impacted, new funding for global public health programs are following old patterns.

At the beginning of the year a $30 million grant for malaria operational research went from U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative to PATH, a global non-profit organization, and then to seven sub recipients based in the U.S., the U.K., and Australia. None of these countries have malaria. This is the latest example of scientific colonialism.

Global health is dominated by individuals and institutions in high-income countries. We need to rethink the structure of funding and who is funding the project and whether or not they are embedding equitable practices as a requirement for the program they fund. But what will it actually take for funding organizations to move from rhetoric to remedial actions that initiate and nurture equitable global public health programs and research?

The initial steps to repair global health are not as complex as one may think. Academics and implementers alike have long argued that to start, health priorities must be set by the community that is most proximal to the issue. One doesn’t have to look far beyond the Covid-19 pandemic to see what problems can occur when a one-size fits all model is offered as a solution to health challenges that exists in different societal and cultural milieus.

Read the full article about repairing global health funding by Ngozi Erondu at Skoll.