In a new report commissioned by the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB), Georgetown global health experts say the success of any effort to redress pandemic preparedness failures demonstrated by COVID-19 requires a re-centering of governance that would include greater accountability, transparency, equity, participation and the rule of law.
The report, Governance Preparedness: Initial Lessons from COVID-19, was published today by the Center for Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University Medical Center.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed a failure in preparedness arising from a failure of governance in global collective action, including coordination and engagement with multilateral systems, and financing, including chronic underinvestment in preparedness as well as states withdrawing financial support,” write the report’s authors, global health legal and policy expert Alexandra Phelan, SJD, LLM, LLB and global health security expert Rebecca Katz, PhD, MPH.
The work of this report informed the GPMB 2020 Annual Report also released today.
Phelan and Katz have identified key strategies to re-center and improve governance preparedness:
1. Re-establish global norms of solidarity and multilateral cooperation, including through critical reform of the International Health Regulations;
2. Consider new mechanisms to support data sharing, research and development, and equitable access to diagnostics, treatments, vaccines, and medical goods;
3. Immediately address funding constraints on the World Health Organization through increases in assessed contributions;
4. Develop frameworks and processes for more cohesive and responsive coordination between international institutions and instilling pandemic preparedness in all policies at the international level; and
5. Actively incorporate principles of good governance into international and national decision-making bodies and processes.
Using lessons from governance of other global challenges, the authors say these strategies would ensure better preparedness for collective action and financing in the medium- and long-term future.