How Will COVID-19 Impact on the Governance of Global Health in the 2030 Agenda Framework? The Opinion of Experts

Healthcare (Basel). 2020 Sep 23;8(4):356. doi: 10.3390/healthcare8040356.


In 2015, the 2030 Agenda was formally adopted by the United Nations, establishing a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG 3 seeks to promote Global Health and the quality of public health systems in developing countries. The achievement of these goals requires the commitment of all signing countries, but the COVID-19 crisis is changing the behavior of the main stakeholders in the international arena. What do the experts think about these changes? Could these changes threaten the 2030 Agenda and Global Health? To answer these questions, we conduct a content analysis of 152 documents written by experts from the 15 main think tanks on international development policy. The results point out that the new scenario brought about by the pandemic is hindering the necessary cooperation between countries to achieve global health goals and to guarantee public health coverage in developing countries. To deal with these challenges, more delegation of powers to international organizations and a reform of the international cooperation system are needed. With this analysis, we launch a warning about potential weaknesses of the institutional design of the 2030 Agenda in order for it to survive in a post-COVID-19 world and remain a valid instrument to promote health worldwide.

Keywords: 2030 agenda; COVID-19; Global Health; NVIVO; content analysis; institutional design; public health systems; sustainable development goals.