Key Players in Global Health

How Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa Are Influencing the Game

This report represents the first step in an 18-month CSIS initiative focused on how the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) countries and South Africa are influencing activities, practices, and strategies in the area of global health diplomacy. Whether and how the BRICs and South Africa use the November 2010 G-20 Summit in Seoul, or future G-20 meetings, to engage on global health through the new G-20 Working Group on Development remains to be seen. It is clear that each country is stepping up its work on global health through its official development assistance—as a bilateral donor, through its work in multilateral institutions, and by supporting overseas health-related research and innovations. Yet it also seems unlikely that the non-G-8 countries within the G-20 will want to let the major industrial powers in the G-8 off the hook when it comes to their existing commitments on health in the developing world. In the end, how the BRICs and South Africa choose to move forward on global health will depend in large part on their own histories of international interaction on health, on their continued financial growth, and on the extent to which engaging in foreign activities does not conflict with their domestic health and development priorities.

Over the next year and a half the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, along with the CSIS programs on China, Russia, South Asia, Africa, and the Americas, will develop partnerships with institutions in each country to support shared research projects, to organize international discussions, and to disseminate policy analysis and recommendations intended to encourage greater understanding of the ways in which approaches to global health policy and cooperation are changing.

The contributions to this volume examine the history of each country’s engagement in the global health area; the philosophy that motivates each nation’s global health outreach and cooperation; the relationship between each country’s domestic health conditions and its international work; the legislation and bureaucracies that support governments’ work on global health; the most relevant international organization, multilateral, and bilateral partners; and the implications for the United States and other countries.


Katherine E. Bliss
Senior Fellow and Director, Immunizations and Health Systems Resilience, Global Health Policy Center

Xiaoqing Lu Boynton, Victor Cha, Sudeep Chand, Heather Conley, Jennifer Cooke, François Delmas, Uttara Dukkipati, Charles Freeman, Judyth Twigg