Global Policy Forum

Philanthrocapitalism in global health and nutrition: analysis and implications

Philantrocapitalism_DiscussionPaper_10-2018Over the last two decades, the philanthropic sector has grown in terms of the number of foundations, the size of their annual giving, and the scope of their activities. Spending concentrates on certain selected areas, especially health, education, and nutrition. Civil society organizations, scientists, and the media have finally started to devote more attention and research to the growing influence of philanthropic foundations in global development, in particular with regard to the influential members of philanthrocapitalism. Through their grant-making, personal networking and active advocacy, large global foundations play an overwhelmingly active role in shaping the global development agenda and in setting the funding priorities for international institutions and national governments alike. A new discussion paper by Nicoletta Dentico and Karolin Seitz presents major areas of concern in particular with regard to the arena of global health and nutrition and formulates recommendations to political decision-makers.





October 15, 2018 | MISEREOR/Brot für die Welt/HIP/GPF/medico international

Philanthrocapitalism in global health and nutrition: analysis and implications

Discussion Paper

This discussion paper is an executive summary of a forthcoming article by Nicoletta Dentico (Health Innovation in Practice) and Karolin Seitz (Global Policy Forum).

Over the last two decades, the philanthropic sector has grown in terms of the number of foundations, the size of their annual giving, and the scope of their activities. While detailed information about their total annual spending on international development is not available, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates private foundations giving for development purposes of more than US$ 23.9 billion over 2013-2015, or a respective US$ 7.8 billion per year. Spending concentrates on certain selected areas, especially health, education, and nutrition.

There are currently more than 200,000 foundations in the world. Over 86,000 foundations are registered in the USA, while another estimated 85,000 foundations are based in Western Europe and 35,000 in Eastern Europe. The philanthropic sector is also growing in the Global South, with for example, approximately 10,000 foundations in Mexico, nearly 2,000 in China and at least 1,000 in Brazil, largely due to the rapidly increasing number of wealthy individuals in countries in that part of the world. Most of their activities remain focused on the national level, though, and only a minority are dedicated to global development purposes. The OECD report shows that the sources of philanthropic giving for development purposes are highly concentrated. 81% of total philanthropic giving during 2013-2015 came from only 20 foundations. Among them, the largest by far is the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Download the full discussion paper here.



Philanthrocapitalism in global health and nutrition: analysis and implications

Discussion paper

Published by Bischöfliches Hilfswerk MISEREOR/Brot für die Welt/Health Innovation in Practice/Global Policy Forum/medico international
Authors: Nicoletta Dentico and Karolin Seitz
Aachen/Bonn/Berlin/Geneva/Frankfurt a.M., October 2018

 

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