Understanding public private partnerships: the discourse, the practice, and the system wide effects of the global fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.
Kapilashrami, A. (2010) Understanding public private partnerships: the discourse, the practice, and the system wide effects of the global fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria., no. 374.
This thesis aims to deconstruct the monotheism of public private partnerships (PPP) for health and demonstrate the polytheism of practices enabled by it. It contributes to the body of knowledge on PPP in two respects: theoretical and substantive. At a theoretical level, using a critical enquiry lens, I deconstruct the partnership phenomenon and the notion of shared power within these interactions. This diverges from the traditional problem solving approach intrinsic to ‘good’ governance literature on PPP, which focuses on how partnerships can be made more effective. The thesis gives a plural account of the rationale and emerging paradoxes and examines the role of structural (institutions and mechanisms) and ideational (ideas and discourse) factors in constituting and constructing the practice of PPPs. The substantive aim of the thesis is to advance the study on PPP by understanding the contingencies and plurality of practices as a departure from the rhetoric on global health PPPs. Drawing on the case of Global Fund to fight AIDS TB and Malaria (GFATM), one of the three largest global health partnerships, and its country wide operations with respect to HIV and AIDS in India, I also discuss the implications of the discursive practices for the management of HIV and equity in health care. Through a critical examination of the governance mechanisms and arrangements of GFATM it is argued that these have instilled an environment characterised by a proliferation of multiple unaccountable entities which emerge as sites where principles of partnership are subsumed by competition for resources, power and individual and organisational gains. This raises an important question that the thesis attempts to answer: How despite the tensions and ruptures is it possible for the global health PPPs to rise to prominence as a key mechanism in global and national health governance? In response to this, I focus on the role of the development brokers and street level bureaucrats who act at the interface of the global discourse and the local perspectives and create “order” by negotiating dissent, building coherent representations and translating common meanings into individual and collective objectives.