The Role of NGOs in the U.S. Global Health Response

Global Health Efforts

I just read the above-referenced article and a few other materials on the matter of global health.  It was very interesting to see how various organization come together to play a role in global health.  The article discusses the intricacies surrounding non-governmental organizations as key implementers of the US global health programs. In the past, very little has been known about the scope of their roles, so the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) assessed NGO engagement in the US as it pertains to global health effort—pulling very comprehensive data that shows how NGOs help in the US global health issues. NGOs received a significant amount of money from the US government in the fiscal year 2014.  More than 6.71 billion dollars has been disbursed for global health activities two over 300 NGOs.  

The KFF report captured some of the first steps of the United States global funding process provided by the USAID to NGOs.  They asked the following questions: (a) what happens to the funding after this first phase? (b) does the recipient NGO carry out the global health efforts directly? (c) does it contract for their with other entities semicolon including other NGOs? Finally, they asked how the US has leveraged its support for NGOs to strengthen civil society in some countries to develop technical networks of NGOs who work in various areas of global health or networks.

NGO’s such as religious mission, the Red Cross, Save the Children Fund, the Rockefeller Foundation’s International Health Division etc., emerged in mid nineteenth century, and they began to grow and contribute to International Health Governance considerably (Dodgson, Lee and Drager, 2002).  NGOs have fundamentally filled in many gaps or supplemented Government action in many instances; NGOs are recognized as important contributors to achieving the goals of World Health Organization (WHO). Many of these organizations have led the way in supporting health services and disease control programs globally (Dodgson et al., 2002).  Nevertheless, NGOs have limited access to program related meetings dealing with more specific health issues; and they have not been routinely consulted despite their importance as channels of health sector aid since the 1980s (Hulme and Edwards 1997) increased.

The role of trusted NGOs in the U.S. Global Health Response is indispensable for helping to alleviate global health issues.  The only concern is to have more checks and balances in place for accountability.   I have read many negative reviews regarding misappropriating/misusing funds by NGOs.  Having a strong regulation and reporting system would be ideal. 

Courtesy of International Health Connection (IHC)

Courtesy of International Health Connection (IHC)

Overall, as the world’s nations face crises, e.g. health, hunger, population growth, and disproportionate amount of wealth and or poverty, organizations such as the United Nations, World Health Organization, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, US Government, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) etc., is essential for creating global health policies and healthcare financing decisions that will aid in bridging the gaps and turmoil facing these countries. Inevitably, these organizations play a huge role in our world’s equilibrium. The United Nations conferences are especially helpful for them to come together to discuss the most pressing issues and how they can regulate or set aside funding to address them.  

Here is an example of how International Health Connection ( have used their medical mission trips to teach health students about global health experientially. Click below to see the full Ppt® presentation:

Learning outcomes Medical trip_final (1)

Karlyn Emile, teaching individuals in Carrefour-Port-au-Prince, Haiti, about how food and exercise affect health.

Karlyn Emile, teaching individuals in Carrefour-Port-au-Prince, Haiti, about how food and exercise affect health.

Please contact me to “get involved”.


Dodgson, R., Lee, K., & Drager, N. (2002). Global health governance. A Conceptual Review, London/Geneva.

The Kaiser Family Foundation: The Role of NGOs in the U.S. Global Health Response (July, 2015). Global Health Policy. Retrieved from:

 Hulme D. and Edwards M. (1997), NGOs, States and Donors, Too Close for Comfort?


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