Assessing the Importance of Tripartite Global Health Partnerships: Conducting a Nested Empirical Approach

Eduardo J. Gómez

In recent years, tripartite partnerships between multilateral health agencies, ministries of health, and civil society have been viewed as important for building and sustaining the creation of national AIDS programs. This article critically examines this argument. In so doing, it uses a new database the author created measuring the presence of these tripartite partnerships and their effects on AIDS program spending. Statistical evidence suggests that these partnerships do not affect AIDS spending. The case of Brazil is then used to further examine various theoretical schools of thought as well as these statistical results at the domestic level, with the use of qualitative case study evidence. Findings from Brazil further confirm this negative cross-national statistical finding, while highlighting other factors that may account for why governments decide to engage in ongoing AIDS spending, such as the state’s efforts to proactively seek out and strengthen preexisting partnerships with NGOs, while strategically using increased domestic AIDS spending as a means to bolster the government’s foreign policy aspirations.