Ashley M. Fox

The past decade has been characterized by a dramatic scale-up of development assistance for health, which has raised questions about who is responsible for health, how to hold non-state actors accountable for their activities and whether development assistance is producing more harm than good. Little is known about how citizens perceive various actors in global health, including their own leaders. This study examines citizen attitudes towards different global health actors using Afrobarometer surveys from 20 African countries (2008-2009). Results show that although there is variation across countries, citizens mostly view international actors as helping their countries and make few distinctions in terms of their degree of help. The study also finds that individuals who view their governments’ handling of the country in a positive light are less likely to view foreign/non-state actors positively. These results suggest that the pessimistic view of many scholars about the low contribution of development assistance to improved health and development outcomes does not seem to be borne out in the average citizens’ views of international organizations and non-state actors.

Ashley Fox, PhD, MA is an Assistant Professor at the University at Albany, State University of New York and is an affiliate of the Global Institute for Health and Human Rights and the Center for Social and Demographic Analysis. Her research focuses on global health politics and policy