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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 107, Issue 4–5, pp e390–e392 | Cite as

Corporate sponsorship of global health research: Questions to promote critical thinking about potential funding relationships

  • Ben W. BrisboisEmail author
  • Donald C. Cole
  • Colleen M. Davison
  • Erica Di Ruggiero
  • Lori Hanson
  • Craig R. Janes
  • Charles P. Larson
  • Stephanie Nixon
  • Katrina Plamondon
  • Bjorn Stime
Commentary
  • 4 Downloads

Abstract

Funding options for global health research prominently include grants from corporations, as well as from foundations linked to specific corporations. While such funds can enable urgently-needed research and interventions, they can carry the risk of skewing health research priorities and exacerbating health inequities. With the objective of promoting critical reflection on potential corporate funding options for global health research, we propose a set of three questions developed through an open conference workshop and reflection on experiences of global health researchers and their institutions: 1) Does this funding allow me/us to retain control over research design, methodology and dissemination processes? 2) Does accessing this funding source involve altering my/our research agenda (i.e., what is the impact of this funding source on research priorities)? 3) What are the potential “unintended consequences” of accepting corporate funding, in terms of legitimizing corporations or models of development that are at the root of many global health problems? These questions outline an intentional and cautionary approach to decision-making when corporate funding for global health research is being considered by funding agencies, institutions, researchers and research stakeholders.

Key words

Global health public-private sector cooperation commerce governance capacity building research 

Résumé

Les subventions de sociétés, et de fondations liées à certaines sociétés, figurent au premier plan des options de financement de la recherche en santé mondiale. De tels fonds peuvent rendre possible des études et des interventions dont on a grandement besoin, mais ils peuvent comporter le risque de fausser les priorités de recherche en santé et d’exacerber les iniquités face à la santé. Afin de promouvoir une réflexion critique sur les options possibles de financement de la recherche en santé mondiale par les sociétés, nous proposons trois questions, élaborées lors d’un atelier d’une conférence ouverte et d’une réflexion sur l’expérience de chercheurs en santé mondiale et de leurs établissements d’attache: 1) Ce financement me/nous permet-il de garder la maîtrise du plan de recherche, de la méthode et des processus de diffusion? 2) Faut-il modifier ma/nos priorités de recherche pour avoir accès à cette source de financement (c.-à-d., quel est l’impact de cette source de financement sur les priorités de recherche)? 3) Quelles pourraient être les ªconséquences imprévues« d’accepter le financement de sociétés–cela pourrait-il légitimer des sociétés ou des modèles de développement qui sont à l’origine de nombreux problèmes de santé mondiale? Ces questions dessinent les contours d’une approche de prise de décision intentionnelle et prudente lorsque des organismes de financement, des établissements, des chercheurs et des acteurs du milieu de la recherche envisagent le financement de la recherche en santé mondiale par les sociétés.

Mots clés

santé mondiale partenariats entre secteurs public et privé commerce gouvernance renforcement des capacités recherche 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ben W. Brisbois
    • 1
    Email author
  • Donald C. Cole
    • 2
  • Colleen M. Davison
    • 3
  • Erica Di Ruggiero
    • 4
  • Lori Hanson
    • 5
  • Craig R. Janes
    • 6
  • Charles P. Larson
    • 7
  • Stephanie Nixon
    • 8
  • Katrina Plamondon
    • 9
    • 11
    • 12
  • Bjorn Stime
    • 10
  1. 1.Centre for Urban Health SolutionsSt. Michael’s HospitalTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Dalla Lana School of Public HealthUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Department of Public Health Sciences and Department of Emergency MedicineQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  4. 4.Dalla Lana School of Public HealthUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  5. 5.Department of Community Health and EpidemiologyUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  6. 6.School of Public Health and Health SystemsUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  7. 7.Department of PediatricsUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  8. 8.Department of Physical Therapy, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, International Centre for Disability and RehabilitationUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  9. 9.Research and Knowledge Translation, Research DepartmentInterior HealthCanada
  10. 10.School of Population and Public HealthUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  11. 11.Interdisciplinary Graduate StudiesUniversity of British ColumbiaCanada
  12. 12.School of NursingUniversity of British ColumbiaKelownaCanada

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