Ethical responsibilities of health research funders to advance global health justice

Bridget Pratt, Adnan A. Hyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research funders from high-income countries have an ethical obligation to support health research in low and middle-income countries that promotes justice in global health. Conceptual work from bioethics proposes funders should do so through their design of grants programs, investments, and grants management. That work has begun to specify the content of funders’ ethical responsibility with regards to health systems research, but it has thus far not been informed by their practice. As a first step to bridge that gap, this paper focuses on health systems research funders’ design of grants programs. It aims to test the content of funders’ proposed ethical responsibility against recent empirical work describing how they design their health systems research grants programs to help address global health disparities. Based on that analysis, recommendations are made for how to better articulate the content of health systems research funders’ obligation. Such recommendations may be pertinent to funders of other types of international research. The paper also provides an initial picture of how well health systems research grants programs’ designs may align with the ideals of global health justice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalGlobal Public Health
StateAccepted/In press - May 4 2018


  • donor
  • Ethics
  • global health
  • health systems research
  • international research
  • justice
  • low and middle-income countries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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