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P53 American foundations and the creation of modern public health in China and India
  1. FNU Tiasangla1,2,3
  1. 1Harvard Yenching Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA
  2. 2Institute of Chinese Studies, India-China Comparative Studies, Delhi, India
  3. 3Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, India


Background American Foundations right from the historical to the present times are far from being philanthropic entity. These foundations since their inception have been closely tied to the American Influence and compliment both its military and technological power. Since the early years of their inception, major American Foundations like Rockefeller and Ford have been very influential in global development of public health, not only through their grant making but also by participating in shaping concepts and policies. There has always been an overt focus on technological solutions to social issues. Rockefeller Foundation was the first major American foundation to engage in public health issues in both China and India followed by Ford foundation in the early 50 s (India) and late 70 s (China) and finally the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation following its predecessors set its foot in Public health in the 21st century.

Methods This study looks at the differences in the scope, nature and depth of engagement of Rockefeller, Ford and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with focused health institutions and programmes in China and India from the early 20th century to the present. This study plans to trace the Historical development of these three big American Philanthropic Foundations in depth, the world of Philanthropic giving, its impact on knowledge construction, social policies and the agenda that it sets to fulfill.

This study plans to adopt a qualitative method in which Archival study and indepth interviews of key informants will be the main source of data collection.

Discussion With its sheer size and increasing number, American Philanthropic Organizations have become an influential actor in international policy debates especially in the field of global health. At a time when governments are unable to solve pressing public health challenges, Foundations with its strategic business methods is positioning itself as an alternative and operating model. These aid over the decade have infact created sustainable elite networks that, on the whole, supported American policies ranging from liberalism in the 1950s (Rockefeller, Ford and Carnegie) to neo-liberalism in the 21st century (MacArthur, Clinton, Gates, Johnson). Rockefeller, Ford and Gates Foundation are the global major players. What Rockefeller started, followed by Ford in the 20th century public health has been taken over by Gates Foundation into a whole new level in terms of both funding and influence. All three foundations have been active players in governing public health discourses in both China and India.

  • Public Health
  • Rockefeller
  • Ford
  • Gates
  • China
  • India

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