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Advancing Global Public Investment (GPI)

Monday 5 – Wednesday 7 June 2023 | WP3231

Connected world

Wilton Park partnered with Equal International to convene a discussion on how the principles of global public investment (GPI) can help advance a global common good agenda (GCGA). The meeting convened diverse stakeholders, including former and current policy makers, civil society, think tanks and foundations, in a cocreation dialogue to examine the political appetite and pathway for the adoption of GPI principles to address critical global challenges.

The meeting covered key issues, including:

Section 1: The need for a new pact on a global common good agenda

  • The definition and characteristics of a GCGA, the need for a clear definition of common objectives (identifying the global element of national interests), and the need for better means of cooperation than currently exists, a gap which a GPI arrangement was seen to fill.

“GPI can serve as a framework of principles to guide different funds for global common goods.” [1]

Section 2: The political landscape for the adoption of GPI

The need for new terms of engagement
  • GPI provides a ‘deal-making’ framework to facilitate dialogue, trust and cooperation.
  • GPI is most usefully seen and applied as a framework of principles to establish a new norm and narrative for cooperation, solidarity and equity for institutions and funds.
Structure of contributions
  • Concentric convergent differentiation (wherein countries’ responsibilities and efforts to act/contribute are assessed based on capacity) can develop context-appropriate commitments and contributions to a GPI mechanism with a “global commitment towards increasing ambition” over time.
  • A Norwegian Expert Committee on International Development report recommends that the Government of Norway should establish a specific modality (Category 2) of development finance targeting global public goods, in addition to overseas development assistance (ODA). This framing of a particular modality for additional funding for global goods was seen as a simple but powerful policy recommendation that can shift the norm and narrative around additionality. Work is needed to secure the recommendation into policy within Norway and internationally. GPI principles can further strengthen multilateral cooperation and solidarity around Category 2 spending internationally.
  • The principle of ‘all contribute’ needs to take account of the minimal fiscal space many low-income countries are operating within, particularly due to debt burdens. A GPI framework needs to ensure flexibility for these net recipients. In-kind contributions via national capabilities should also be considered for these countries.

Section 3: Next steps and opportunities in the following 18 months.

  • Southern leadership must continue to be supported and resourced to ensure the GPI value proposition is further contextualised based on low- and middle-income country needs. Advocacy towards key global and regional policy processes should stem from and be anchored in this southern leadership.
  • Regional applications of GPI principles are currently the most politically viable opportunity and will provide leadership for global adoption.
  • A cautious strategy of targeting both new and existing funds and institutions should be taken, building on political momentum and testing issue-specific mechanisms.
  • The Norway Category 2 proposal requires domestic and international advocacy to secure Category 2 as a new norm. The GPI principles should be injected into this advocacy to build international equity and co-responsibility around global common goods.
  • Concerted advocacy is necessary to capitalise on the Brazilian G20 Presidency to embed GPI principles within international cooperation and financing discussions. Brazil is a key middle-income country engaged in globally significant regional commons challenges (e.g., the Amazon).
  • Further conceptual and analytical work is needed to understand examples of GPI principles in practice better and to develop the indicators and accountability mechanisms for a GPI arrangement.
  • The role of the private sector needs to be explored further. Through a ‘market-shaping for common good’ lens, there are many ways that public funding can incentivise private sector investment in common goods, such as seed funding and subsidies, the terms of publicly-funded contracts and Intellectual Property.


The briefing paper for this meeting set out a fundamental challenge and opportunity: a GCGA to tackle critical global challenges desperately needs effective multilateral institutions. This meeting was convened to explore how the GPI principles of ‘all contribute, all benefit, and all decide’ can help to develop the effective multilateralism that a GCGA needs.

Building on a political demand analysis conducted by Equal International (summarised in the briefing paper) and a global cocreation and advocacy movement, this meeting brought together a multistakeholder group, including former decision-makers, policy-makers, think tanks, civil society and foundations. Together, they examined the political pathway for adopting GPI principles as a transformative solution and a new framework for international cooperation around global commons issues. They also discussed how the GPI value proposition can be strengthened to influence key policy processes in the next 18 months.

The meeting aimed to:

  • explore the need for a GCGA and the role GPI principles can play in advancing it.
  • examine the political pathways and value proposition for GPI adoption by hearing political insights from primarily southern decision-makers, policy-makers, think tanks and civil society.
  • identify opportunities for collaboration and coordination between participants and their organisations to take discussions on GPI forward.

This report summarises the main themes and takeaway messages from the meeting. It comprises the following sections: 1) The need for a new pact on a GCGA, 2) The political landscape for adoption of GPI, and 3) Next steps and opportunities in the following 18 months.

[1]     All quotes in this document are from meeting participants


The political landscape for the adoption of GPI

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