This section summarises the key opportunities and political pathways discussed that need to be developed to advance the adoption of GPI principles.
- Southern leadership: Dialogue and cocreation of GPI principles in the global South must be supported and resourced to further contextualise and build ownership of the GPI value proposition in lower- and middle-income countries. Building on this, key policy spaces and processes need to be engaged and influenced, including those of the UN, World Bank, G20, DAC, Pandemic Accord, Future of Global Health Initiatives process, the African Climate Summit, the Pandemic Fund, the Regional Vaccine Manufacturing, as well as the post-SDG 2030 framework.
- Regional focus: The GPI principles were considered very relevant at the regional level, and the concept of regional public investments is gaining traction in Africa. There is growing political commitment in Africa to build intraregional solidarity and economic integration, as seen in the revitalisation of regional projects like the African Continental Free Trade Area and Agenda 2063. In addition, there is a solid and growing movement for South-South cooperation. GPI principles can strengthen these efforts by providing a framework to broker partnerships for investment and collaboration for common goods. Therefore, work must continue to embed GPI principles in regional initiatives, such as the African Regional Vaccine Hub, expansion of the JETP model to Southeast Asia, and cooperation within the Amazon bioregion. Regional adoption of GPI principles would provide significant leadership for global adoption.
- New and existing institutions can benefit from GPI principles but represent different challenges and opportunities. Existing institutions have greater path dependency and embedded interests. Therefore, they are harder to change, yet institutions such as the World Bank and the DAC have the most significant influence over the mode and norms of development cooperation and represent the greatest opportunity if reformed. On the other hand, new institutions are easier to influence during their inception. Yet, their influence is relatively marginal, and the arrival of new funds contributes to fragmentation as well as the risk of their own ongoing institutional path-dependency, taking up precious focus and resources if they do not achieve their intended goals. On this basis, a cautious strategy must be maintained of advocating for the adoption of GPI principles as an overarching framework, as well as advocacy on multiple fronts, for example, the Pandemic Fund’s governance, as well as the G20, World Bank and DAC reform.
- Issue-specific application of GPI: the discussants regarded the GPI principles as broadly helpful and transformative but highlighted that the GPI value proposition needs to be further contextualised in specific global commons applications as each policy context is different. Aligned with this, proof of concept and piloting in any single issue will produce momentum in other areas. Some of the common applications that discussants considered GPI particularly useful for were ecosystems and biodiversity, oceans and water, JETP, food security, the Pandemic Fund and regional vaccine manufacturing.
“Don’t make GPI a strait jacket; continue to be searchers and not planners… Let it be tested and developed in different sectors and regions; seek momentum.”
- Conceptual and analytical development: GPI principles are already in practice to an extent in several funds, such as the Global Fund and the Green Environment Facility. Further analysis of existing examples will help to demonstrate 1) the benefits and challenges of applying GPI principles, 2) how to secure the adoption of GPI principles, and 3) the impact of a lack of GPI principles. Work is also needed to define ‘common good’ to distinguish the relationship between national and global benefitsand develop the indicators and measurements of how ‘all benefit’. In addition, a referential framework (or glossary) would help strengthen and speed up understanding and communication of the GPI principles, as they can be interpreted to refer to many things, which has ‘constructive ambiguity’ up to a point but now needs to become more specific to bring political stakeholders on board.
- Role of the private sector: While GPI emphasises the role of public money, the role of the private sector is critical and must be further conceptualised. Building on the concept of ‘collective value production’(which emphasises the need for governments to engage in active market shaping towards public benefits) the pay-out terms for GPI funds can seed private investment in public goods, set clearer public-benefit terms on publicly funded contracts, and strengthen governance of corporate activities, including across global value chains, to better serve public benefits. JETPs are one example of such active market shaping, using public money to direct private-sector engagement in a public good. A clearer conception of the role of the private sector within a GPI arrangement is particularly important for demonstrating the value proposition to ministries of finance who are concerned with leveraging private sector investment. Developing the analysis and role of the private sector in a GPI arrangement and any other public-private partnership, requires better metrics to assess the quality of partnerships.
- Category 2 policy adoption: The Norwegian proposal for a ‘Category 2’ of additional financing for global public goods is a simple but powerful framing to protect the poverty-reduction focus of ODA while increasing funding for global challenges. Work is needed to embed this proposal into policy, both within Norway and internationally. The GPI principles can strengthen equitable international cooperation around Category 2. Therefore, work is needed to develop a GPI framework for Category 2 and embed this in the adoption of a Category 2 approach.
- Recommendation: a follow-up dialogue is necessary to develop how to advance the Category 2 proposal and how the GPI principles can be embedded into this new international norm
- A deal-making framework for the Brazil G29 Presidency: The GPI principles can support deal-making within the G20 process. The G20 is also a key forum where the utilisation of GPI principles would influence the norms of numerous international financing and cooperation mechanisms. Therefore, the Brazilian G20 Presidency should be a priority focus for advocacy, as the discussion will be grappling with crucial questions of global commons (e.g., the Amazon biosphere), regional development and middle-income country ownership of and contribution to international cooperation.
The meeting advanced critical political questions on the role of GPI principles in promoting a GCGA and the pathway to their implementation. The GPI principles provide a new narrative and framework to strengthen cooperation and commitment to securing a GCGA beyond the scope of ODA. There is broad interest and appetite for the GPI principles at all country-income levels and among civil society. To capitalise on this opportunity, significant work is needed to socialise and cocreate the application of the GPI principles with stakeholders in different common-good contexts to develop further the incentives and accountability mechanisms, as well as to influence key financing discussions, including the G20 process and the Norwegian Category 2 policy proposal.
Angela Apedoh, Khalil Elouardighi, Paulo Esteves and Hugh Reed
Wilton Park | 21st June 2023
 The Pandemic Fund has been a central point of focus and has seen some progress for GPI adoption, thanks to concerted civil society advocacy, to improve what was, from an equity and participation lens initially, a very retrograde governance model. Critical next steps for making the Pandemic Fund more GPI-oriented include developing a robust resource mobilisation mechanism informed by GPI principles. The Secretariat must also increase engagement with countries to secure greater contributions and commitments. Questions remain on disbursing current funding and ways to manage demand for more sustainable funding.
About Equal International
Equal International is a specialist international development think tank based in the UK and South Africa, which uses technical expertise to lead cocreation, thought leadership, policy research and advocacy to address marginalisation, the rights of those at risk of being ‘left behind’, and the drivers of inequality. Equal International has supported GPI’s cocreation since the idea’s inception, including functioning as the Secretariat to the Expert Working Group on Global Public Investment.
This meeting was made possible thanks to the support of the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Open Society Foundations, the Ford Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
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