The Role of New Public Diplomacy in Global Tuberculosis Control

New public diplomacy has been defined as the efforts of non-governmental organizations, transnational groups, and sub-national actors to strategically engage foreign publics, sometimes alongside country governments and international agencies. In recent years, new public diplomacy has provided a link between global health policymakers and communities affected by the global tuberculosis (TB) epidemic.

Several non-governmental organizations and patient advocacy groups have crafted highly successful public diplomacy campaigns to lobby foreign governments, particularly the United States and the European Union, to obtain badly needed funding for health programs and life-saving medicines. The goal of this project is to understand how new public diplomacy can assist efforts to quell the TB epidemic and to identify the prerequisites for using public diplomacy in global health effectively.

The specific research questions guiding this project are as follows:

  • How can public diplomacy be used to benefit TB control worldwide? What are some examples of successful initiatives?
  • What is needed to launch and manage a public diplomacy campaign in global health? Can community groups in authoritarian political systems organize effectively?
  • How can the United States and other donor nations improve health-focused public diplomacy?

To find answers to these questions, this project will involve a targeted survey of ongoing public diplomacy activities in countries affected by TB, a thorough literature review, as well as in-depth interviews with public diplomacy strategists from key organizations. The results of this project will be described in a CPD Perspectives on Public Diplomacy publication. In addition, profiles of noteworthy initiatives launched by individual countries or transnational groups will be profiled in the CPD blog.