Regional organisations can effectively promote regional health diplomacy and governance through engagement with regional social policy. Regional bodies make decisions about health challenges in the region, for example, the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the World Health Organisation South East Asia Regional Office (WHO-SEARO). The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has a limited health presence as a regional organisation and diplomatic partner in health governance. This article identifies how SADC facilitates and coordinates health policy, arguing that SADC has the potential to promote regional health diplomacy and governance through engagement with regional social policy. The article identifies the role of global health diplomacy and niche diplomacy in health governance. The role of SADC as a regional organisation and the way it functions is then explained, focusing on how SADC engages with health issues in the region. Recommendations are made as to how SADC can play a more decisive role as a regional organisation to implement South–South management of the regional social policy, health governance and health diplomacy agenda.
Pinfold, E.; Fourie, P. Regional health governance: A suggested agenda for Southern African health diplomacy. Global Social Policy (2015) 15 (3) 278-295. [DOI: 10.1177/1468018115599817]