Scientific cooperation

Beyond “business as usual”: Lessons from FIFA for fair benefit-sharing in global health

26 June 2024

While researchers and agencies from low- and middle-income countries often contribute significantly to public health surveillance data, which is crucial for effective pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response activities, they often do not receive adequate compensation for their contributions. Incentivizing data sharing is important for informing public health responses to pathogens with pandemic potential. However, existing data sharing legal frameworks have limitations.

In this context, this article, co-authored by the Paris Peace Forum, looks beyond “business as usual” to explore the applicability of a benefit-sharing model developed and implemented by the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) in international association football. This model rewards grassroots contributions and redistributes benefits, promoting a fair balance of interests across diverse economic contexts.

This article discusses adapting FIFA's mechanisms, including training compensation and solidarity payments, to create a novel benefit-sharing framework in global health. Given the complexity of global health, authors note ways in which components of the FIFA model would need to be adapted for global health. Challenges such as integrating into existing legal frameworks, ensuring broad international buy-in, and accommodating different pandemic periods are examined. While adapting the FIFA model presents challenges, it offers a promising approach to achieving more equitable data sharing and benefit distribution in global health.

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