New research shows that international aid from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria goes beyond battling disease and is linked to better governance in low- and middle-income countries. Critics in Washington and around the world have questioned international collaboration and have suggested aid efforts undermine long-term development. Instead, data from the study released today link Global Fund financing to improved control of corruption, rule of law, and overall development.

The study, Governance and Health Aid from the Global Fund: Effects Beyond Fighting Disease, notes that countries rely on strong systems of governance to sustainably combat disease. The authors write that the Global Fund has “innovative structures, unique to the architecture of aid, explicitly designed to improve governance and negate the distortions of aid financing” through participatory processes that promote transparency and financial accountability. Today’s study is the first to evaluate the impact of these efforts.

The research, published in Annals of Global Health, uses data from 112 countries over 15 years and finds “increased Global Fund financing is associated with better control of corruption, regulatory quality, voice and accountability, and rule of law,” key World Bank indicators of good governance.

The article was published along with a commentary from Ambassador Eric Goosby, MD, U.N. Special Envoy on Tuberculosis and former head of U.S. global AIDS programs.