Sustainability Science Program

Manoela Assayag

Manoela Assayag

Manoela AssayagMs. Manoela Assayag
Sustainability Science Program
Kennedy School of Government
Mailbox 81
Harvard University
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
Office: 502 Rubenstein Building
Tel: (1) 617-496-0739
Email: manoela_assayag@hks.harvard.edu
Group affiliation: Giorgio Ruffolo Doctoral Research Fellow

Manoela Assayag is a Giorgio Ruffolo Doctoral Research Fellow in the Sustainability Science Program and a PhD candidate in International Relations and Political Science at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. Her doctoral research focuses on the conditions for successful issue entrepreneurship and the politics of priority setting on the global health agenda. She focuses on advocacy coalition formation at the global level and on the various sources of power and resources that issue entrepreneurs use to advance their goals. Manoela is contributing to collaborative work with the Initiative on Innovation and Access to Technologies for Sustainable Development led by William Clark. She was previously affiliated with the Centre for International Environmental Studies in Geneva, where she worked on a multi-year project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation on the governance entrepreneurship of international organizations and the rise of global public-private partnerships. Her previous experience includes several teaching assistantships and a research fellowship funded by the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) to study transnational activism for access to medicines in IBSA countries (India, Brazil, and South Africa) in view of the evolution of the global intellectual property regime. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro and a Master in Political Science from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. She is a former recipient of a Hans Wilsdorf Foundation scholarship. Her faculty host is William Clark.

Governing sustainability: How do peaks of issue attention drive innovation and access to innovation in health?
The project asks whether peaks of issue attention contribute to innovation in governance institutions, health technology and/or means and mechanisms for access to medical technology.

The crosscutting nature of sustainable development requires attention to health, as high prevalence of illness in the population compromises other goals. The adoption of this approach acknowledges the broadening of the meaning of health and the thickening of the institutional framework, with more actors and interests seeking representation. Decision-making and priority-setting have become more complex. This complexity brings the difficulty of harmonizing strategies. This project asks whether peaks of issue attention contribute to innovation in governance institutions, health technology and/or means and mechanisms for access to medical technology. It advances the idea that only some health issues capture global policy attention and lead to collective solutions.  The project focuses on global advocacy coalition formation and on the various sources of power and resources that issue entrepreneurs use. It argues that the ability to forge ties with gatekeepers or enabling platforms and the ability to leverage various sources of power and use it strategically make issue entrepreneurs more likely to succeed in achieving issue attention. It seeks to understand innovation and access to innovation through looking at implementation. The framework facilitates understanding whether peaks of attention enable more innovation in governance and greater access to innovation in health. In view of the Post-2015 Development Agenda, it looks at the challenges to innovation and access to innovation for issues critical to sustainability: neglected diseases and non-communicable diseases. Using qualitative content and network analysis the project builds on documental research and interviews with practitioners, donors, and other stakeholders.

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