The Ford Foundation's early involvement in global AIDS and grants to Indian AIDS NGOs

by Reiko Kanazawa

Jan 1, 2017
This PhD project is a global, national and local history of the Indian National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) from 1986 to 2005. During my six-week research trip at the Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC) in Tarrytown, New York, I mainly examined the RAC's holdings of the Ford Foundation's files on AIDS in the Human Rights and Governance Program, Ford's grants to Indian AIDS NGOs, as well as some material on the Rockefeller Foundation and other American foundations. These records have contributed an essential perspective on how Ford situated itself within the broader response of global health organisations and other international bureaucracies in regards to how the AIDS epidemic in developing countries should be dealt with. They demonstrate that the Ford Foundation, as an American philanthropy, had been an active voice in early discussions of how the disease should be tackled in developing world contexts. Most significantly, they show how Ford -- as one of the first international agencies active before 1992 -- had a distinct strategy for its AIDS work in India and its relationship with Indian civil society. This strategy was defined primarily by the Foundation's perception that issues of social development and the social impact of AIDS were under-addressed by other international health agencies as well as the Government of India through its National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO).
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