We are a global community of academics dedicated to confronting and transforming rules and practices that perpetuate and aggravate poverty and inequality. At a time of unprecedented challenge and uncertainty, our mission of supporting the most impoverished, marginalised and discriminated, while fighting for a fairer and more just world has never been more critical.
ASAP Global channels its funding through our network of national Chapters who, being at the forefront of the academia-policy interface, are equipped to leverage evidence to effectively advocate and affect change. Your financial support allows us to continue this important work.
How would your contribution help us to tackle the world’s most pressing poverty-related issues?
Over it’s ten years, ASAP has been a leader championing for change on many fronts of the global poverty problem. Part of our uniqueness is the ability to draw on the expertise of our membership, which includes an extensive array of world class academics from across diverse disciplines. Some of the networks most notable achievements include:
Health Impact Fund
The HIF aims to incentivise the development of new medicines for the global poor by delinking the price of drugs from the cost of research.
The project is led by Thomas Pogge (ASAP founder and Global Board member), and economist Aidan Hollis.
As currently designed, pharmaceutical markets have a fundamental flaw that mainly affects poor people: the development of new medicines is funded exclusively through markups protected by patents. This flaw causes research neglect of diseases concentrated among the poor. It deprives poor people of access to patented medicines even when these can be mass-produced cheaply. HIF will address this flaw by creating complementary incentives that decouple the price of medicines from the fixed costs of innovation and cover the latter through health impact rewards by encouraging pharmaceutical innovators to register new drugs for participation in ten consecutive annual payouts. Each round of payment is divided among registered products according to health gains achieved the preceding year. These reward payments will enable innovators to recoup their R&D expenses and make appropriate profits while, at the same time, allowing the price of these registered medicines to be capped – covering merely their lowest feasible cost of manufacture and distribution. The result will be more affordable drugs to those in middle and lower income countries.
The first step is a 5 year pilot. Find out more about how the Health Impact Fund is progressing.
Manifesto Poverty Audits
ASAP has developed a methodology and approach for critically reviewing the impact of policies on poverty levels. Called Poverty Audits, the organisation has over the past five years supported multiple country Chapters to conduct audits around national elections.
ASAP Oceania were the first to pilot the audits in 2013. They produced a ground-breaking assessment looking into the manifestos of the three major Australian political parties. The report sets out the implications of the policies for poverty alleviation in key areas including: education, Indigenous policy, housing, foreign aid, migration and many others. Read the report here. Five years on, in 2018, the Oceania Chapter expanded this work to critically review the Australian Government’s progress towards the SDGs. Called: Australia, Poverty, and the Sustainable Development Goals, the report lays out evidence clearly setting out why further action is needed and makes a series of recommendations. Both reports coordinated experts in multiple dimensions of poverty to write brief, accessible responses to Government policy.
The Poverty Audit approach has also been adopted by ASAP Chapters in the UK and Canada, similarly reviewing the policy platforms of major political parties running during national elections. The UK Audit in 2017 saw 29 academics from 23 Universities analyse the running manifestos of the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties on 12 key poverty-related topics. The report gained widespread media attention and acclaim. Find out more about the methodology, the report itself, and listen to ASAP Global Executive Cat Tully talking about the project on the ASAP UK’s poverty audit website.
To build on these past successes, one of the priorities for ASAP Global is to support more Chapters to conduct these innovative appraisals. They are effective means to hold parties and governments to account for their actions to address poverty at home within a country but also towards global commitments, such as through the SDGs.
Producing the Oslo Principles
In 2012, a group of legal experts from around the world, convened by Dutch Advocate-General Jaap Spier and ASAP co-founder Thomas Pogge set out to answer a pressing climate crisis-related question: how much do human rights and other sources of law require each state to do to reduce emissions, even in the absence of a specific treaty?
Greenhouse gas emissions that were escalating at the time, but that continue to rise at an alarming rate still today, stand to compromise the rights of billions of people around the world. Yet, there was an evident lack of explicit treaties legally binding states to curb their emissions. This was the problem the experts set out to resolve.
After several years of extensive legal research and discussions the group undersigned a set of principles at a meeting in Oslo, Norway, which were adopted in March 2015 as the Oslo Principles on Global Climate Change Obligations. The principles detail how international laws such as human rights law and tort law may already require states to reduce their emissions, irrespective of other specific treaties. This work was subsequently expanded to include an examination of the obligations of private enterprises to prevent climate change. Find out more about the impact of these initiatives on the Global Justice Programme website at Yale University.
Redefining Migration Discourse
In June 2019, ASAP Global in partnership with Club de Madrid and Global Justice Now, held a colloquium that brought together a focussed group of interdisciplinary specialists from academia, policy and civil society.
Much of the global narrative around migration seeks to perpetuate dishonest and emotive narratives that distort wider public understandings and cast migrants as negative and disruptive influences on economies and social order. The event aimed to bring together expert knowledge to understand how we can create a significant shift in the positioning of the migration debate.
The panel discussed how current accounts of migration are grounded in deep structural inequalities. Therefore, there is a need to reframe public policy and discourse towards a more sympathetic environment for migration that focuses on the universality of humans. It would encourage a politics of kindness and should be much more closely connected with wider global issues associated with development and the distribution of capital.
To build on the success of the London event we are currently organising a series of follow up workshops that will explore what a more positive migrant discourse looks like and how, as a network, we can use this to shape recommendations that can transform political and public perceptions of migrants.
The Future of ASAP
2020 is an exciting time for the ASAP network. Interest in our work is rapidly growing, not only at the membership level for established Chapters but also new Chapters which we currently see growing in six new countries.
At the same time, we are in the genesis of working with country leads to create a programme of inter-Chapter collaborative research projects for 2021. These stand to produce cutting edge evidence on the most pressing poverty problems the world is facing.
Your donation will enable us to carry out this vital work. From the ASAP Network family, THANK YOU.