Policy Transfer and Bureaucratic Influence in the United Nations. The case of AIDS
This paper focuses on the circulation of policy ideas within the United Nations (UN) system. Based upon a study of UNAIDS, the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS, it shows how international bureaucracies can capitalize on policy-oriented information and knowledge to strengthen their autonomy and consolidate their authority within their own environment. Using a policy transfer approach as its analytical framework, the paper draws particular attention to the UNAIDS Secretariat, considered as a “transfer entrepreneur.” It argues that in the 2000s, the Secretariat has demonstrated a capacity to collect, develop and disseminate policy ideas on the epidemic and, consequently, has gradually participated in UN policy development. It thus suggests that the Secretariat has extended its authority within the UN system despite a restricted mandate and low resources. In conclusion, the paper points out the need to examine policy transfer among international organizations through actors, interests, and strategies, as a complement to holistic approaches.
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