Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity


Buying Results: Contracting for Health Services in Developing Countries

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 12:30pm to 2:30pm

Center for Global Development
1800 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Third Floor, Washington, DC
May 24, 2006
12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.


April Harding
Senior Economist at the World Bank

Todd Moss
Research Fellow, Center for Global Development

with comments by

Ruth Levine
Director of Programs and Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development

Developing country governments and donors seeking ways to improve health care delivery have been experimenting with contracts with non-state entities, including firms and NGOs. Does this work? Yes, according to this review of global experience. Ten investigated examples will be discussed during this presentation to show that contracting for the delivery of primary care can be very effective and that improvements in health outcomes can be rapid. Many of the anticipated difficulties with contracting were either not observed in practice or did not compromise contracting effectiveness. Provision of a package of basic services by contractors cost about $3 to $6 per person per year in low-income countries. The presentation, based on a recent article in The Lancet, concludes with the recommendation that contracting for health service delivery should be expanded and that future efforts must include rigorous evaluations.

April Harding is a Senior Economist in the Human Development Department in the Latin America and Caribbean Region of the World Bank. Her primarily focus is on issues related to hospital reform and public policy toward the private health sector.

Seating is limited, please RSVP to

This is a brown bag seminar.