With rigorous economic research and practical policy solutions, we focus on the issues and institutions that are critical to global development. Explore our core themes and topics to learn more about our work.
In timely and incisive analysis, our experts parse the latest development news and devise practical solutions to new and emerging challenges. Our events convene the top thinkers and doers in global development.
Featured Panelists Julia Kim
Cluster Leader, United Nations Development Programme Peter Lamptey
President, FHI 360 Mead Over
Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development Daniel Wikler
Professor of Population Ethics, Harvard School of Public Health
Moderated by Amie Batson
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Global Health, USAID
As past efforts to prevent new HIV infections have not been entirely successful, HIV prevention implementers are looking to innovative solutions. One challenge long-cited as an epidemic driver without an apparent solution, has been the lack of economic power and agency, particularly for women. Qualitative research has suggested that women in high burden HIV countries have limited ability to access goods they need (e.g. basic food stuffs, education) and want (e.g. mobile phone, cars). Material incentives – whether supply-driven incentives for the service providers to increase service coverage and quality, or demand-driven incentives such as for example cash, school fees assistance or consumer goods to increase service uptake and thereby increase the effectiveness of the service at a population level – could be part of the solution. However, for a number of reasons (including operational, technical and ethical), these types of programs have had a long and controversial history in public health, education, and economic disciplines. In the past five years, a number of studies have examined the possibility of using such incentives to prevent HIV infection, with mixed results. Should such programs be implemented on a wide scale? What does our experience with family planning and incentives tell us? Is providing material incentives, for example, to achieve sexual behavior change or get more men circumcised, to avoid more new HIV infections ethical? Is it sustainable or does it even need to be? This debate will explore the ethical considerations of this innovative type of HIV prevention and public health solution.