Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity


From Overall Fiscal Space to Budgetary Space for Health

Thursday, January 23, 2020 - 10:00am to 11:00am


Sanjeev Gupta, Senior Policy Fellow, Center for Global Development

Helene Barroy, Senior Health Financing Specialist, World Health Organization


Amanda Glassman, Executive Vice President and Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development


Please join us for this seminar with Sanjeev Gupta and Helene Barroy, who will present key findings from the paper From overall fiscal space to budgetary space for health.

The paper revisits the concept of fiscal space for health, arguing that overall fiscal space is determined by a multitude of factors and is forward-looking and dynamic in nature. A temporary fiscal stimulus could create fiscal space in the medium-term and improve debt sustainability. A deeper analysis of public spending on health patterns of 82 developing countries shows that, on average, two-thirds of budget for health stemmed from increased budgetary spending made possible by higher revenues and the remaining from increased prioritization of health by governments. Country-level evidence shows that significant efficiency gains in the health sector are possible, but resources thus saved do not necessarily translate into increased budgetary space for health. Improvements in Public Financial Management systems such as improving budget allocation and execution practices is a possible way forward for countries to free-up “unused revenues” for the sector.

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Related Experts

Photo of Amanda Glassman
Executive Vice President of CGD, CEO of CGD Europe, and Senior Fellow
Photo of Sanjeev Gupta
Senior Policy Fellow

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