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CGD Policy Blogs


Global Health Halloween: Sick or Treat?

This is a joint post with Rachel Silverman, consultant and candidate for MPhil in Public Health at the University of Cambridge.

On Halloween, children and adults alike pay tribute to history’s most frightening fictional characters – monsters, witches, super-villains, and the list goes on. But one need not search under beds or deep in closets for spooks and scares. Many of the most terrifying Halloween archetypes have very real counterparts, with very real health consequences:

A Question of Quality: Why Retention Matters for AIDS Treatment

Counting the number of patients on treatment is no longer enough.  For years even the friendliest critics of the global struggle against AIDS have pointed out that this metric unfairly neglects the people who are not put on treatment and then die, largely because their deaths are uncounted except in so far as they increase the treatment “coverage rate.”  This diverts attention from the challenge of assuring that patients are retained on treatment and remain alive and healthy, rather than failing treatment and dying, sometimes after only a few months.  

Cash Transfers and Deeper Causes of Poverty

The Economist’s take on the Give Directly evaluation argues that unconditional cash transfers (UCT) “don’t deal with the deeper causes of poverty.”  The article cites Baird and co-authors’ review showing that vigorously enforced conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs generate larger effects on school enrollment than UCT, and suggests that CCT are thus better positioned to address the root causes of poverty.

PEPFAR’s Impending Leadership Transition

It appears that the worst kept secret in Washington is out: Ambassador Goosby is expected to step down as Global AIDS Coordinator later this year. As CGD has done for similar leadership transitions, we are working on a report to examine the future direction of PEPFAR and consider which tasks PEPFAR’s next leader should put near the top of the program’s list of priorities. One preliminary conclusion: Goosby’s successor will certainly face programmatic challenges, but the political ones may prove to be more difficult.

More Health for the Money: Highlights from the Launch Event

Our recent report, More Health for the Money, aims to answer the question: How can the Global Fund save more lives with the billions it spends each year to combat AIDS, TB and malaria?  So at our recent launch event, we put this question to a panel of experts (and a room full of practitioners and policy makers) to highlight where progress on value for money is being made, and where room for improvement remains. 

The Results Are In! Incentives for Improving Health in Argentina

Argentina is a highly decentralized federal country, where more than 70% of public spending on health happens sub-nationally by independent provincial governments. Since budgetary transfers between levels of government have no conditions attached, the federal government has often struggled to influence the efficiency and impact of provincial government spending.