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CGD Policy Blogs

 

Top 10 Posts of 2013 on the Global Health Policy Blog

Value for money was at the top of our agenda this year, so I was pleased to see the topic also top the list of CGD’s most popular Global Health Policy blogs in 2013.  The rest of this year’s list is a mixed bag, reflecting a number of debates that will likely stick around in 2014 (data for development, universal health coverage, and the state of global health financing, to name a few). 

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:

Making Dollars and Sense from PEPFAR’s Financial Flows

As the largest bilateral donor in global health, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is unequaled in its reach and impact. Yet despite its larger-than-life profile, we’ve found that the details of its implementation arrangements and decision-making often remains obscure to the longstanding chagrin of global health observers.  Among the common questions: Where does scarce PEPFAR funding go? Which countries and implementers receive the bulk of PEPFAR funds? And what factors influence PEPFAR’s allocation of resources across recipient countries?

Who Runs the (Global Health) World?

This is a joint post with Rachel Silverman. 

In her classic 2011 anthem, Beyonce posited that it was girls “who run the world.” Yet in the world of global health, we worry that Beyonce may be mistaken – from our observations, it appears that women remain severely underrepresented in top leadership positions.

Meet the Global Health Family: A Cheat Sheet

This is a joint post with Rachel Silverman.

Through our Value for Money working group, we’ve spent much of the past year immersed in the world of global health funding agencies. With so many new agencies, particularly in the last quarter century (Figure 1), understanding the intricacies of the global health family can be daunting, even for the most devoted observers.

Experimentation for Better Health: Lessons from the US for Global Health

In recent weeks, the public health world and political pundits alike have been abuzz about results from the “Oregon Experiment,” a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that finds no statistical link between expanded Medicaid coverage and health outcomes such as high cholesterol or hypertension. Limitations of the study aside, the Oregon Experiment is a good example of the importance of rigorously testing all US health programs, rather than just assuming ‘more care = better health’.  The Innovation Center at the United States Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, created under the umbrella of the Affordable Care Act, represents a new and encouraging approach to address this problem, an approach that we think has important lessons for global health.

The Paper-to-Policy Pipeline: Reflections from Evidence Live 2013

Alongside Victoria Fan, I recently attended the Evidence Live conference in Oxford, hosted by the BMJ and Oxford’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM). While the conference’s clinical focus was outside my normal global health/economics comfort zone, I was immensely impressed by the rigor, candor, and nuance of discussion, particularly around tough issues like publication bias and conflict of interest.

Institute of Medicine Pushes PEPFAR on Data Collection, Disclosure

The Institute of Medicine, the prestigious health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, has weighed in with a massive report on the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the multibillion dollar US effort to confront the epidemic in the developing world. The evaluation validates PEPFAR’s enormous reach during its first 10 years and identifies concrete actions that Congress and PEPFAR should take for the program to become more sustainable moving forward.

What We’re Looking For in the IOM Report on PEPFAR

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) will soon release its much anticipated report evaluating the implementation of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Conducted at the request of Congress, the forthcoming report should follow up on points raised by a previous IOM report (2007), which provided a “short-term evaluation” of implementation after PEPFAR’s first three years, and which was soon followed by PEPFAR’s Congressional reauthorization in 2008. The new report is expected to broadly assess the cumulative performance of US HIV/AIDS programs, with two main tasks:

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