In November the World Health Organization will select its next regional director for Africa. As we wrote in a previous blog, this position is not posted publicly and is without an independent mechanism in place to recommend, interview, and evaluate the best qualified candidates.
CGD Policy Blogs
In November, the World Health Organization will select its next regional director for Africa. As we wrote in a previous blog, this position is not posted publicly and has no independent mechanism in place to recommend, interview, and evaluate the best qualified candidates.
One of the most important jobs in the world will be decided in early November: the World Health Organization’s (WHO) next regional director for Africa. With an annual budget of more than US$1 billion (about 30 percent of the WHO budget) and responsibility for “leadership in matters critical to health,” the person in charge could make a huge difference for health in Africa where much of the world’s disease burden is concentrated. However, the position has not been posted publicly and there is no independent mechanism in place to recommend, interview and evaluate the best qualified candidates.
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.
Immunization saves millions of lives, is among the most cost-effective health interventions ever developed, and has attracted a great deal of attention and funding from public and private donors in recent years. Indeed, global health leaders have committed to making this the ‘Decade of Vaccines’ with the vision of delivering universal access to immunization by 2020, and the World Health Organization has put out a Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) to serve as a blueprint to achieving this goal.
This week the World Health Organization held a major international meeting on universal health coverage (UHC), with Director General Margaret Chan reaffirming her regard for universal coverage “as the single most powerful concept that public health has to offer.” While the term “universal” signals that the entire population will be “covered,” an unanswered question is: covered with what? Another way to put the question: What health benefits or interventions would represent coverage, taking into account UHC’s implicit goals of improved health, equity and financial protection?
This week the World Health Organization made dementia a priority, while Jim Kim—next in line for the World Bank—chose his as job creation. “Priority” is a word that is often used in global health and development when calling for increased attention to or funding of specific diseases, services, or interventions. But when facing a limited budget (as most low- and middle-income countries are) how can countries best sort multiple priorities into effective, sustainable policies?
WHO’s Executive Board met last month to review progress on reforms at the agency. Among the documents distributed to the Board, there is a report on plans for priority-setting amongst the WHO’s 213 projects run by 8 organizational divisions and 15 regional and special offices.
Everyone agrees that WHO should set priorities in an era of declining resources and eroding purchasing power, but how?
The Director-General’s report is an early effort to figure this out.