My recent blog on cash transfers as a tool for HIV prevention among adolescent girls and young women left out results from a number of recent evaluations that illustrate the importance of program design and, in particular, targeting the transfers to the poorest households in getting results in wellbeing. Tia Palermo, a social policy specialist with the Transfer Project at UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti and UNC-Chapel Hill, wrote with an update, which I’m pleased to share with her permission.
CGD Policy Blogs
The United Kingdom, in its new Aid Strategy out this week, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have jointly announced the creation of a £1 billion Ross Fund (named after a pioneering scientist) to fight malaria and neglected tropical diseases. But why not use the existing Global Fund for the new initiative instead of creating yet another health-related fund, of which the world is already lumbered with too many?
Since the start of FP2020’s endeavor to mobilize increased global effort on family planning as a means to empower women and improve health, about 24 million more women with reported unmet need are using contraception. But much remains to be done; a comparison of commitments and baselines in 2012 to mid-2015 makes clear that the global effort must overcome several hurdles to meet its 2020 aspirations.
Globally, over a billion people are likely to experience a mental disorder in their lifetime, with the majority in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). Mental illnesses are responsible for 7.4% of global disease burden, and frequently among the top causes of disability including in middle-income countries. These illnesses impose a severe economic burden not only on the individuals suffering from these illnesses but on their families, communities, healthcare systems, and governments.
No one said creating development impact bonds (DIB) was going to be easy, but that hasn’t stopped the development community from trying to get them off the ground. The Fred Hollows Foundation, based in Australia, has been hard at work on a DIB to address cataract blindness in Africa. As the Foundation attracts partners to help fund and implement a pilot of the cataract bond, Dr. Lachlan McDonald, the Foundation’s senior health economist, and Alex Rankin, their Global Lead for Policy, Advocacy & Research, shared some lessons learned so far. With Lachlan and Alex’s permission, we’re turning some of those lessons over to you – we hope they’re useful to others seeking to move ahead with their own DIB.
In Washington, rumor has it that the United States will bring commitments on domestic resource mobilization (DRM) and data to the table at the Financing for Development Conference this month in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. As we get down to the wire, our fingers are crossed that the US government will take this opportunity to be ambitious and offer robust packages in both these areas. Here’s what that could look like.
In Health Spending, Middle-Income Countries Face a Priorities Ditch, Not a Financing Ditch – But That Still Merits Aid
After a successful replenishment earlier this year, the board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, is thinking through how to maximize the impact of the money it has raised. One hot issue is graduation from Gavi support. Currently, the Alliance uses an income cutoff loosely based on eligibility for IDA — soft loans from the World Bank.
In the big federal countries where global disease burden is concentrated, most public money for health isn’t ultimately spent by the national ministry of health, the traditional counterpart for global health funders and technical agencies.
Like others, we’ve written lots about Ebola over the past weeks: the insufficient funding and effort to the response in West Africa, the importance of well-qualified leadership at WHO, the role of health systems in disease response, the futility of travel bans, among others. It’s rare that global health issues are so continuously in the public debate.