Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Working Groups

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Current Working Groups

Hospital Collaborative for Emerging Markets

Despite their centrality to health systems worldwide, hospital policy and performance in low- and middle-income countries has largely been neglected by health policymakers and the development community. This study group will shape a strategic vision for a hospital collaborative that will aim to improve the performance of hospitals as contributors to health in emerging markets while strengthening their integration in the broader health delivery system.

Data for African Development

The quality, availability, timeliness and use of basic economic and demographic data to inform policy remain significant challenges across Africa. These challenges stem in part from limitations in technical know-how and qualified human resources, but also from the barriers created by misaligned political and institutional incentives within governments and persistent difficulties in aid coordination from donors. As a result there is a huge need for better examination of the political economy challenges faced by donors and countries.

Value for Money: An Agenda for Global Health Funding Agencies

As international commitments become more ambitious and aid resources become increasingly constrained, global health funding agencies are seeking ways to improve the efficiency and impact of their investments. CGD’s Value for Money working group, led by Amanda Glassman, will provide targeted recommendations for global health funding agencies to increase impact per dollar spent and create conditions for sustainable investments in health.

Priority-Setting Institutions for Global Health

If you have $200 to spend on health in a developing country, would you vaccinate 10 children against deadly childhood diseases or provide AIDS treatment to one woman to prevent transmission of HIV to her unborn child? Policy makers routinely face such tough budgetary dilemmas with little expert guidance. The working group is investigating practical means to assist priority-setting efforts in low- and middle-income countries. [June 2011-Present]

Publish What You Buy

Publishing government contracts can bring many benefits: companies, especially new bidders, have a clearer idea of the goods and services they will bid to provide; governments benefit from increased competition among contractors and product quality; and civil society would have the opportunity to keep track on the value for the money invested and the service delivery. Despite the multiple benefits, contract publication also generates concerns regarding the potential administrative and financial and burden on contracting parties, issues of national and commercial secrecy, and possible facilitation of collusion among bidders. The Working Group will discuss these concerns and efficient ways to address them while maximizing transparency.

 

Past Working Groups

 

Clinical Trials and Regulatory Pathways for Neglected Diseases Working Group

The working group will produce a final policy report identifying practical and feasible actions to address the persistent challenges of late stage clinical development for neglected disease products. It will outline the responsibilities these different global actors should bear, while pointing out opportunities and needs at the local, national, and intra-institutional levels. The report will include case studies that model and test the recommended approaches against existing clinical trial data to demonstrate the feasibility and potential time, money, and lives saved.
[August 2010 - October 2011]

UNAIDS Transition

As the founding executive director of UNAIDS prepares to step down at the end of 2008, CGD and the Economic Governance Programme of Oxford University have convened an expert Working Group to develop recommendations for the incoming leadership of UNAIDS, the Programme Coordinating Board and other stakeholders. The final report is available online.
[October 2008 - March 2009]

Private Sector Advisory Facility

The private health sector constitutes a large and growing portion of developing country health systems, accounting for between 50 and 80 percent of utilization and expenditures. But governments and donors focus nearly all of their attention and resources on the public sector, thereby overlooking valuable opportunities to strengthen private healthcare providers' contributions to better health. The Center for Global Development has convened the Private Sector Advisory Facility Working Group to identify mechanisms for establishing policies and programs that can help the private sector to play a more meaningful role in improving health care for poor people in developing countries.
[August 2008 - 2010]

Drug Resistance

CGD convened the Drug Resistance Working Group to identify practical and feasible ways that the global donor community could prevent or reduce the emergence of drug resistance against AIDS, TB, malaria, and other illnesses in developing countries. In addition to shedding light on country similarities, the Working Group will develop a common solution framework that can be brought to bear based on the risk factors for resistance across treatments for major diseases and thus will draw on examples and lessons from experience with treatment for HIV/AIDs, malaria, TB, and microbial infections.
[November 2007 - 2010]

IMF-Supported Programs and Health Expenditures

The Working Group on IMF-Supported Programs and Health Expenditures investigated how macroeconomic policies under IMF programs in low-income countries interacted with the management of health spending in a context of scaled-up aid. Utilizing case studies and cross-country comparisons, the working group explored the evidence on what actually happened under IMF programs on the key issues where the IMF role has been criticized. The group concluded with six recommendations for the IMF as well as lessons for other stakeholders.
[October 2006 – June 2007]

Performance-Based Incentives

The Working Group on Performance-Based Incentives was convened to examine how the use and quality of essential health services for the poor can be affected by performance-based incentives. Building upon a growing body of evidence, the Working Group will explore how these innovations are working, how they are affecting (or could affect) the broader health system, and if and how they can be used to change key health-related behaviors.
[February 2006 – 2012]

Global Health Forecasting

The Global Health Forecasting Working Group was convened to study the challenges surrounding demand forecasting for essential medical technologies. The group concluded that better forecasting requires wider sharing of the risks involved in producing drugs among those who influence market dynamics, and aligning incentives through three mutually reinforcing actions: 1) improving the capacity to develop credible forecasts by taking forecasting seriously; 2) mobilizing and sharing information about product demand in a coordinated way through the establishment of an infomediary; and 3) adopting a set of contractual arrangements. These recommendations are presented in the Working Group’s final report, A Risky Business: Saving Money and Improving Global Health through Better Demand Forecasts.
[February 2006 – May 2007]

Global Health Indicators

The Global Health Indicators Working Group examined potential measures of a government's commitment to health with the goal of identifying and recommending a set of indicators for consideration by the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation and other donors as they assess country eligibility for investment. The group's findings are presented in detail in the new report, Measuring Commitment to Health.
February 2006 – August 2006

Evaluation Gap

The Evaluation Gap Working Group was convened to understand why good impact evaluation of development programs is in short supply. Focusing on health, education and social sectors, the Working Group identified what would be required to ensure that the business of development includes learning what works and what doesn't. The Working Group's recommendations to solve the problem of the evaluation gap are presented in a final report, When Will We Ever Learn? Improving Lives through Impact Evaluation.
[September 2004 – May 2006]

Global Health Resource Tracking

The Global Health Resource Tracking Working Group identified the lack of timely, accurate data about spending on health services and public health programs as serious constraints on good policymaking and effective use of limited resources in developing countries. More information about what resources are expected - from whom, and for what purpose - and better tracking of how those funds have been spent will allow policy leaders, advocates and analysts to more effectively raise additional resources and allocate them toward the populations and types of services that are vital to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The Working Group’s final report, Following the Money: Toward Better Tracking of Global Health Resources, calls for: coherent and long-term support to improve government budgetary and financial systems in the developing world; standard approaches to documenting and analyzing health sector expenditures; and more timely, predictable and forward looking data on external assistance to the health sector.
[July 2004 – May 2007]

Advance Market Commitment

The Advance Market Commitment Working Group examined how donors could accelerate the development of vaccines for diseases concentrated in developing countries by guaranteeing to pay for such vaccines if and when they are created and introduced. A well structured binding commitment could create incentives for firms to invest in R&D with the confidence that there would be a market for a successful product. The Working Group’s report Making Markets for Vaccines: Ideas to Action takes the proposal from theory to practice, with a detailed explanation of how an advance market commitment could be designed within the existing legal and budgetary framework, and example term sheets that demonstrate the legal instruments that could be used. [March 2003 – April 2005]

What Works?

The What Works? Working Group sought to identify, analyze and document large implementation successes in global health. The Working Group closely examined major public health successes in developing countries – programs that used cost-effective interventions and had a large, positive impact on health conditions that could be attributed to the programs’ activities. The Working Group identified the factors contributing to the successes, and the commonalities across them. These included: adequate and long-term funding, the existence of political champions, technical consensus, innovative technologies and delivery approaches, good management and effective use of information. The working group’s findings are featured in the CGD publication Millions Saved: Proven Successes in Global Health.
[February 2003 – December 2004]