We Want You! (To Help Us Crowdsource Budget Data for Millions Saved 3)

May 05, 2015

Millions Saved 3 is coming soon — and in addition to scale and proven effectiveness, affordability and cost-effectiveness will take center stage as essential considerations for this new edition. Beyond including cost-effectiveness among our selection criteria for case studies, we also want to ensure readers are given full, appropriately contextualized information on the cost of these programs, helping them understand the relationship between the investments made and outcomes observed. To this end, we want every chapter to include a full profile of the program budget — an ambition that has proven surprisingly hard to achieve in practice.

This is where we turn to you, dear readers, for help. Are you familiar with these programs? And if so, do you know where we can track down more comprehensive budget data? Our highest priority is to flesh out the five cases listed below; we feel confident the data is out there somewhere, but so far our efforts to find it have fallen short. That said, tips for any of our case studies would be very welcome (full list here).

  1. A Fresh Start for a Bright Future: Kenya’s School-Based Deworming Program
  2. The Integrated Management of Childhood Illness in Bangladesh
  3. Motivating Health Workers, Motivating Better Health: Rwanda’s Pay-for-Performance Scheme for Health Services
  4. Reducing the Cost of Institutional Delivery in Gujarat, India
  5. A Step Up for the Children Apartheid Left Behind: South Africa’s Child Support Grant

So what kinds of budget information would be helpful? In short, anything — beggars can’t be choosers. But in a perfect world, our wish list would include:

  • Overall project budgets, by year and/or in their totality. Bonus points for any further line item breakdowns (e.g., the split between program management versus field costs, commodity versus human resource costs, the cost of the impact evaluation, etc.)
  • The breakdown of funding sources (i.e., the split of funding between various donors and governments)
  • Contextual information on scale (e.g., budgets as a percent of government health expenditure or overall government revenue)

Have any tips or ideas? We would be most grateful if you could send them our way, either in the comments or by email at The better we understand the costs of these programs, the better we can make the case about how investments in health can pay dividends in terms of lives saved and healthy life years gained.

And for those of you eagerly awaiting the forthcoming third edition: we expect to release the book in early 2016, alongside a snazzy new webpage. Mark your calendars!


CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.