Ideas to Action:

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Global Health Policy Blog

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis on global health issues and how better policies can improve well-being for everyone. Also check out our Views from the Center blog and US Development Policy blog.


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.

If the Global Health Donors Were Your Parents: A (Whimsical) Comparative Perspective

Navigating the global health funding landscape can be confusing even for global health veterans; there are scores of donors and multilateral funding mechanisms, each with its own particular structure, personality, and philosophy. For the uninitiated, PEPFAR, GAVI, PMI, WHO, the Global Fund, UNITAID, and the Gates Foundation can all appear obscure and intimidating. But if your head is spinning from acronym-induced vertigo, fear not! We are here to help you make sense of it all. How, you ask? With a clear method for donor identification: comparing the donors to your parents.

End-Use Verification: Simple but Potentially Powerful

When budget cuts loom and all the issues are big and thorny, one is naturally attracted to the small and overlooked initiatives that might make a difference. I recently discovered the President’s Malaria Initiative’s (PMI) “End-Use Verification Tool”, a short questionnaire being implemented to regularly monitor the availability of malaria diagnostics and medications at the health facility level in PMI focus countries.

Women Deliver 2010: A Second Chance for the World to Deliver for Women

The much-anticipated Women Deliver 2010 conference opened with a rousing call for global action for women’s health. A star-studded line-up of health and development leaders committed themselves and urged others to do more to reduce child and maternal deaths. The rhetoric and passion sounds a lot like the calls we heard fifteen years ago that went unheeded. Today there is a second chance for the world to deliver for women. Will this time be different?

Canada Reported Ready to Spend $1 Billion to Cut Maternal Mortality—How To Use the Money Well

This is a joint post with Katherine Douglas.

The Canadian press reports that Ottawa is

telling other G8 countries that Canada is willing to put about $1 billion toward maternal and child health — as long as other countries ante up too… The Canadian cash will likely target poor countries with the worst records of maternal and child mortality and malnutrition.

The news follows Canadian PM Stephen Harper’s January announcement that improving maternal and child health would be his country’s signature initiative.

Federal Employee of the Year: Richard Greene, USAID's Office of Health, Infectious Diseases and Nutrition

Congratulations are due to Richard Greene, who directs USAID's Office of Health, Infectious Diseases and Nutrition, recently recognized as the "Federal Employee of the Year" for his work as one of the architects and leaders of the President's Malaria Initiative. According to the award announcement, "Greene's dedication and leadership were critical to the program's early success.

PEPFAR Reauthorization IV: Target Formula May Unintentionally Prevent Improvements in PEPFAR Implementation

This is a joint posting with David Wendt

The PEPFAR reauthorization bill, now signed by President Bush, is historic for several reasons. In our last blog we addressed the implicit entitlements to treatment confirmed by this bill. Today we discuss the role that unit cost measurement is mandated to play in determining the targets set for future administration performance.

This may be the first time in history that any government has mandated performance targets based on estimates of the unit costs of meeting those targets. The language of the bill says: "the treatment goal...shall be the same percentage that the average US Government cost per patient...has decreased ..." [Sec 403(3)(d)(3)].

PEPFAR Reauthorization III: US Funding is Life or Death for 1.73 Million and Counting

This is a joint posting with David Wendt

Does the new AIDS bill constitute recognition that AIDS treatment has become a de facto "entitlement"? If so, will AIDS continue to be exceptional in this respect -- or will Americans and the citizens of other relatively rich countries increasingly be willing to accept that the recipients of their assistance are "entitled" to its continuation.

The US congress passed last week and has sent to President Bush for signature the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Reauthorization Act (H.R. 5501). This bill extends the US commitment to treat foreign AIDS patients by doubling the time period (from 5 years since 2003 to 10 years) and increases the target number of patients to be enrolled in treatment from 1.73 now to 2 or more million in five years.