Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

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.


Pay 'em or Don’t Charge 'em? The Case of Conditional Cash Transfers and User-Fee Exemptions in Nepal for Pregnant Mothers

Should patients be paid to seek lifesaving services? Should patients receive lifesaving service free of charge? While these two questions have typically been studied separately, we decided to take a look at them together. In our new study, published in Health Services Research, we find that not charging pregnant women for health services mattered less than paying them.

“Better Than Average” Is Not Good Enough: Accelerating Child Survival in India

Last week, the Government of India held a star-studded National Summit on child survival, “co-convened”* with USAID and UNICEF. The high-profile meeting featured politicians (the Minister of Health & Family Welfare, the US Ambassador to India), heavy-hitters in global child health (Bob Black, Zulfiqar Bhutta, Mickey Chopra, Geeta Rao Gupta) along with some Indian stars of child health (Vinod Paul, Abhay Bang, Yogesh Jain), and even a Bollywood actress/“child rights activist” Nandana Sen (daughter of Nobel Laureate and Professor Amartya Sen), to name a few.

What’s New in the Child Survival Call to Action?

The newly released new child mortality data by UNICEF has findings that are encouraging yet still worrisome: the world has made progress in reducing child deaths globally; yet each day some 19,000 children die every day largely from preventable causes. USAID highlighted this new publication to remind the world of its “Child Survival Call to Action: Ending Preventable Child Deaths,” co-hosted by USAID, India, Ethiopia, and others on June 14 and 15. Before we completely forget what happened in mid-June, we revisit the event and its desired goals by taking a closer look at the event’s “Roadmap”. Bottom line: The Child Survival Call to Action does not bring much new money or knowledge, but it brings some laudable political attention and a promising emphasis on delivery and accountability. But without more systematic attention from countries and donors, the new child survival agenda risks being another same-old global-health flavor-of-the-month, potentially crowded out by competing priorities in global health.

Will the Agenda for Child Survival Survive?

Saving kids: Who doesn’t want to do that? Though relatively uncontroversial (say, compared to saving drug addicts and sex workers), the agenda for child survival is not new. In fact, it’s a (relatively) old agenda in global health, arguably dating back to the time of UNICEF's third Executive Director James Grant (1980-1995) who pushed to recognize the “global silent emergency” and to reduce preventable child deaths.