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What factors affect health care delivery in the developing world? Anecdotal evidence of lives cut tragically short and the loss of productivity due to avoidable diseases is an area of salient concern in global health and international development. This working paper looks at factual evidence to describe the main challenges facing health care delivery in developing countries, including absenteeism, corruption, informal payments, and mismanagement. The author concludes that good governance is important in ensuring effective health care delivery, and that returns to investments in health are low where governance issues are not addressed.