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DIBs: Value for Money or Just an Interesting Financing Mechanism?

At the end of 2018, the world had seven development impact bonds (DIBs) and more in the pipeline. Yet questions remain about the potential of DIBs—still a new financing instrument—compared to other pay-for-performance arrangements. With a dearth of standard and transparent evaluation methods, it is difficult to reliably assess whether DIBs are good value for money, and if they are, how best to structure them to maximize their efficiency.

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The Right Tools for the Job: When to Use CEA and When to Use BCA for Evaluating Health Policies

As countries strive to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, including attaining and sustaining universal health coverage, decision-makers are increasingly using economic evaluation to drive macro policy choices and more granular technology-focused decisions. In a recent study, we discuss what cost-effective analysis (CEA) and benefit-cost analysis (BCA) have in common and where they differ, especially in relation to universal health coverage, in terms of the perspective of the analysis and how the methodologies relate (or not) to the viewpoints of healthcare policymakers and budget holders in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

A hand reaching for medicine on a pharmacy shelf

Are Other Countries to Blame for High US Drug Prices?

Back in February, the US Council of Economic Advisers issued a white paper on drug pricing implying that other rich countries should stop “free riding” off American innovation by negotiating drug prices to unfairly low levels after the US fronts the research and development costs. Perhaps in response, President Trump recently announced a proposal to bring down US drug prices. But until the US corrects the structural flaws in its own healthcare system, these efforts are bound to fall short.


Entrepreneurship on the Rise in the Medical Supply Chain in Africa: A Tale of Four Pharmacy Disruptors

The IFC estimates that by 2030, developing countries will need up to $210 billion per year in new investment for health care assets to meet the growing healthcare demands of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This will require the current level of investment in healthcare in developing markets to triple. What may be almost as important as the money itself, however, is the prospective opportunity to catalyze the entrepreneurial spirit that is seeping its way into African markets. Here we look at how this entrepreneurialism is being leveraged in the pharmacy and supply chain space.

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Global Health Development Value Frameworks: Are We Calculating Well and Wisely?

The last several years have seen the development of many decision-support tools (“value frameworks”) for supporting policy and investment decisions. These tools make use of lots of numbers representing factors of undoubted importance in decision making, and they synthesise this information into a decision-relevant score or ranking or choice recommendation. Sometimes it is hard to trace how the numbers are combined; in other cases, although the relevant formulae are spelled out, it is hard to see why the numbers are combined in a particular way.

The State of Global Health Commodity Procurement: Moving from Data Points to the Bigger Picture

“Better data drive better decisions” is a truism that researchers everywhere are all too familiar with. Increasing the availability, usability, and relevance of data is key to tracking performance and informing smarter, more efficient policies—but too often the data we need simply aren’t available, at least not in a useful format. Recently, we’ve been exploring the availability of data (or lack thereof) related to global health commodity markets in the context of CGD’s working group on the Future of Global Health Procurement. To ground the working group’s recommendations, we’re trying to understand the current state of health commodity procurement in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs)—specifically which commodities are procured, by whom, how, and at what price.

The Need for New Approaches to Global Health Aid Allocation

Aid allocation has been a topic of much investigation across several fields. In particular, many studies have looked at the patterns of development assistance for health (DAH). For example, a study by Hanlon and colleagues found that regional variations in DAH country allocations were only in part explained by differences in disease burden or income levels. If DAH allocation is not primarily driven by the health and financial needs of those receiving it, then on what grounds is it allocated?

On the Docket for Development in 2018: CGD Experts Weigh in

Here at CGD, we’re always working on new ideas to stay on top of the rapidly changing global development landscape. Whether it’s examining new technologies with the potential to alleviate poverty, presenting innovative ways to finance global health, assessing changing leadership at international institutions, or working to maximize results in resource-constrained environments, CGD’s experts are at the forefront of practical policy solutions to reduce global poverty and inequality. Get an in-depth look below at their thoughts on the 2018 global development landscape.