Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity



June 4, 2007

Generating Political Priority for Public Health Causes in Developing Countries: Implications From a Study on Maternal Mortality

Why do some serious health issues--such as HIV/AIDS--get considerable attention and others--such as malaria and collapsing health systems--very little? In this CGD brief, visiting fellow Jeremy Shiffman discusses nine factors that influenced the degree to which national leaders in five countries made maternal mortality--death from pregnancy-related complications--a political priority. Drawing on his comparison of these countries, Shiffman offers recommendations for public health priority-setting in developing countries. His bottom line: attaining public health goals is as much a political as it is a medical or technical challenge; success requires not only appropriate technical interventions but also effective political strategies.Learn more