With rigorous economic research and practical policy solutions, we focus on the issues and institutions that are critical to global development. Explore our core themes and topics to learn more about our work.
In timely and incisive analysis, our experts parse the latest development news and devise practical solutions to new and emerging challenges. Our events convene the top thinkers and doers in global development.
Health economics, Applied econometrics, Epidemiological and economic simulation modeling, Impact evaluation, AIDS.
Mead Over is a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development researching economics of efficient, effective, and cost-effective health interventions in developing countries. Much of his work since 1987, first at the World Bank and now at the CGD, is on the economics of the AIDS epidemic. After work on the economic impact of the AIDS epidemic and on cost-effective interventions, he co-authored the Bank’s first comprehensive treatment of the economics of AIDS in the book, Confronting AIDS: Public Priorities for a Global Epidemic(1997,1999). His most recent book is Achieving an AIDS Transition: Preventing Infections to Sustain Treatment (2011)in which he offers options, for donors, recipients, activists and other participants in the fight against HIV, to reverse the trend in the epidemic through better prevention. His previous publications include The Economics of Effective AIDS Treatment: Evaluating Policy Options for Thailand (2006). Other papers examine the economics of preventing and of treating malaria. In addition to ongoing work on the determinants of adherence to AIDS treatment in poor countries, he is working on optimal pricing of health care services at the periphery, on the measurement and explanation of the efficiency of health service delivery in poor countries and on optimal interventions to control a global influenza pandemic.
In addition to his numerous research projects at the Center, Over currently serves as a member of PEPFAR’s Scientific Advisory Board and as a member of the Steering Committee of the HIV/AIDS modeling consortium funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Recruited to the World Bank as a Health Economist in 1986, Mead Over advanced to the position of Lead Health Economist in the Development Research Group, before leaving the World Bank to join the Center for Global Development in 2006. Each spring since 2005, he has taught a module on “Modeling the Cost-Effectiveness of Interventions against Infectious Diseases” as part of the master’s degree program in health economics for developing countries at the Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International (CERDI) at the University of the Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France.
"Evaluating the Impact of Organizational Reforms in Hospitals," with Naoko Watanabe, Chapter 3 in A. Preker and A.Harding (eds.) Innovations in health service delivery: The corporatization of public hospitals. World Bank, March 2003
On World AIDS Day in 2003, WHO and UNAIDS launched a campaign called the “3 by 5 initiative,” with the objective to “treat three million people with HIV by 2005.” At that time, AIDS treatment was still prohibitively expensive for poor countries, where only a few thousand people had access to treatment. Thanks to President Bush’s creation of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program that same year, the number of people on antiretroviral therapy (ART) began to rise dramatically. While the total number of people on ART reached only one million in 2005, the objective to reach three million people was attained in 2007, and the numbers have continued to climb. The numbers have now surpassed 11 million in low- and middle-income countries and 13 million worldwide. (See bottom trend line in figure 1.)
This Wonkcast was originally recorded on September 2, 2014.
As the Ebola epidemic continued to spread in West Africa, with more than 3,000 cases and 1,500 deaths, I invited CGD senior fellow Mead Over, a health economist and one of the world’s top experts on the economics of HIV/AIDS, to discuss newly released maps from the World Health Organization (WHO) and measures for limiting the economic fallout from the epidemic.
On September 23, the Washington Post aired a disagreement between the US Center for Disease Control Ebola experts and the Médecins Sans Frontieres Ebola doctors regarding the value of community Ebola treatment centers staffed with community volunteers for Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.
Remarkable progress has been made in the global fight against HIV/AIDS. The number of people receiving treatment in low- and middle-income countries increased from 300,000 in 2003 to 13.7 million in 2015, including 7 million supported by the United States. These gains are primarily attributable to a 2003 US government initiative called PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) that provided major new multiyear funding for global HIV/AIDS and created a new entity, the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, headed by an ambassador-rank Global AIDS Coordinator who is authorized to allocate PEPFAR’s resources and coordinate all US bilateral and multilateral activities on HIV/AIDS.
However, without dramatic changes to PEPFAR, the next president risks being held responsible for the failure of a program that until now has been one of the United States’ proudest foreign assistance achievements. And because PEPFAR is a major component of US foreign assistance spending, the next president’s choices about PEPFAR will heavily influence any subsequent assessments of his or her humanitarian foreign assistance policies.
The South African government is currently discussing various alternative approaches to the further expansion of antiretroviral treatment (ART) in public-sector facilities. Alternatives under consideration include the criteria under which a patient would be eligible for free care, the level of coverage with testing and care, how much of the care will be delivered in small facilities located closer to the patients, and how to assure linkage to care and subsequent adherence by ART patients.
This essay proposes ways to improve the effectiveness of HIV prevention by strengthening incentives for both measurement and achievement. It builds upon a companion essay that proposes an “AIDS Transition”—that is, a gradual reduction in the number of people infected with HIV even as those inflected live longer—as a reasonable objective of donor and government AIDS policy.