Global Health Policy Blog

CGD experts blog on global health issues such as health financing, drug resistance, clinical trials, vaccine development, HIV/AIDS, and health-related foreign assistance.

 

The IMF Finally Speaks on Tobacco Taxes

Last November, the IMF released a workable guide to issues that come up when a country decides to raise tobacco taxes. This is a big step. As far as I know, this is the first public statement from the IMF on tobacco taxes since 1999. Yet while it recognizes the health effects of reducing tobacco consumption, the technical note never addresses how you would make sure that tobacco taxes reduce smoking.

Health Results Innovation Trust Fund at 10: What Have We Learned So Far?

In 2007, the World Bank established the multi-donor Health Results Innovation Trust Fund (HRITF) to support and evaluate low-income country government efforts to pay providers based on their results in health care, with a focus on reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and nutrition. A decade later, the HRITF has had substantial impact on how governments and aid partners think and talk about health care financing, and the term “results-based financing” or RBF is now well-established in the policy vernacular.

Minding Privacy in the Use of Health Data

The power and potential of digitized and linked data require careful stewardship. For example, integrating routine data and HIV registers could generate efficiencies and potentially improve the delivery of health care services, but linking these systems may also put individuals’ privacy at greater risk. The ethics of developing, managing, and providing access to data needs to be at the forefront of conversations on data for development, along with practical strategies to proactively protect privacy.

Global Family Planning Funding—What Should Funders Be Thinking About Now?

The new US administration may put US funding for family planning—comprising nearly half of all bilateral contributions—at risk. The family planning community still has time to make the case for sustained US funding, protecting the gains that it has already achieved. But smart advocacy should also be accompanied by contingency planning—what would it mean for the United States (US) to substantially cut its support?

Bridging the Gap Between Health and Finance: How Can Finance Ministries Support a Sustainable HIV Response?

At our recent event, “How Can Finance Ministries Support a Sustainable HIV Response?” representatives from PEPFAR and the US Department of Treasury came together to discuss an innovative partnership between them and with finance ministries around the world. The partnership aims to improve the coordination and productivity of resources devoted to combatting HIV/AIDS in low- and middle-income countries, and to strengthen the long-term feasibility of these efforts.

PEPFAR is Life for Millions—But without Better Prevention, the AIDS Burden Doubles Every 28 Years

Without PEPFAR, it’s safe to say that almost all of Africa would be stuck near zero HIV treatment coverage. Instead, 49 percent of HIV-infected people were receiving life-saving treatment in 2014, rising to 56 percent by 2015, and the top-performing countries are still gaining ground. This dramatic increase in treatment coverage is a prodigious achievement—and the United States deserves most of the credit. But despite these accomplishments, much more work is needed to reach the end of the epidemic.

GAO Report Misses the Point on USG Ebola Response

Having tried and mostly failed to track what was going on with US Government performance and spending on Ebola, I welcome the GAO’s overview of obligations and disbursements by appropriation account and strategy pillar. Now the scope of this report appears to be narrow, so let’s hope there’s more to come. A performance audit should go beyond the money to look at what actually happened; what organizations, activities and products were funded; what were the results on the outcomes that matter—Ebola transmission, rapid control of Ebola outbreaks; whether second-order economic impacts were mitigated; and how outbreak preparedness has evolved over time.

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