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Vaccines are one of the most cost-effective and proven technologies to save lives ever developed, but pharmaceutical companies often lack incentives to create vaccines for diseases that primarily affect the developing world. CGD examines how to improve incentives to save lives. Our research led to international backing for the Advance Market Commitment financial mechanism, where donors promise to buy a vaccine if it’s developed. Over 80 million children have subsequently been vaccinated against deadly pneumococcal disease.
Last week, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, completed a $7.5 billion replenishment to fund its work on immunization in the world’s poorest countries between now and 2020. Gavi’s next step is to ensure that the money is used as effectively as possible to save lives and improve health.
The majority of the world’s sick live in middle-income countries (MIC) – mainly Pakistan, India, Nigeria, China and Indonesia (or PINCI), according to new data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. Sound familiar? Andy Sumner, Denizhan Duran, and I came to the same conclusion in a 2011 paper, but we used 2004 disease burden data, which didn’t provide an up-to-date view of reality. So I was pleased to see that our findings still hold based on IHME’s 2010 Global Burden of Disease (GBD) estimates.
CGD has been following Advanced Market Commitment (AMC) for vaccines for a while now: from its groundwork in the CGD report Making Markets for Vaccines, to its launch and the delivery of its first vaccines in 2010 (GAVI also offers a nice timeline of events here). This innovative financing mechanism aims to increase investment in vaccines for use in lower-middle income countries (LMIC)by guaranteeing a market for appropriate health products and services, reducing unpredictability or volatility that can discourage private investment, and increasing competition and innovation between companies and organizations (read more here).
Immunization saves millions of lives, is among the most cost-effective health interventions ever developed, and has attracted a great deal of attention and funding from public and private donors in recent years. Indeed, global health leaders have committed to making this the ‘Decade of Vaccines’ with the vision of delivering universal access to immunization by 2020, and the World Health Organization has put out a Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) to serve as a blueprint to achieving this goal.
This week, eight polio vaccination workers in Sindh and Peshawar have been killed in Pakistan during a three day anti-polio drive (see here). Last week in Afghanistan, two polio vaccinators were also killed. Suspicions of CIA involvement in the campaign have been identified as causes of the attacks. “Our teams are getting attacked, and we are having a hard time hiring health workers because they are worried about being called a spy,” said the Head of Medicine in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province earlier this summer.